Review : Jason Mraz - Love Is a Four Letter Word
Hit FixWe’ll have whatever Jason Mraz is smoking, please. On “Love Is A Four Letter Word,” out today, Mraz is at his hippie-dippiest, peace-loving, live-in-the-now best. If you thought he was mellow before, just wait until you check out the new material. Throughout the album’s 12 songs, he explores love in all its forms and it’s safe to say, he’s for it.
In these troubled times, Mraz is here to tell us that everything is just as it should be, right here and right now. It’s Up With People set to a slight reggae beat. If such affirmations were used sparingly, it would be fine, but “Love” drowns in them so aggressively that it feels like the album should come complete with rainbows, unicorns, fluffy puppies, and tweeting love birds.
Mraz is someone who has always looked on the bright side of life and his music has reflected this optimistic world view. Often, it’s been to great effect, as on the irrepressible “The Remedy” or the ubiquitous “I’m Yours.” He sounds great here and the music is lilting, but he too often drowns in his own well-intentioned message....full text
NY PostIN the follow-up to his popular 2008 album “We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things” — and the monster hit it spawned, “I’m Yours” — Jason Mraz goes down a don’t worry, be happy path (complete with a Bobby McFerrin-like whistle to start off the song “Living in the Moment”).
Sounding like a cross between Jack Johnson and a less-soulful Amos Lee, the San Diego-based singer-songwriter manages to pull off a clever trick in maintaining his upbeat musical sound even when his lyrics head in the opposite direction.
In the breakup song “The Woman I Love,” Mraz tells of a guy desperate to hang on to a love who’s dumped him, self-assuredly singing, “Maybe I annoy you with my choices/Well, you annoy me sometimes too with your voice/But that ain’t enough for me/To move out and move on” — accompanied by pleasant-sounding organ, piano, guitar and drums.
Although his simple sentiments and Lite FM sound can be grating, we have to admire his ability to rhyme vibration and undulation in a song (“Everything Is Sound”)....full text
MetroListening to the entirety of San Diego-based singer/songwriter Jason Mraz’s fourth album feels like being forced to watch a sunset with a vegan surfer while he talks about his feelings; and your reaction to it will depend on whether that sounds blissful, or a ballache.
The Freedom Song is a Jack Johnsonesque lilting number topped with bongos and gospel oohs, while 5/6 is a more psych-jazzy lounge offering that segues into surging strings.
Lead single I Won’t Give Up is a delicate, countrified guitar ballad that drives into a power-chorus singalong conclusion, but there’s nothing here that sounds quite as potentially ubiquitous as Mraz’s 2008 breakthrough track I’m Yours.
Mraz’s earnest, melodic guitar pop exerts mainstream appeal, but this will all be a bit earnest teen drama soundtrack for some.
Rolling Stone"I see a sunset on the beach, yeah/It makes me feel calm," sings Jason Mraz on his new album. For Mraz, calm is the goal, of life and of music. Inspired, perhaps, by the massive success of his lite-reggae anthem "I'm Yours," he's added more world-music textures to his folk pop, and turned up the blissed-out vibes on Love Is a Four Letter Word. ("Living my life/Easy and breezy/Peace in my mind," he croons in "Living for the Moment.") He's a Gen-Y version of Jimmy Buffett, with booze and boats replaced by veganism and yoga. The album's epigram, in the liner notes, comes from Mr. Rogers, of children's-television fame, and it is not ironic.
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