Jason Mraz’s new album falls flat
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 01:04
Described by the singer as "personal, melodic and mellow," Jason Mraz more fittingly could have described his new album "Love is a Four Letter Word" as boring, bland and uninspiring.
"Love is a Four Letter Word" is his first album in four years, following the massive success of 2008’s "We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things."
Most of the songs on the new album focus on love, with Mraz’s trademark charisma and acoustic styling.
This album does not have a breakout hit like 2008’s "I’m Yours."
Instead, it has a collection of 12 unremarkable songs that blend together.
"The Freedom Song" opens the album with a reggae sound and gospel backing, but the styles are poorly incorporated, and the track face-plants.
Mraz continues with the reggae-inspired style on "Everything is Sound."
The track is a chipper love song with lyrics that are almost laughable.
"Let’s sing to be happy, to feel things, to communicate, and be heard," Mraz sings.
A mid-album track, "Frank D. Fixer" takes this cheesy theme to a different level. The song sounds like it was written for the background of a montage on a children’s show and is more suited for "Bob the Builder" than a major-label release.
Mraz does get angry on "5/6." That is, the singer is as angry as he can be, which is about as angry as a box of puppies eating ice cream.
"In Your Hands" has the potential to be a nice change of pace from the bubbly love songs that make up Mraz’s catalog, but the quiet song has every cliché regarding heartbreak you could think of. The result is another uninspiring offer from the strings of Mraz’s acoustic guitar.
The one bright spot on the album is the honest, emotional first single "I Won’t Give Up." Mraz sings powerfully, "I won’t give up on us/ Even if the skies get rough/ I’m giving you all my love/ I’m still looking up."
That said, "Love is a Four Letter Word" definitely disappoints.
For fans of Mraz, put "I’m Yours" on repeat and pass up this album.