Jason Mraz – Yes!
Jason Mraz won fans everywhere with his single I’m Yours but it’s been a while since the American singer released anything of note or great success. Yes! is the fifth studio album from the coffee-shop born artist and has undoubtedly been effected by current musical trends, missing out on the quirkiness of his Mr A-Z days and lacking the same charisma of his earlier releases.
Like many albums, there is nothing especially wrong with Mraz’s latest release – it’s just a bit dull and unimaginative. Though the songs flow nicely together few stand out from one another and Mraz delivers very much the same formula over and over again. At times I could easily have been listening to Ed Sheeran… not a bad thing in itself but I’d have preferred the individualism Mraz once held so well. Insights into his old style pepper the record, the intro of Quiet promising a stripped back acoustic style only to be joined by other ambient indie bits and pieces you can hear on plenty of currently charting tracks.
The general pace of the album was very much slow with little relief – Hello You Beautiful Thing and Three Things were the only songs that did stand out to me as they were upbeat and un-pretentious. I was disappointed not only in terms of pace but also lyrically with not a sign of his sharp wit and clever wordplay; he seemed to bow into cliches and overused phrases and not a single line captured my attention. Don’t misinterpret me – the album is extremely easy to listen to and, to an extent, enjoy but it’s very unremarkable.
Basically, Yes! disappointed me in that Mraz seems to have caved into what the textbook, modern singer-songwriter should be like, making him indistinctive and a little dull. With the likes of George Ezra cranking the genre up a notch it’s a disappointment from an old favourite whose clever tongue used to do so well when he was a little less… well, mainstream. There’s nothing wrong with mainstream pop but when unique artists is not something I’m a great fan of – Mr A-Z is clearly still in there though so here’s hoping for a resurrection!