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Album Review: Jason Mraz – Yes!

3 min read

American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz is back with his latest album Yes! He shot to international success in 2008 with a little tune titled I’m Yours, which spent a record 76 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Over the course of his music career Mraz has earned numerous accolades, including two Grammy awards. New album Yes! is based around the idea of saying yes to everything; Mraz believes that yes inspires creativity and allows creativity to occur, and saying ‘yes’ has led him on his successful music career. Yes! is Mraz’s fifth studio album and his first ever acoustic album, which he recorded with friends Raining Jane. Raining Jane are an all female folk-rock quartet from LA who have worked with Mraz on various tracks for the past seven years now.

Jason Mraz - YesThe album starts off with lead single Love Someone. This fits into the same vein as Mraz’s other hits, such as I’m Yours and I Won’t Give Up. Whilst it does lack a bit of ‘light and shade’, this pretty track featuring Mraz’s signature sound is likely to be a hit. Another track missing that essential light and shade is Best Friend. Whilst the lyrics are extremely sweet, there isn’t much of a distinction between the chorus and the verses.

Hello, You Beautiful Thing leads to charge of upbeat folk tunes, with ‘cute’ being an accurate description of this song. Long Drive is something you would listen to on a long drive (haha) with no destination in mind. It has a laid back melody that almost lends itself to a country-pop vibe. Whilst 3 Things starts out with melancholy lyrics, it soon bursts into a positive, upbeat tune that features a strumming guitar.

Fans of the hit I Won’t Give Up needn’t fear; there are still a few ballads and slower tempo songs to be found on Yes! A well known social activist, Mraz offers his view on the environment, technology and other matters in the inimate and cosy Quiet.   His cover of the Boyz II Men classic It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye features a brilliant acapella opening and amazing harmonies from Raining Jane. Trippy closing number Shine showcases a sitar and tribal drums, with a melody reminiscent  of Bruno Mars’ Gorilla. The track has some great lyrics and gives a nice variety to the album.

Mraz has stated that because of the way the stories unfold on Yes!, the album is made to be consumed in one sitting. Whilst each track is pleasant and has its own merits, listening to the album in its entirety can quickly become boring as all the songs start to similar – not just to each other but to Mraz’s previous tracks.

Yes! is a decent effort from Mraz. He’s decided to stick with what has worked well in the past, and indeed it has worked well again. Yet with this pleasant familiarity also comes an annoyance at the repetition of the same old routine that we’ve already heard.