Jason Mraz: Love is a Four Letter Word
After his light-reggae
hit ‘I’m Yours’, Jason Mraz has released his fourth album Love Is a Four
Letter Word to further establish his image as a fun, peace-loving,
the-world-is-a-wonderful-place kind of artist. In an album where the larger share of words revolve around love, he manages
to do just that, failing to avoid, however, that seemingly unavoidable curse of
What some might see
traditional and romantic, others might easily see as outdated and heavily
repetitive. ‘I Won’t Give Up’, with its quiet guitar riffs and pertinent backing vocals,
gives considerable space for Mraz’s own vocals to show but let’s be hones; “When
I look into your eyes, it’s like watching the night sky” isn’t exactly
Though most of the
album’s instrumentalism is cleverly layered, ‘The Freedom Song’ is much simpler
in sound. Distinct horn accents, a foot-tapping beat and a bubbly mood; the
general mellow tones of the song, along with its reassuring lyrics, make this a feel-good track all over.
‘Be Honest’ is another
subtle track that can take the listener back in time in an instant. Featuring
singer-songwriter Inara George in the chorus, the song has a lounge music air surrounding
it, all with a peculiar addition of a xylophone and an acoustic guitar.
The majority of the
songs on Love is a Four Letter Word are able to stand on their own, yet as
an album, it has a strange lack of obvious hits. Even the single ‘I Won’t Give
Up’ doesn’t hit home as expected of a chart entry. However, fans who were
introduced to Mraz’s music through ‘I’m Yours’ will probably fall in love with
its twin ‘Living in the Moment’ complete with trademark casual guitar strumming,
catchy whistling and a similarly positive vibe.
When it comes down to
it, Jason Mraz’s latest album will hardly change the music scene. But it can
be considered a step forward for listeners who thought his former
mono-emotional style too much to listen to throug a dozen or so songs per
album. At some points, it even comes dangerously close to a country sound, as can
be seen in‘Frank D. Fixer’.
Overall, Love Is a
Four Letter Word is a safe ride that rarely goes through ups or downs; it
talks about love in a very generic sense and doesn’t at any point hit a peak. The
upbeat, high-pitched guitar-padded tunes are less in this album than the
previous ones which hopefully hints at Mraz’s future evolution as an artist.