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Review: Jason Mraz’s new album a labor of love

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I should preface this review by saying I am a big Jason Mraz fan. I haven’t met someone who doesn’t like “The Remedy.”

Mraz’s new album, “Love Is a Four Letter Word,” is my new go-to happy days album. The lyrics to almost all its songs are sweet or quirky, describe joyful emotions and seem to have been written while Mraz was at a high point in his life.

“I Won’t Give Up” is one of my favorites. I have been playing it on repeat ever since downloading it when it released as a single in January. The lyrics touch on relationships and how not everything comes easy, but if it’s worth it, you should be willing to work at it. The song’s melody is slow and sensual, which makes it perfect for romancing.

“The Freedom Song” is another great track. How can you not want to ride in the car with your windows down to this one, with lyrics all about being happy and finding joy in the small things in life? This song has a slight Bob Marley feel to it without being too reggae. It’s probably the swingy saxophones that give the song its cool, jazzy characteristic.

“Love Is a Four Letter Word” is a good mix of upbeat pop songs and ballad-style songs. Not all tracks sound the same, which is something new for Mraz. He keeps his slightly alternative-folksy sound quality, but dips his toes in the pop genre without diving in.

In between all the happy-go-lucky loving life songs, there are some that serve as a sort of social commentary, such as “5/6.” This track touches on how to raise children and live life with a laid-back outlook.

Mraz is not someone to be taken for a ladies man like John Mayer, but with these lyrics, women everywhere will be swooning. It’s the perfect balance of wit, charm and sensitivity that keeps his play on words from feeling too cheesy.

All in all, this album is genuine Mraz work.

Grade: A

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