This week sees the release of Jason Mraz's fifth studio album, YES!. This follows his highest-charting album, 2012's Love is a Four Letter Word. That album peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200. Thus far, his albums have climbed higher with each release. In 2008, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things peaked at #3. Previously, MR. AZ peaked at #5 in 2005. Jason's debut, Waiting For My Rocket To Come, peaked at #55 in 2002. The new album is expected to sell up to sixty thousand downloads, which could put it at number one.
This release can be seen as an extension of Love with an earthier, more melodic and ethereal vibe to it. YES! is mellow, soothing in its instrumentals, and intention-focused lyrically. The songs all discuss ways in which Mraz wishes to improve the world.
These poetic wonderings and wishes are enhanced by his trademark vocal acrobatics, sans the rhythmic and pseudo-raps which made him Mr. Wordplay.
After the instrumental start of the album, Jason starts sharing the wisdom he holds dearly.
'Love is a funny thing. Whenever I give it, it comes back to me. It's making my blood flow with energy. And it's like an awakened dream. As what I am wishing for is happening.'
'But why do bad dreams linger long after I wake? And I feel quite foolish sometimes when I pray. But my thoughts are all I've got so I try to make them brave.'
'Drive a little slower, don't matter where we're going. Take the long way.'
'I'm everything in everywhere. Can you see me in your own reflection? I'm deep within the molecules of the air you breathe. And all the subatomic supersonic spaces in between.'
'Thank you for all of your trust. Thank you for not giving up. Thank you for holding my hand. You've always known where I stand.'
'Every time I go home, there's another cell phone tower, construction getting louder, paving over yesterdays. Every once in a while, you know I get these real bad headaches; worried about the mistakes, I've made along the way. Well you and I can't hide, from the fact that we need each other. How else will I recover? When the fever comes again.'
'When it feels like it's too much to understand, no, it's out of your hands, out of your hands, out of your hands.'
'Things are looking up. Beyond the dark, the sun is rising. Love is still the answer I'm relying on three little things.'
'Sometimes I rock, sometimes I roll. Sometimes it's not me in control. Sometimes I gotta jump before I know what's below.'
'Whenever my head starts to hurt, before it goes from bad to feeling worse. I turn off my phone. I get down low. And put my hands in the dirt.'
'Let's hike up the mountains, and challenge our will. Let's leap over canyons and get lost in the hills. I want to see the world the way I see a world with you.'
'I see who you really are. You're every creature, every man, every woman and child.'
The entire album is positive, soothing and perfect summer music. Standout tracks are "Back to The Earth", "Quiet", and the cover of "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday".
"Love Someone", the newest single, is a catchy, optimistic and serene track which is likely to follow the footsteps of the last two lead tracks off We and Love. The song has debuted inside a few international charts and with the release of YES! and the music video, the song is expected to rise slowly, just as many of his previous hit singles.
"I'm Yours" has become one of the best-selling digital tracks, having sold over fifteen million downloads worldwide. The song held the record of being the single with most weeks spent inside the Hot 100 with 76 consecutive weeks. The record was held for five years, until "Sail" by Awolnation, and "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons logged 79 and 86 weeks, respectively, in 2014.
"I Won't Give Up" debuted at number eight on the Hot 100. Debuting at number one on the Digital tracks, sold 229,000 downloads. The track has sold over five million copies worldwide since its 2012 release.
If you are a fan of the music video as a short film, then watch the film on the side of this article, which comprises an extended film experience of "Love Someone", "Hello, You Beautiful Thing" and "We Can Take The Long Way", and read what Mraz says of the project:
Making a music video is challenging. To me a song is personal: its story, message, or melody resonating uniquely with each listener. And adding moving pictures can sometimes paint a mood or suggest an attitude that is different from the way the listener may hear the song in his/her heart. "We Can Take The Long Way" is an effort to not make one finite music video, and instead tell a story about love and life with several songs from 'YES!' playing a supporting role. I recommend you turn down the lights, crank up the volume, snuggle up to your beloved, and enjoy the film.
The North American tour dates of his new tour begin in August on the west coast, and eventually will stp by Washington, DC on October 13th, in The Warner Theater
If you are a fan of Jason's positive outlook and meaningful lyrics, read about passENGER, his new album and newest single, "Scare Away The Dark".
Films: Kumu Hina (documentary) : Southern Baptist Sissies, the movie : OFIR (documentary) : Ne Te Retourne Pas (short) : Halina (short) : EK (short) : Despite The Gods (documentary) : Materica (short) : Lawrence and Hollowman, the movie : No Strangers (documentary) : Meth Head, the movie : Echoes (short) : Titans of Newark (short) : A Cure (short) : Precious, the movie : This Is It (documentary)
Music: Austra's Habitat : Passenger's Whispers : Birdy's Fire Within : Melanie Martinez's The Dollhouse : Peter Aristone's 19 Days in Tetbury : Lykke Li's I Never Learn : Neon Trees' Pop Psychology : Rufus Wainwright's Rufus Wainwright: Live from the Artists Den : Lily Allen's Sheezus : Ingrid Michaelson's Lights Out : Kelis' Food : The Sounds' Weekend : Austra's Olympia : KENN's We Killed KENN : VV Brown's Samson & Delilah : Sammy Crawford's Reality Sets In : Melanie C's Stages : Madonna's MDNA : Nelly Furtado's Spirit Indestructible : CocoRosie's "We Are On Fire" : Stephan Nance's A Troubled Piece of Fruit
Stand Up: Kevin J Thornton