What Went Down
After four years out of the limelight, does the world remember Jason Mraz?
The US singer-songwriter was a quiet star in the first place – taking three albums to break through and then never reaching out beyond his songs – but the lengthy rest since 2008's multi-platinum smash We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things seems rash to say the least.
Happily for him, his appeal and his fortunes appear to be intact. I Won't Give Up, the first single from this fourth album, lilts and sways like Rod Stewart's Sailing and has become his second US Top 10 hit after the ubiquitous I'm Yours. It's also climbing the chart over here, proving his sunkissed jazz-reggae can do the business in less sympathetic climes too.
That's all to do with Mraz's easy charm. He's not the most distinctive of singers but he's a pleasant listen when he's laying his heart on the line over the bluesy groove of The Woman I Love or leading us in a sing-song on the Hammond-pumped plastic soul of Everything Is Sound (La La La), and Be Honest's dreamy jazz sees him meld beautifully with The Bird And The Bee's Inara George.
It's all light as air, of course, and corny as hell but Mraz isn't here to kick over any statues. If you're after unchallenging whimsy with the odd sparky arrangement he'll continue to do just fine.