Recording with all-girl band Raining Jane on his first fully acoustic album, Jason Mraz goes back to basics with music as low maintenance as his lifestyle.
A strange mix of happy and sad vibes, short intro “Rise” bleeds into a series of light, sunshiney tracks full of mellow strumming and little decorative melodies. Perhaps from adjusting to the entirely acoustic sound, the lyrics penned here are more straightforward and heartfelt than his clever raps of the past. His musings on love are quiet and calm. It’s either lulling or dull-ing, take your pick.
Mraz has proven to be the ultimate guy next door, almost more so than Jack Johnson, championing simple values and expressing frustration with a world that is moving too quickly and in the wrong direction. In “Quiet” he complains that “every time I hear music, they’ve added more stuff to it/Things are always moving to a futuristic place” and suggests “dancing till tomorrow” as the solution. With the crowing of a rooster and some whimsical humming, Mraz takes us with him on his journey “Back To The Earth” where he speculates that “the only explanation for a high rise must be that everybody wants to get high”.
A lot of the quirky things about Jason Mraz seem to be missing-the sudden scatting, thick reggae undertones and razor sharp tongue, to name a few. It’s tempting to say that this makes Yes! somewhat bland, but listen to the album once and you’re ready to start it all over again-you’ve known it less than an hour and it already feels like an old friend.