Friday, November 30, 2012

#132: Jason Mraz - Waiting for My Rocket to Come (2002)

Before his huge song 'I'm Yours' entered everyone's life and refused to leave, there was a very different Jason Mraz on the scene. Brace yourself: instead of a fedora, he wore a baseball cap. Musically it's very different too. The album is full of sexual innuendo, as if the title of the record didn't give that away. Speaking of obvious things, I learned a few things recently. Will.I.Am is just the name William. Jason Mraz's second album is called Mr. A-Z and it took me years to realize Mr. A-Z = Mraz. If you never it noticed either, you don't have to admit it - and you're welcome.

You and I Both
He's got a beautiful voice, chill guitar vibe, and a solid backing band. Without question, these songs stand on their own. I'm sure they were written on the guitar without any regard to the rest of the instrumentation. However, the bass, drums, and electric guitar really add to the overall feel of the track without it losing it's identity. Listening to a track like this forces me to truly appreciate how much this project has affected me. While I do enjoy this song, I don't as much as I used to. It's nice, it's fluff, but really it lacks ingenuity (not that that's a bad thing). Fluff is good (in moderation).

The Remedy ( I Won't Worry)
It's Mraz at his best. He does a lot of things right but I always adore his quick, witty lyrics. They're like Pokemon, there's no way you can catch 'em all - at least not on the first listen. Then, when you step back and really focus on the words, they're really good. Musically, he's solid. The big, soaring chorus allowed this to be a big radio hit.

The Boy's Gone
I chose this song to spotlight because it provides one of my favorite moments on any record. It's a solid song but the moments from 2:28 - 2:45 is absolutely money. The stuttering rocks my world. The rhythm puts me at a loss for words. While it's cool out of context, in the moment it's absolutely ridiculous. After all these years I still cite it as one of the most mind-boggling moments on any record. What possessed him to do it and how is it that every time it's so amazing?

All in all, I overplayed this album and yet it still stands up. I shelved this record for quite some time in favor of some of his later records and while I may not be pulling it out again soon, I do recognize it's a solid d├ębut album by a very special artist. Despite Mraz's image as just another guy with a guitar (which I still don't understand) his music is way better than public opinion gives him credit for.

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