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CD Review: Jason Mraz – Mr. A-Z

Posted on August 27, 2005 by
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Anyone who thinks Eminem is the only white boy who can rap has clearly never listened to Jason Mraz. While the platinum-selling singer-songwriter is by no means a hip hop star, nor a conventional MC, his sophomore effort, “Mr. A-Z,” shows he has no problem wrapping flurries of vowels and consonants around his tongue.

The first single off the album, Worldplay, is a perfect example of this talent: ?I try to keep a jumble and the lyrics never mumble when the music’s making people tongue-tied,? he sings. Wordplay is definitely the standout track on the album, and its catchy tune and tongue-in-cheek lyrics about the pressure that comes from a successful debut album (in Mraz?s case, 2002?s ?Waiting For My Rocket to Come?) makes it no surprise why it’s now such a radio hit.

The rest of the album offers more of the same, especially with Geek In The Pink. It?s another fun track that has Mraz embracing his trademark dorky style, which is to his advantage now that being a geek has never been hotter, thanks to the O.C.?s Seth.

?Mr. A-Z? has a good balance of both up-tempos and profound ballads that further emphasize Mraz?s range as a vocalist and his creativity as a songwriter. Songs like Life is Wonderful and Mr. Curiosity are great to relax to while Plane, Please Don?t Tell Her, and Song For A Friend are all ballads worth checking out.

However, as someone who has seen him perform live, no CD can really do Mraz justice. With Mr. A-Z, as with his first album, listening to him sing live is far more impressive than hearing his voice come out of a speaker. For the most part, it seems that the production doesn?t flatter his songs, which sound better stripped down.

While there are some duds on the album that will have you reaching for the skip button before you start nodding off, there are more than enough inspired tracks in the 12-song collection to ensure Mraz?s prediction from Geek In The Pink will be right on the button: ?geek is the colour for fall.?

4*
Release Date: July 26, 2005
Atlantic

Track Listing:
1. Life is Wonderful
2. Wordplay
3. Geek in the Pink
4. Did You Get My Message?
5. Mr. Curiosity
6. Clockwatching
7. Bella Luna
8. Plane
9. O. Lover
10. Please Don’t Tell Her
11. Forecast
12. Song For a Friend

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