Friday, September 02, 2005

Jason Mraz: Mr. A-Z -- 1.5 stars/ 5

To those of you who paid money for this album, my condolences. I grabbed from the ol' BitTorrent, and am in the process of deleting it. Here's why:

1. NO energy. The mood of the entire album is wierdly subdued. Choruses don't have that that rockin' sing-a-long feeling. The single "wordplay" has the big radio sound, but it feels as if it's done that way just for the purpose of getting the song on the radio. No real power behind it. Can't really blame the performers -- there isn't that much emotive weight in a song about how good you are at making puns.

2. I'm tired of wordplay. The mraz formula is gibba-gibba-gibberish-and-really-fa-fa-fast-lyrics that end on a WORD that also makes se-se-se-sense in the next lyrical la-la-line which ends with another WORD that also makes sense in the next la-la-la-RALF **

Someone should tell Mraz that sometimes less is more. I read all of his lyrics, and most of it is the most prosaic, un-poetic stuff I've seen in a while. I just don't buy his lyrics, as hard as Mraz tries to legitimize them with his vocal elaborations and scatty melismas.

3. Bad sexual references. For someone who proclaims himself to be so artful with words, I'd expect more graceful, less braggy, lyrics about making love. Here's a Mraz lyric from "forecast": "

Well I can taste, I can taste, I can taste, I can taste you all over my face"

The album is littered with this stuff, as if he needs to announce to the world, "Yeah, that's right, I'm getting ass now cuz I'm famous."

Then, there's this one from "Clockwatching", in which Mraz sings about finishing early:

Who knew I'd come/cum so fast.
Well so what if a two pump chump can't last.
I finally made it to three, and I foreclose a five minute, fantasy.

Chuckle. Sorry Jason, even you can't make premature ejaculation seem cool. Don't try.

4. Ineffective dabblings in other genres. "Geek in the Pink" tries for hip-hop. "Curiousity" throws in an ambient operatic voice track near the end. "Bella Luna" and "O. Lover" both start latin, and then phase it out as the song develops.

Sorry, but his fo-fo-formula-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la for wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wri-ting songs is stale.


Peter McLaughlin said...

kestutis, you told me the other day that this album was a possible 2005 favorite. I can't believe that you do a complete 180 the second you start blogging. This kestutis isn't the same as the one I knew back in the day. you've changed.

Kestutis said...

hey... i didn't mind his older CD... it was listenable, and sometime even quite fun... this one just kinda blew. But i think i'm the same kestutis i always was