It’s hard to believe that Jason Mraz released his last album We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things nearly four years ago. The disc’s longevity was fuelled by lead single I’m Yours having the longest run ever on the Billboard Hot 100 (76 weeks) and then two 2010 Grammy wins for album tracks, but Jason has some new songs to share on his fourth release called Love Is a Four Letter Word.
While his previous album saw an emphasis on Bill Withers-like funky jams, Mraz says he’s going back to basics with an emphasis on the voice. “This new album has less horns, it’s got more piano and guitar textures. A lot more vocal landscapes,” he says. “That, to me, has always been my favourite part of making music; the singing and what voices can do and the voices singing in harmony.”
Mraz plans to take this focus and apply it to his future touring strategies too. “I’m actually hoping in the future to try to pull off the record with a smaller band, but with more singers. The real basics: drums, keys, guitar, bass. But have everyone be a singer,” he envisions. “I think our audiences, our listeners, have been mostly attracted to that throughout the years. They come and they sing. Most of our audience sings along.”
The audience may be singing along, but they’ll probably be swaying as well. Mraz says the album is driven by mid-tempo melodies. “It’s not a departure in the sound of the genre in any way, it’s just different tones, different textures. Musically, I think people are going to like it. It’s personal. It’s melodic. And it’s mellow. There’s a couple of up-tempo tunes, but mostly the rhythm of the heartbeat kind of takes precedence on this record. Medium-tempo tunes; which I love. It feels more like the pace of life. At least, based on my life and what I’ve been doing.”
Check out the new album from Mraz featuring the hit single I Won’t Give Up which you can also hear playing on 106.1 Kiss FM.