In his new album, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, Jason Mraz has continued to refine his writing style from the cheerful guitar-driven pop of his first album. How can people NOT fall in love with a guy who writes such songs? I said it before and I’m saying it again, Mr. Sexuality is gonna break my heart someday.
Mraz strikes a sometimes precarious balance between impassioned love and stolid maturity, and the songs on We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things reflect that, with the equilibrium constantly in flux. Thick horn explosions ramp up the overindulgent points of love while Mraz’s trademark “man and a guitar” style remains a focal point of the new album. “Make It Mine” and “Butterfly” both scream radio hit, with their playful glitz somewhat masking the singer-songwriter’s kindred respect for love. His duet with Colbie Caillat, “Lucky,” will turn some heads even as the era of the male-female duet seems to have faded significantly in this sort of music. What makes “Lucky” such an outstanding ballad is that both Mraz and Caillat are excellent individually in the verses as well as together on the chorus. The only downside is that Caillat doesn’t necessarily distinguish herself as a guest on this song any more than if any of her contemporaries had taken the spot instead.
“Details in the Fabric” shows Mraz’s acoustic side, as the song tenderly moves along without becoming boring. “Coyotes” takes on almost a club vibe with some vocal distortion and beats, but the brief orchestral interludes serve to make it a really interesting track that may initially throw listeners for a loop. “The Dynamo of Volition” continues the poppy, upbeat delivery that Mraz enjoyed on much of his first album and about half of this new one. “If It Kills Me” is delivered with a charming piano melody, and stands out among the final few songs of the album. WSWDWST is punctuated by a slowly-building closer with “A Beautiful Mess,” which is most definitely worth hanging on until the end for.
Providing the carefree soundtrack to your summer, Jason Mraz combines the playful lyrics he’s always sported with lush instrumentals on his new disc, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things. Featuring some of the best songs he’s ever written, it firmly declares that the eclectic and immensely talented musician is here to stay, proven with a huge leap forward in the songwriting and replayability factors of his music. Roll the windows down and belt out the faster songs, and pull that special someone a little closer for the slower ones; you’ll both be hooked on this CD.
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