“WE AIN’T THAT DIFFERENT. WE HUDDLE UNDERNEATH THE SAME STARS.”
Although singer-songwriter Jason Mraz should have never, ever attempted to cover Boys II Men classic “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday,” YES! isn’t a trainwreck waiting to happen. YES! is more of a flower that doesn’t have enough water to fully blossom yet.
Mraz sings in his comfort zone, he doesn’t take any risks but he knows what resonates well with the keen ear. His artistry is calm, cool, clean, and collected, and he lets you get a glimpse of his limited range on the bridge of “Hello, You Beautiful Thing”.
There’s a lot of lyrical canvases that are nicely painted, and a lot of advice to give on “3 Things” about what to do when nothing seems to be going as planned. There’s even an ode to good friends called “Best Friend” and a series of unanswered questions on “Everywhere,” but “Shine” is the most well thought out and beautifully written of them all. It’s reminiscent of early U2, an empowering source of love with expressions like “you’re the closest thing I’ll ever get to knowing God.”
YES! is aesthetically acoustic through and through with the backup of all girl pop/rock band Raining Jane, who conveyed the soft country/folk sound. “Out Of My Hands” incorporates difficult riffs and is the most technically diverse, and arguably the best song on this 14-track album. The rest, such as “Quiet” and “Long Drive” are pretty songs, very pretty, redundant songs.
It’s apparent that this is familiar territory that has already been covered on more than one occasion, whether you are a new or old listener, it feels familiar. Still not sure as to why the album is titled Yes!, although NO! wouldn’t be the correct term either, maybe… MAYBE! could have been a perfect fit.
Are you impressed by ‘YES!?’ Do you think it’s time for Jason Mraz to find a new sound? Let us know in the comments below.
*This review of YES! is based on the 14-track Standard Edition.
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