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Music Reviews

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Review by Jen Appel | May 15, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Love is a Four Letter Word, the fourth studio album by American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, aims to “celebrate love in a way that all of us strive to be loved and to love well.” Each song methodically details different stages of love in its most pure form, moving away from his original sound from the days of songs like “I’m Yours” or “The Remedy” to a more light-hearted and natural jazz feel.

Mraz pushes a new melody, opening with “The Freedom Song,” a cover song — a first for a Mraz album — originally written by Luc Reynaud of Luc & the Lovingtons during the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina. This New Orleans-inspired track will have listeners up on their feet in no time. Keeping the same beat, “Living in The Moment” has a reggae sound and is easily one of the more inspiring tracks on the album with simple-yet-profound lyrics like “Wherever I’m going, I’m already home / Living in the moment.”

Calming down a bit, “The Woman I Love” is a beautiful track that truly shows off Mraz’s lyrical talent. For any guy out there trying to impress his lady, this is the song for you. Lead single “I Won’t Give Up” is a very powerful and emotional song. In an interview with Billboard, Mraz explained, “Regardless of what happens in this relationship, I don’t have to give up on loving this person, or loving myself, or give up on whatever my dreams are.” The next track “Everything is Sound (La La La)” will remind fans of some of Mraz’s older singles with its catchy choruses, fun melodies, and creative lyrics.

“93 Million Miles” starts off with a very natural sound and builds into a delicate soft rock track before flowing smoothly into “Frank D. Fixer.” This is a tribute to his grandfather, a charming tune with impeccable high-pitched vocals. The flawless “Who’s Thinking About You Now?” was originally an instrumental song for a decade before Mraz decided to write it into a story for this album. The love song “In Your Hands” is elegant and beautiful, easily one of the strongest songs on the album. Finally, listeners get another taste of the raspy sound that fans have come to know Mraz for in “Be Honest.” He wrote this while visiting Brazil, so don’t be surprised by its beach-inspired feel. “The World As I See It” is a great closing track for the album, full of Mraz’s trademark upbeat sound sure to put any listener in a great mood.

Jason Mraz has done a remarkable job with Love is a Four Letter Word, delighting listeners from start to finish. Although the album sees him moving in a different direction, each song is carefully crafted layer by layer and repeated listens will bring the stories to life and reveal new meanings. Mraz’s latest effort is another wonderful addition to his discography, perfect for those cloudless summer days when nothing can go wrong.

Rating: 4.5/5

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