CHRISTA: As a "diehard" I have to say I agree, to some point. But he's always been easy-listening pop, with an occasional twist of raw (sometimes naughty) honesty. The difference now is that he has chosen to only offer the world the raw honesty that is upbeat. (His confession... watch the interview w/ Neil Patrick Harris.)
But this in itself is risky because he has done this for very personal reasons. He sees himself as a light to the world, spreading a happy vibe, and he recognizes that his fans are yearning (in every aspect of life) to surround themselves with happiness. It's an epidemic among 30 somethings, and it is making the world a better place. But in the sensational music world, that's risky.
By the way, I find it fascinating that he thanked Ryan Adams on this CD. And that I only found your blog because of the Ryan Adams video and blog you posted long ago. They are SO very different in sound and message and yet I'm obsessed with both.
KITFR: Glad you like it! I wish I did, really. I think optimism is great. By and large, on this blog, I am optimistic and supportive of artists in all disciplines.. just found myself really disappointed with the latest effort from Mraz. But that's just me!
KIRSTEN: Much as I would love to constantly go on about the awesomeness of Jason Mraz I find that I have to agree that his current stuff just isn't like how it was before. Sometimes I find that he takes himself too seriously now, whereas the attraction of his older music was that he seemed to be a little more self-deprecating and into his silliness rather than the whole kumbaya-we-must-live-high thing. I agree that the message is good, but when almost every one is like this it starts to feel a little preachy and annoying and makes you go, "But what about all the OTHER parts of life, which are just as beautiful if not as happy?"
KITFR: I completely agree!
MR. A-Z: I understand the whole preachy thing can get annoying. The only thing is that when people preach it is usually about something political, personal or religious. The kind of preaching he does is more general, more towards our perfect aspirations: Be happy and make other people happy as well. As hippie-ish as it is, I believe it is something we should all try to do; you know just without the drugs, jam fests and protests.
KITFR: Perhaps. What he does bores me and doesn't have the same effect. I mean, Barry White used to make me feel happy, just like Cameron Crowe movies. Both are often cheesy and overly optimistic, but they don't disgard pain, they embrace it. I guess I just find the optimism of Mraz's stuff a little see through, I don't buy it.
CHRIS BURTON: Intrigued to read this considering your American Pie love-in.
KITFR: I think this is a bit of a dig from Chris regarding me spending a week writing about the 'American Pie' movies. And of course, they're a big Hollywood franchise. I get what Chris means, but as I wrote back to him on Facebook; I love what I love, often it's independent films or foreign films but, also, I love Hollywood movies! I feel like it's a different issues - but I get where you're coming from Chris!
ANDINA: I agree that the current albums aren't as great as the first, but I still love listen to some of his current songs. I think some artist does change after they are successful but I don't think he completely fail. Hope he'll create a record as great as the first. By the way, I'm going to see his concert next month. And excited for it!
KITFR: Enjoy the gig! He's a lot of fun live!
ANONYMOUS #2: I am a Diehard fan, and while I know his latest album could have been better, I think he made it for himself more than anyone else. He as gone through a lot lately and he admitted that he was really considering quitting. It made me really sad to think that he might quit. But with this new album he really wanted to explore the great things in life to remind himself of why he was doing what he was doing. The new songs are still amazing to me. But in a different way. If you always compare one song or album to another, you will always have an opinion of which is better. That's why I think this album should be judged as a stand alone album, and it should be seen as a new Mraz, not a worse one.
KITFR: Nice points anonymous. And I wish I could separate one album from the other -- and in many ways I do. I guess I just didn't like this album much, I find it very bland, and felt somewhat similar about his previous album too. But it's interesting that fans of his are coming here and talking about how he's had a hard time in relationships, and in wanting to quit -- and you're right, I'd hate for him to quit, he's such a great talent -- and clearly, so many of you fans are still on board and enjoying his music, and that's the most important thing!