That was years ago. He finally got the BIG break, and absolutely everyone knows "I'm Yours". He entered the mainstream, yet he died as an artist.
And this isn't about not being a fan because he's not underground anymore. It's because he stopped taking risks. Such a unique artist who now, remarkably, sounds just like everyone else.
He came up in conversation last night. Steve reminisced about seeing him in Camden all those years ago, when Craig's new girlfriend chipped in with the fact Mraz has a new album out. I asked if she liked it, she said "it's really bland".
And that's what's so sad to hear. Because you could criticise Jason Mraz all you want, but you could never accuse him of being bland. But he is now. I feel it, and so did Craig's girlfriend, who I'd never talked to about music before.
Mraz may go on to sell heaps of records, but he's no longer relevant as an artist. Maybe he grew up, mellowed and matured. Or maybe he sold out. Having a hit like "I'm Yours" is great, but how do you sustain it? What's the formula? If you try to write hits, they'll be soulless and bland, as we're witnessing now. What everyone loved about him when he first came on the scene is how he was so UNIQUE!
It's impossible to deny the fact his music has lost its edge. There were four Jason Mraz fans at the table last night. Three diehards and one casual, and none of us care anymore.
You can make it big, play to arenas, and chase the hit singles, but THAT is impossible to sustain, because the mainstream doesn't care, and your core fanbase knows you're not real anymore.
Jason Mraz has so much talent. Seriously, this guy has everything. But the bland records sound like everything else on the radio. He's only 35 and already he's playing it safe. I guess that's fine, he's got a house to upkeep, but he has the talent for greatness. I hope he finds his way back to it.
Greatness is the hardest thing of all. Especially in this day and age. People often ask, "Would this generation's Springsteen or Dylan succeed?" and the answer is often "No". That's probably true, but let's not completely blame the industry. It comes down to the artists as well. The road to being relevant and brilliant is a longer one, with less guarantees, but someone has to take up the mantle. We need the next Tom Petty.