I suppose I had some pretty big expectations for Jason Mraz's latest album, considering his previous offerings (Waiting for my Rocket to Come (5*), Live at Java Joes (5*), Tonight, Not Again (5*), Mr A to Z (4*), We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things (5*)), but I'm left feeling a little let down. Don't get me wrong - I think he's got it all - tunesmith, lyricist, singer and guitarist, and I've been hooked since the first album, but I found Love is a Four Letter Word to be pretty flat and samey. If that's what you like then, for you, this is an album of belters, but the thing I've always liked about Jason Mraz is his quirkiness... the clever wordplay, the syncopation, funky beats mixed with soaring melodies - but a lot of that seems to have been dropped from his repertoire on this album.
Waiting For My Rocket to Come is still my favourite of his albums, but sadly, this one is at the bottom of the list for me. Finger's crossed the next one will move somewhere back to his previous work where - in my opinion - the songs had a lot more character. I appreciate artists have to develop throughout their careers but, where many artists get more experimental (sometimes to the point of self-indulgence) as they grow and gain commercial success, Mr A to Z seems to be chilling out a little too much for my taste.
If you're a fan, you'll add it to your collection, but I can't see myself returning to this one as often as I do the others. At least iTunes will shuffle some of the songs to keep them from falling into obscurity.