- Audio CD (16 April 2012)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Atlantic
- ASIN: B0079XNWQA
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,125 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Love Is A Four Letter Word CD
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Fourth studio album by the American singer-songwriter, who rose to fame after the release of his smash hit single 'I'm Yours' in 2008. This album entered the UK and US Albums Charts at #2 and includes the hit single 'I Won't Give Up'.
Jason Mraz is a cheery looking chap. You’d be too, if your previous albums collected enough platinum discs to keep Chilean copper miners in fresh chupallas until the sun swells red and devours us all. But his glass-half-full demeanour doesn’t always translate on studio-recorded releases, which perhaps explains the extensive live catalogue he’s already built up.
This fourth set, arriving four years after his last (We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.), is unlikely to convince newcomers of his chart-conquering talents, despite representing discernable evolution from album three. He pushes himself vocally, the strain occasionally (and satisfyingly) evident; but any soul is marked only in an understated manner. Tracks with below-the-surface emotion, like I Won’t Give Up, are robbed of opportunities to engage intimately by heavy-handed production better suited to pop-country juggernauts roaring out of Nashville.
Mraz is a fine, polished performer, and his songs don’t lack heart. But these simple arrangements would perhaps work better if they retained a little roughness. Little sticks in the memory, despite effortlessly accomplished wordplay peppering 5/6 and The World as I See It – Mraz isn’t short of a neat lyrical turn or two. Both are swelled by strings which feel like afterthought constituents in the grand scheme of each piece. More stitched into Mraz’s acoustic fabric is the brass accompanying The Freedom Song, the opener’s upbeat tone lending its trumpet and trombone bursts some sunshine synchronicity.
Having reached number two in the UK and USA, and gone one better in Canada, the commercial credentials of Love Is a Four Letter Word are indisputable. But for a listener who’s only been aware of Mraz by reputation, this is no instant-fix point of entry. It relies on past experiences, knowledge of what the artist is capable of rather than anything he delivers with consistency across these 12 songs. It represents progression on a career path that might’ve otherwise struck a cul-de-sac, and fans will acknowledge that. But a few stray fireworks amongst these controlled displays would have lent Mraz’s wide, optimistic horizons some additional colour and heat.
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Top Customer Reviews
The surprise commercial success of "I'm Yours" gave Mraz a taste of the bigtime and boy does it show - "Love is a Four Letter Word" is chart-friendly fodder for the exact same market, finely crafted but aimed squarely at repeat business.
Mraz is undoubtedly a massively talented artist, so to play it this safe really feels like a missed opportunity.
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.
Jason Mraz has definitely produced a masterpiece, just love it!
`Love Is A Four Letter Word' holds little variety - 'Freedom Song', 'Living In The Moment', 'The World As I See It' and 'Everything is Sound (La La La)' are interchangeable as your feel-good, love-the-world song - only one or two songs of this type would suffice on the album.
There are also too many soppy love songs (fair enough, considering the album title...) which are merely `nice'. Not unpleasant in any way, but do not expect the vivid pictures and storytelling from his previous work.
Don't even get me started on `Frank D. Fixer'. How that made it on to the album, I do not know...
The songs that really redeem the album for me are `Be Honest' and the beautiful '93 Million Miles'. More of this, Jason!
Mraz said in a recent interview "I'd rather uplift and inspire, and you can also do that in darker tunes...I have to carefully place those and I feel the fewer, the better." I feel this may have been his downfall. What this album needs is some darkness to balance the plethora of sickly sweet love songs.
Don't get me wrong - the album is still not a bad piece of work. It is still worth buying and I did enjoy it. But it is certainly no knockout. While his earlier songs would really make you sit up and listen, this collection of songs does not require much concentration, and are good to chill out to while you have a bath or go for a walk.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this album for one track but love the whole album. I have an earlier Jason Mraz Cd and enjoy that so was pleased this album is a s good.Published 10 months ago by K A Wrighton