Two years have passed since the release of Jason Mraz’s last album, Love is a Four Letter Word. Following 2008’s massive global smash We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. Love is a Four Letter Word had a tough time matching the success of its predecessor. The album spawned the hit I Won’t Give Up which has become of of Mraz’s most popular songs. Now Mraz is back with new album Yes! which is his fifth studio album.
Yes! is a collaborative project with female quartet Raining Jane whom co-wrote the album with Mraz. The project is one that has been in the works for a number of years and is perhaps Mraz’s most mature effort to date. Yes! opens with short instrumental track Rise before launching into the album’s epic lead single Love Someone, a song that has the same commercial appeal as Mraz’s biggest hits.
Love Someone sets the tone for the record nicely and fans of Mraz will pleased to hear there is plenty of variety along the way. Whilst there may not be the clever wordplay that captured our hearts on 2002’s Waiting For My Rocket To Come, Yes! does contain lots of melodies that feel more acoustic and stripped-back than his more recent work.
The acoustic-driven Hello, You Beautiful Thing is an early highlight, the mid-tempo Everywhere has a Fleetwood Mac vibe, and Out of My Hands wraps tight harmonies around a darker acoustic melody. It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday uses the voices of Mraz and Raining Jane to drive the melody with barely any instrumentation backing them. It’s one of the most unique and special moments on the record.
One of our favourite moments on the record comes on the uplifting 3 Things which is one of the more uptempo moments on the record. It has a positive message at its centre and it’s a song that is truly inspiring.
Elsewhere Mraz gets the ukulele out on Back To The Earth and brings the album to a close with the atmospheric Eastern twang of Shine.
Yes! is a different kind of record for Mraz. It doesn’t feel as polished or commercial as some of his other releases and the collaboration with Raining Jane is one that has definitely paid off. The Mraz here is one that is older and wiser, showcasing his maturity with songs that explore life, love, hope and positivity. As we’ve always pointed out, there’s much more to Jason Mraz than I’m Yours and Yes! shows a completely different side to him.
Watch the music video for Love Someone below: