American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz is an artist I’ve been following since the very beginning of his career. From his 2001 live album Live at Java Joe’s through to 2018 album Know. I’ve been there for every stage of his journey so far and over that time he’s evolved from the more polished record label artist that we saw on 2002’s Waiting For My Rocket To Come to a more nuanced and socially conscious songwriter that wants to spread positivity through his music. Fans will also know he’s always flirted with reggae but on new album Look For the Good, his first for BMG, he’s fully embracing his love of the genre.
Working with acclaimed reggae producer Michael Goldwasser, Jason has crafted an album with heart, optimism and hope at its core. The title track Look For the Good opens the album and it’s incredibly timely given the world we currently find ourselves in. As Jason implores the listener to Look For the Good in every situation, the importance of holding on to the good things when you’re against adversity has never been so true. Released against the backdrop of protests against racism and a global COVID-19 pandemic, Look For the Good is a reassuring tonic that we very much need right now.
Positivity runs through the entire record. I worried that it may become trite or too hippy dippy for my tastes quickly but in Jason’s hands, the messages of coming together and choosing love over hate pack a punch. Make Love sounds like call to arms for us to change our ways as a society, Good Old Daze encourages you to appreciate every moment in life and not just the highlights, and Wise Woman celebrates, and respects, women.
Actor Tiffany Haddish appears on You Do You, a song that expresses the importance of being true to yourself and living your life the way you want. It’s the kind of song that will be embraced by the LGBTQ community as well as those who feel they are outsiders in their social circles. It’s an important message about inclusion and feeling free to express yourself regardless of what others say. Reggae legend Sister Carol appears on the catchy Time Out, which features some of Jason’s most soulful vocals on the record.
The Minute I Heard of Love is an interesting spin on a romantic ballad with Jason incorporating a little blues into the reggae beats as he sings about finding the one. The album comes to a close with Gratitude, a 7-minute track that highlights the importance of being grateful for all of life’s experiences and understanding how they shape your journey into becoming the person you are.
Look For the Good may not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re looking for hope, optimism and positivity then this is the album for you. It will be comforting during these difficult times and Jason’s sincerity is endlessly endearing. If reggae isn’t your thing or you’re not overly keen your music packing socially conscious messaging, then you may not love it. Personally, I think this album will be healing to many people and it’s going to sound incredible live when Jason can get back on the road.
Track list: 1. Look For the Good 2. Make Love 3. My Kind 4. Good Old Daze 5. You Do You (feat. Tiffany Haddish) 6. Wise Woman 7. Take the Music 8. Time Out (feat. Sister Carol) 9. DJ FM AM JJASON 10. Hearing Double 11. The Minute I Heard Of Love 12. Gratitude Record label: BMG Release date: 19th June 2020 Buy Look for the Good