Jason Mraz’s new album offers songs about friendship and love

Dani Roth, Eastside Community Editor

Fans are saying “yes!” to Jason Mraz’s new album, Yes!, which was released on July 11. Jason Mraz has been able to capture the hearts of pop, alternative, and soft rock fans while still jamming out to his ukulele.   His fifth studio album follows in the footsteps of his 2012 album, Love Is a Four Letter Word; however, fans should not expect a similar sound while listening to his new album. Yes! offers more of an Indie, soft rock sound instead of Jason’s well-known upbeat music.

The “I’m Yours” singer starts his album with “Rise”. All instrumental, this less than two-minute song is the ideal song to wake up or fall asleep to. Whether a morning person or not, this song is guaranteed to make anyone’s day a little brighter. It is perfect for pouring that first cup of coffee or for initiating those late night thoughts everyone has before snoozing off. “Love Someone” changes the mood of the album as Mraz croons his viewers. This is the song that will be playing on a beach late at night to commence a summer fling. The acoustic sound compliments his soft voice as he sings the opening lines, “Love is a funny thing / Whenever I give it, it comes back to me / And it’s wonderful to be giving with my whole heart / As my heart receives.”

His album revolves around friendship and love. The chorus of “Best Friend”, his sixth track: “Yes I feel my life is better / And so is the world we’re livin’ in / I’m thankful for the time I spent / With my best friend” reminds fans of the importance of love. While “You Can Rely on Me” is the tender modern version of “Lean on Me” as he sings to a friend or lover. The album continues to insist unity and equality throughout people and relationships.

As cliché as it sounds, Mraz’s lyrics speak to the listener. His words have a deeper meaning to initiate thoughts and to reflect on life. As seen in the a capella beginning of his ninth track, which opens with, “I don’t know where this road Is going to lead / All I know is where we’ve been / And what we’ve been through.” Or “Back to Earth”, which restores the ideology of only needing basics while maintaining a blithe tone: “Whenever my head starts to hurt / Before it goes from feeling bad to feeling worse / I turn off my phone, I get down low and put my hands in the dirt.”

The fourteen-track album echoes the same theme throughout the entirety of the album: optimism. His last song on the album, “Shine”, reinforces this message as he repeats five simple words through the six minute song: “I will shine on you”. This song has tribal drums playing in the background with a tambourine, yet preserves the gentleness of the album. This song resonates as if it should be a part of The Lion King when deceased Mufasa appears in the sky to advise Simba to “remember who you are”.

Mraz’s album follows through with a happy-go-lucky, romantic feeling. His album is not meant to be on the top 40 playlist, or to be played while driving eighty miles per hour on the highway. Viewers should play Yes! for a mood booster, a meditation lesson, a Sunday drive, a walk on the beach, or on a spark-flying night. His lyrics and acoustic rhythm serenade the listener, and the listener is guaranteed to obtain serenity in each track.