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Love Is a Four Letter Word (Deluxe Version)

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Album Review

Underneath his tongue-twisting wordplay, Jason Mraz fancies himself a loverman — and given that his greatest success came from the sticky sentiment of "I'm Yours," who can blame him for thinking this way? Nevertheless, he's never made a full-blown makeout record until Love Is a Four Letter Word, an album steeped in '70s soul. Mraz doesn't neglect his acoustic guitar nor does he abandon his showy verbal gymnastics, but apart from a cut or two — including "I Won't Give Up," the album's first single — they're buried underneath stacks of luxurious strings and thick, insistent grooves, touches that tie the record together with elegance. Mr. A-Z has hinted at soul before but he's never placed music over words, a shift of emphasis that delivers great dividends. He can still be a nasally, hyperactive twit, too eager to succumb to clever-clever puns and quips, but there's an acknowledgment that even if he can't change who he is — witness the terribly titled "Fred D Fixer," an ode to a grandfather who lived by his hands, not his wits — he can build upon this foundation. If all he adds is color and flair, not some serious depth, that winds up being enough: by making alterations and affecting his pose, Mraz pushes himself into new territory, creating music that's perilously close to sounding seductive. What holds Love Is a Four Letter Word from actually being seductive is that Mraz seems more lech than Lothario — there's always a sense that he's around for nothing longer than a night. But, as Love Is a Four Letter Word plays, Mraz can convince you that his pleasures are a bit more than fleeting. It may be a lie, but it sure sounds good as it's told. [Love Is a Four Letter Word was also released on LP.]

Customer Reviews


Perhaps what is most amazing about this album, aside from the signature songwriting style, class musicianship, emotional performances and pure honesty, is the growth. I don’t only mean to say that Jason Mraz has grown as an artist- he has grown as a person, and it is evident on this album. For those who don’t know, he was engaged last year, and had to call off the marriage. Clearly, he took what he learned from this and put it into his music, although not in the way one might expect. The overall message of the album is a positive one, with the running theme being that bad times must happen in order for you to really appreciate the good times. Life is worth living when you have love, and when you love life you are truly alive.

And nobody loves life quite like Mr. A-Z.

Gotten away from his roots

After waiting for a new sound, I am highly disappointed. Jason normally brings a playful sound with lively beats and rhymes. For me, this album felt forced and seemed like a sloppy collection of love cliches. He should return to his light hearted beats tune.

Remove the 'V' and the 'E' and add an 'ST'

When the songs on this release don't sound like rehashes of previous tunes, they fall flat due to lack of feeling and any sense of real direction. That said, this album is all over the map, but fails to call any one place home. It's sad because I've always liked Mr. Mraz, but LOST is appears to be a more fitting four letter word title for this one.


Born: June 23, 1977 in Mechanicsville, VA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

California-based singer/songwriter Jason Mraz makes laid-back, melodic pop with stylistic nods toward folk, jam band music, hip-hop, and soft rock. Since coming to the public's attention with his 2002 hit single "The Remedy (Don't Worry)", Mraz has proven himself to be a reliable pop craftsman whose crowd-pleasing melodies can encompass both cheeky humor and earnest sincerity. Born in Mechanicsville, Virginia, in 1977, Mraz grew up amidst the sounds of the Dave Matthews Band and local roots musicians...
Full Bio
Love Is a Four Letter Word (Deluxe Version), Jason Mraz
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Customer Ratings