Neon Trees- ‘Picture Show’

Led by the single, “I Won’t Give Up,” a calmer track compared to 2008’s ‘I’m Yours,” singer-songwriter Jason Mraz is as alive as ever on his latest record, Love Is a Four Letter Word.

Mraz’s success is due to his authenticity. His songwriting is passionate and forward without seeming redundant or clouded in sentimentality. He’s become a commercial success because he knows how to formulate his sound and still fit in with the trends. Although pop-rock is not exactly a huge fixture on pop radio, he is still relevant enough to surpass these barriers.

Love Is a Four Letter Word kicks off with “The Freedom Song,” an upbeat number produced by Luc & the Lovingtons. It defines the theme of the album because it’s uplifting, prominent and a breath of fresh air.

“Everything Is Sound” on the other hand borders on blue-eyed soul with its melodic symphony and light wordplay.  Songs like these convey the album’s abundant ability to produce plenty of singles. With this in mind, it is clear that Jason Mraz will be an even bigger fixture on radio this year.

While Mraz’s formula may work for his fanbase, the concern is that his style will become repetitive. As he furthers in his career will he be able to break the pop rock label and progress into deeper material? Although many don’t expect him to be the next Bruce Springsteen, he still has enough musical talent to do something other than commercial pop-rock. The hope is that Mraz will be able to live up to his full musical potential within the next few years or so.

Mraz has enough platinum records and success to secure a future on the charts. He has been awarded two Grammy awards and carries a large amount of critical acclaim. It just remains to be seen if his success can be duplicated with this album. If it does happen to be as big of a success as his previous, hopefully he can progress into more deeper subject material.