The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Do You Know…Jason Mraz?

Is it too early to declare the next album of the year? You might not think so if you’re one of the lucky few who have already discovered new artist Jason Mraz.

Waiting for My Rocket to Come, Mraz’s debut album, is bound to make this all-American boy a hit. Released in October 2002, Rocket holds much potential for what could be the next major breakthrough onto the music scene.

The first single, “The Remedy (I Won’t Worry),” is now in full rotation on MTV and VH-1, and it’s gaining speed on the Billboard charts. Unlike the others tracks on the album, this song incorporates a pop melody, along with the kind of chorus that gets stuck in your head for days on end.

With “The Remedy” aside, the rest of the album shows the true stylings of Mraz and all of his amazing abilities as a musician. The essence of what Jason Mraz is comes shining through on the autobiographical song, “Curbside Prophet.” Quick and witty rhymes, over a curiously successful banjo accompaniment, tell the story of a self-proclaimed redneck and his journey to fame.

The second half of the album changes pace as Mraz tests out a “jazz meets folk” type of mood. The album’s heart breaker is found on the track entitled “Absolutely Zero,” a song about losing a love that was supposed to last forever. The lyrics are painfully personal and Mraz delivers them with emotion and wonderment.

Rocket seems to be one of the most promising debut albums in recent history. The music is sharp, the lyrics are provoking and after listening to it just once, you’ll feel like you have stumbled upon a buried treasure.

Mraz, 25, was raised in Mechanicsville, Va. – a town he refers to as “a great place to raise a family, but boring as hell.” After high school he enrolled in New York City’s Musical Theater Academy. It was there, particularly in Central Park, that Mraz learned his first guitar chords. Formerly uninspired by the acoustic guitar, Mraz was introduced to a whole new world the first time he heard the music of the Dave Matthews Band. It was his discovery of the Dave Matthews Band’s energy and soul that fired up his desire to play music.

After a quick move back to Virginia, Mraz relocated to California, the place he now refers to as home. After three weeks on the West Coast, Mraz and his friends took a trip to Las Vegas, not knowing that it would change his life forever. Playing an impromptu “concert” for a few friends in a hotel room, Mraz was unaware that one of those present was music promoter Bill Silva. Silva liked what he heard and gave Mraz an offer he couldn’t refuse: he would allow Mraz to stay with him at his new home in San Diego and get a feel for the local music scene.

Mraz jumped at the chance, as well as onto the local coffeehouse circuit. For nearly two years, Mraz played to sold-out crowds of java sipping college students, creating a small fan base for himself.

Within a very short time frame, Mraz found himself booking gigs at slightly larger arenas, opening for artists such as Bob Dylan, Jewel and David Gray. Most impressively, Mraz was able to open for his musical idol, Dave Matthews, at two of his West Coast shows in 2002.

Currently Mraz is on tour, making stops mostly in the West, but promising the East Coast that he will return.

More information on this up and coming star can be found at www.jasonmraz.com.

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