on April 26, 2003
I bought this CD on the strength of "The Remedy," which I'd heard numerous times on the radio and which eventually grew on me. I didn't expect to be completely blown away by the full album, but I am. This CD dabbles in a wide variety of styles--acoustic, 70s, hip-hop, a calypso sound--but it still feels cohesive to me, probably because the lyrics are uniformly terrific throughout. What might not be immediately apparent from "The Remedy" is how beautiful Mraz's voice can be--this is especially evident on the very first track, "You and I Both." A lot of people are comparing this CD to "Room for Squares," which surprises me a bit. Some of these songs are similar to John Mayer's, I guess ("Sleep All Day" comes to mind), but Jason Mraz plays around with different styles a lot more, and has a better voice. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of John Mayer, but this is the superior CD. Give it a few spins, and see how it works its way into your consciousness.
on January 4, 2004
I bought Jason Mraz's album "Waiting For My Rocket to Come", back in March and as the summer came about with radio rotation and album sales increasing I was glad to see his deserved commercial breakthrough. "The Remedy" entered the charts suddenly and by summer's end reached the Top 20 of Billboard's Hot 100 and "Rocket" started selling well, eventually peaking at #55 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart. However, the LP went down in sales quickly thereafter and did not achieve the chart longevity it deserves. Despite the recent launch of a second single, "You and I Both," and an accompanying video, the album's success has stalled due to scant airplay, even though the new single is just as radio-friendly as "The Remedy".
In fact, the album has quite a few potential hit singles to spare. "Sleep All Day", with an addictive hook, is comprised of vivid, touching lyrics that reveal Mraz's innermost sentiments toward his father. (No way he said take it/Take it and don't break it/With your own two hands/That was my old man and he said if all/All is grounded you should go make a mountain out of it.)
Also good listens are the reggae-infused "I'll Do Anything", the hilarious "Too Much Food", the autobiographical play-on-words "Curbside Prophet" and the impressive end-of-summer sentiment of "Who Needs Shelter?". The intonation of Mraz's vocals and the simple, laid-back arrangements of the track fuse, maximizing its impact on the listener with a wistful, bittersweet sensation, one-hundred percent in accord with the lyrics. (Who needs shelter from the sun?/Not me, no not anyone/I'd sleep it all away/But the sun won't let me/I'd miss those lovely days of summer/Good-day sunlight/I'd like to say how truly bright you are/You don't know me but I know you/You're my favorite.)
That said, there are some downsides to "Rocket". After witnessing Mraz and his free-spirited, uninhibited self in a live setting, it is easy to see how "Rocket", a studio album with top-notch production from John Alagia, actually blunts his impromptu talents, at least in a manner of speaking. As it is, some of the songs toward the middle of the album sound too similarly produced, which could put off the more attentive listener. In the meantime, there's an excellent live album available exclusively through Mraz's Web site that captures more of his spirit as a live performer, as well as the hope that his future studio albums will have more diverse production.
As he closes the album with "Tonight, Not Again" his voice begins low and ethereal, but as the song progresses he lets it soar so high, so full of rapture, that it is almost bone-chilling; you don't know what hit you. Perhaps therein lies Mraz's most remarkable talent: An uncanny ability to move the listener while perfectly expressing the meaning of his lyrics; there's no question about what he meant or how he felt when he composed this music. His lyrics, sometimes witty, sometimes deep, always intriguing, topped off with great vocal skill to boot, definitely make Jason Mraz an artist to watch.
on November 17, 2003
Taken on its own merits, this is a great album. It's energetic and exciting, it switches styles without seeming disjointed, and it exhibits the skills of a fantastic new vocalist and songwriter. "The Remedy", overplayed on every Boston station by now, really has a fantastic hook and a strong melodic line. "You and I Both" is a dizzying vocal effort, and other tracks standout as well -- "Sleep All Day", "No Stopping Us", have a great good-time feel and amazing vocals. The lyrics could be stronger, but they are still compelling.
However, there is a caveat - unbelieveable as it may seem, I know that Jason can do better. I've seen two live shows, and while I was happy with this album, i was BLOWN AWAY by his live shows. He has such command and presence, such a powerful and creative voice, and some fantastic musical and instrumental ideas. Unfortunately, the record label packaged all of his songs into the pop/rock mold and out came "Waiting For My Rocket To Come". If Jason gets enough respect and recognition to be able to produce professional recorded music on his own terms, then we will be in for a real treat.
on December 7, 2003
I guess it all depends on what you're looking for in an album. It's highly evident that this kid has got an amazing voice. His lyrics are fun and original, in every song I've heard, and the rhythm and bounce of this album is infectious. That said, Mraz's full talent can never be conveyed in a commercially saturated album like "Waiting for My Rocket to Come."
If you'd like to hear Jason Mraz at his finest, pick up anything he's done live. His shows are not hard to find, using the proper search engine. Essentially you've got an acoustic guitar, latin percussion, and bass guitar lighting a tavern on fire! Like any other REALLY GOOD musician, Jason Mraz truly shines on stage....especially in intimate, smaller, coffee-shop type venues. To me it seems obvious that he's like a fish out of water on this album, almost like he's being forced into a studio against his will to sing along to tracks that have already been chosen for him to sing to, stunting his amazing musicianship. Still, you really can't go wrong in buying this album. It's infinitely better than most of the other garbage being played on local radio today.
If you've already heard this album and liked what you hear, check him out live. You'll be dumbfounded at the talent bottled up inside this guy. I've not heard scatting like that since Mel Torme.
on November 17, 2004
When I first heard "The Remedy" being performed on one of those late night talk shows I couldn't wait to find out who it was. It was Jason Mraz was singing "The Remedy" and I just had to buy his CD!
I don't know about you, but one thing I really appreciate in music is being able to understand the lyrics and Mraz has perfect delivery in addition to having an inviting voice. Playful, sexy, passionate, despairing... he sounds good singing it all.
"The Remedy" itself became infectious for me after listening to the CD over and over. I loved this CD from my very first listen. His music has a lot of positive messages, is playful and upbeat for the most part, and Jasons delivery is incomparable. "You and I Both" quickly became another favorite of mine with great lyrics that seemed to vibe with my own experiences. "Curbside Prophet" is a fun little number and really made me want to see Mraz in concert. All of the melodies are catchy and you'll find yourself humming them all. This CD is one you'll find yourself taking on roadtrips frequently- it has definitely helped me get through the day.
There is a lot of hype over John Mayer right now, and rightfully so, but don't overlook Jason Mraz. Especially if you enjoy energetic music delivered by a passionate voice. Mraz is "The Remedy" himself.
on December 7, 2003
I bought this cd a month or two ago and probably will have to buy another one because I have worn it out by listening to it so much. Jason Mraz is a lyrical and melodic genius, he mixes sounds and styles with funny words and turns it into a genre all his own. My personal favorites on the album are "Tonight, Not Again" and "Absolutely Zero", but every song has it's own style and deserves equal respect. There is not one song on this cd that I don't like, (although the 'The Boy's Gone" doesn't do much for me)which is why this album is going to be a classic for years. Pop hits like "The Remedy" and "I'll Do Anything" don't showcase his bright yet soft voice, but the mixes of words and sentences put into these songs make them just as refreshing to listen to. While "Too Much Food" and "Curbside Prophet" are not serious songs, you will crack up will laughter if you listen closely enough to the words. And on "No Stopping Us", there is a funky disco feel which reminds me of my Mom's favorite band Chicago, but also sounds a little like newcomers Maroon 5 as well. The most impressive thing on this album, to me, is the subject matter on which he touches, like the friends with benefits subject on "Absolutely Zero." The Botttom Line-BEST CD EVER!!!!!
on February 2, 2003
If this is all you read: Jason Mraz is stupid fly. If you're still reading: Jason Mraz probably has the most unique and flexible voice I've heard. He can be quick and lightweight or mellow and poignant. I saw him live two weeks ago and he is the best concert act I've seen. 'Waiting for My Rocket to Come' doesn't seem to have the improvisational brilliance that he brings to the stage, but I suppose producers prefer a 3-minute song for the MTV and radio clips as opposed to the 9-minute jam session. In both instances, however, Mr. Mraz does not disappoint. His lyrics will stick in your head and your friends who hear him in your car will keep asking you to spell his last name. Everyone I've ever introduced to his music has had to ask me 'who is this guy again? I really like him.' He just stands out, I don't know what else to rave about. He's phat. I suggest both snagging the album and seeing him live. Favorite song on the album: I'll Do Anything. Favorite song by Mraz: Zero Percent. Check him out!
on October 22, 2004
I bought Waiting For My Rocket To Come with very low expectations based on the catchy boiler-plate single "The Remedy," but over a year later, I'm still surprised by how impressive the record is. Mraz is scrappy in every way - clever writing, clever structures, and a musical theater-trained voice that soars when it needs to and slinks and plays coy the rest of the time. The songs don't often excel far past an unobtrusive folk-pop sound, but they also don't wallow in folk-pop tedium, and occasionally, on tracks like "The Boy is Gone," "Too Much Food," and especially the glorious closer "Tonight, Not Again," they become revealing and original in a way you never thought an artist as airwaves-disposable as Mraz was capable of.
on March 28, 2005
After hearing only two songs off this CD and reading Jason Mraz's (hilarious) online journal (it's at his official website, jasonmraz.com), I knew that I had to get WAITING FOR MY ROCKET TO COME. I bought it today, and I've already listened to it more than once.
Every song on WAITING FOR MY ROCKET TO COME is awesome - some are funny, some are random, and some are moving. You've got "You and I Both," which is a sort of silly (yet pretty) love song, and happens to be one of the reasons I originally bought the CD. Another song that I love - and everyone's heard - is "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)." It's an upbeat song that has some pretty awesome lyrics, and (according to my friend) is partially about cancer, and the lyrics support that ("What kind of guy deserves this, we will cure this, dirty old disease, well if you've got the poison I've gots the remedy"). My favorite song, though, has to be "Absolutely Zero." It's a bit longer than most of the songs on WAITING FOR MY..., but it's beautiful. Mraz has great vocals and the lyrics are simply amazing. "Who Needs Shelter" and "Curbside Prophet" are both enjoyable songs as well, and "Too Much Food" is a really fun, random song.
WAITING FOR MY ROCKET TO COME is definately an awesome CD that's worth every penny. Jason Mraz writes practically every song (lyrics and music), which is commendable, and he has a great voice as well.
Overall grade - A+
on October 23, 2002
Although Jason Mraz has been on the scene in San Diego for some time, this is his first studio release. I have had the good fortune to see him perform at local venues on multiple occasions and have repeatedly been blown away by his talent, his stage presence and his insanely unique voice. I was a little afraid that a produced studio album would not adequately showcase this incredible talent. This album, while certainly different than seeing him live, adds a whole new dimension of sound to his songs.
I have two things about this album that were somewhat disappointing: it's missing two of my favorite songs (0% Interest & Conversation with Myself) and the lack of visibility for Toca Rivera -- Jason's live percussion and harmonic companion. None-the-less, this is by far the best album I have bought this year. This is the most excited I've been about a new artist since I first saw Nickel Creek live two years ago. If you appreciate any of the following: Jazz, Reggae, Pop, Freestyle Rap, Folk, or Alternative Rock -- you won't be disappointed by the fusion of all of them. If this guy gets any radio watch out Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Glen Phillips...