Jason Mraz

Mr. A-Z (Atlantic)

ACL Music Festival Reviews

Jason Mraz

Mr. A-Z (Atlantic)

You can take the man out of the trucker hat, but you can't take the trucker hat off the man. On his sophomore LP, Mr. A-Z, teen-friendly singer-songwriter Jason Mraz shoots for maturity and scores. That doesn't mean he completely sheds his Ashton Kutcher/shopping-mall persona, but it sounds like he has plenty of time left to do it. The album occasionally flounders on odd indulgences like the white-boy rap of "Geek in the Pink" and the wince-worthy "Wordplay," but Mraz pulls it together on most of the 12 songs. "Did You Get My Message?" maintains a pleasant duet with Rachael Yamagata, despite its uninspired voice-mail subject matter. "Bella Luna" is a splendid bossa nova journey, sparkling with guitar from Raul Midón. Mraz may be a balladeer for the text-message set, but he flexes an older muscle with nods to Sting ("Mr. Curiosity") and Joe Jackson ("Clockwatching"). This is what separates him from his trucker-hat brethren, such as Gavin DeGraw, and makes him more introspective than folks like Ryan Cabrera. It can all be filed under "sorority rock," but the smartest girls in the house will know their A-Z. (Sunday, 4:30pm, SBC stage)

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Matt Dentler
Best Ofs
The Beta Band
The Best of the Beta Band (Record Review)

Dec. 30, 2005

Best Ofs
Beastie Boys
Solid Gold Hits (Record Review)

Dec. 30, 2005

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle