i read a discussion thread on the message board about the new jason mraz single “wordplay” and speculation on the rest of the album. for reasons of unknown tradition, i will reply here:
wordplay: yeah, this song actually makes me feel crappy.. it’s too self-referential and inside-jokey, and there’s no heart to it.. as popped out as “the remedy” was, it came from a special place (it originated as a song about his friend who had cancer).. the production on it made it feel cheesy, but when it was stripped down to its core, it said, “i won’t worry my life away”.. that means something to people.
to me, this single is so cold. sure, it makes fun of cheesy pop production, but almost in a way that insults the listener, because when it gets to the big choruses, you want it to say something meaningful, but instead it’s just sounds.. (all noise, no substance).. in the same way that over-the-top movies like “armageddon” can still get us feeling emotional (even if we don’t like to admit it :), this song makes you want to feel something, and then it kind of makes fun of you for wanting to feel something. it’s almost nihilistic, or something.
the rest of the album, however, is *incredible*.. (i haven’t heard the whole thing, but i’ve heard enough of each song to get a good sense of it).. it’s much more arty/less poppy than “waiting for my rocket to come,” and i think that he’ll get some begrudging critical acclaim from the magazines that wrote off his first record as pop fluff (when i say “less poppy,” i don’t mean that it’s more stripped down in terms of instrumentation.. it’s just less bubble gum/easy listening, more dark and mysterious and beautiful.. i’m pretty sure that true mraz fans will love it. also, the packaging/artwork is incredible).
just one man’s opinion, but it is a subject that i’ve been thinking about a lot since i heard the new songs.