Music Monday from Mr. A-Z

So I promised some music talk on my blog and I thought the best way to start this is to share some of my favorite music with you. But where does one begin? Do I go by genre? Year? Mood? It was a daunting task until I thought… Why don’t I just start simple?

Ever since junior year of high school I’ve been an obsessive listener of Jason Mraz. Sometimes I find that he’s written off as just another cute boy with a guitar but I’ve been to enough of his shows and have listened to enough material to tell you he’s so much more. An inventive lyricist and melodic master, what really gives me chills is his voice. Most people have heard the radio hits including “The Remedy” and “I’m Yours” but he has so much more depth. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite songs (in no particular order because I don’t know how I could pick a top song). While the original studio recordings are superb I included a lot of live versions because his voice truly does shine during a concert setting.

1. I Won’t Give Up (Love is a Four Letter Word) – From his fourth studio album, the lyric is a powerful message of the determination through adversity whether it’s with a relationship with a lover, a friend, or even yourself. If you can find early versions of him performing there’s an extra verse.

2. Quiet (Yes)- I prefer this ballad over the album single “Love Someone.” The picture the lyric paints is more vivid and the chorus is more resonating.

3. A Beautiful Mess ( Live On Earth version)- I was at this concert that he filmed in Chicago’s Charter One Pavilion ( my mom actually forced herself on camera and made it onto the extra footage on the DVD. 🙈) The memory of him performing this song gives me chills. The power his voice produces in the live recording just trumps the studio version.

4. No Stopping Us (Eagles Ballroom Live version)- Again, a case where the studio version is good but the live version just takes it to a whole other level. Just wait until the second half of the song and tell me you’re not impressed.

5. If It Kills Me ( from the Casa Nova Sessions)- I’m a sucker for songs about unrequited love, they are kind of my thing. Love this stripped down version.

6. Common Pleasure (Eagles Ballroom Live version)- Showcases how this guy, and his band, are the real deal. Sure he can play easy breezy songs like “I’m Yours” with fairly predictable chords but the boy can also lead an impressive jam session, while scatting at the speed of light, while also sharing the spotlight with his talented band.

7. Absolutely Zero (Eagles Ballroom Live version)- just close your eyes and let his voice  do the rest.

8. Mr. Curiosity ( Mr. A-Z)- I have a beautiful recording of this song from his last stop in Chicago. Listen for the middle break, yes that is all him.

9. Please Don’t Tell Her ( Mr. A-Z)-  A great showcase of his early days as the wordplay master. Definitely has influenced my songwriting. This song always had a soft spot in my heart.

10. Live High ( We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things)- This is an incredible album overall . It really showcases just how diverse his influences are. Take this song, uplifting without being corny and features some awesome gospel choir vocals.

11. Plane ( Mr. A-Z)- I originally kept the playlist to ten songs but this song came on in the middle of writing and I just had to add it. His ability to storytell through his lyrics and through his vocal performance once again shows his musical depth.
Honestly I could write an entire essay on each of these songs but I think it’s best if you just take a listen. I hope this will encourage you to seek out more of his music, particularly his live performances. I’m proud to say I have converted many a skeptic people into Jason Mraz fans by dragging them to live shows, because you really do appreciate just what a talented vocalist and musician he is. Until you reach that level of enlightenment, enjoy this Spotify playlist. ChiGirl Music Inspirations- Jason Mraz


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