Know is the sixth album from coffee house heartthrob Jason Mraz, showing more of the same from the American songwriter, while adding a splash of country to try and freshen up his signature sound.
Mraz is best known for his 2008 hit I’m Yours, which gained him international fandom, and it’s clear on Know that he’s attempting to reach that mass appeal once more.
This is evident with tracks Have It All and Making It Up, both of which are almost carbon copies of his former chart-topper. In fact, you could replace the words in the chorus of Have It All, and it would be identical.
This album is also catering to a wedding theme, whether it’s the ukulele-based Better With You, where Mraz is trying to emulate the schmoozy Jamie Cullum, or the down-to-earth acoustic love song No Plans. Both tracks would fit perfectly in a first dance scenario. However, the lounge-pop slow funk of Unlonely tops them all with the most cringeworthy lyric – “I think we could be bigger than cheese and macaroni” – delivered in a half-sung, half-rapped nature.
That isn’t to say it’s all bad. More Than Friends featuring Meghan Trainor has the kind of country shuffle you’d expect from Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit, with vocals working effortlessly together, and Sleeping To Dream has a driving middle section and melody that gets more powerful with each repeat. Finally, six-minute closer Love Is Still The Answer is doused in beautiful string arrangements throughout for a solid finish.
Still, it’s sad to see that after nearly 20 years in the business, Mraz has failed to evolve as an artist.
Edited by Pete Spurrier