'All But One Song. I Need to Go Back and Re-Record One Tune'
It's hard to believe that Jason Mraz released his last album "We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things" nearly four years ago. The disc's longevity was fuelled by lead single "I'm Yours" having the longest run ever on the Billboard Hot 100 (76 weeks) and then two 2010 Grammy wins for album tracks, but the crooner says he is finished with his fourth album -- with one last adjustment to figure out.
"All but one song. I need to go back and re-record one tune," he tells Billboard.com. "It evolved on tour recently and we're going to go back and attempt to record an acoustic version and see if it fits. Other than that, it's done."
Sonically, an acoustic song would appear a better fit for the forthcoming release. While his previous album saw an emphasis on Bill Withers-like funky jams, Mraz says he's going back to basics with an emphasis on the voice. "This new album has less horns, it's got more piano and guitar textures. A lot more vocal landscapes," he says. "That, to me, has always been my favorite part of making music; the singing and what voices can do and the voices singing in harmony."
Mraz plans to take this focus and apply it to his future touring strategies too. "I'm actually hoping in the future to try to pull off the record with a smaller band, but with more singers. The real basics: drums, keys, guitar, bass. But have everyone be a singer," he envisions. "I think our audiences, our listeners, have been mostly attracted to that throughout the years. They come and they sing. Most of our audience sings along."
The audience may be singing along, but they'll probably be swaying as well. Mraz says the album is driven by mid-tempo melodies. "It's not a departure in the sound of the genre in any way, it's just different tones, different textures. Musically, I think people are going to like it. It's personal. It's melodic. And it's mellow. There's a couple of up-tempo tunes, but mostly the rhythm of the heartbeat kind of takes precedence on this record. Medium-tempo tunes; which I love. It feels more like the pace of life. At least, based on my life and what I've been doing."
Mraz says that other than the aforementioned track, the album is done and "near the end of mixing." He adds, "things sound really great" with plans to be released in the top half of 2012.