One would never expect to compare a Jason Mraz music video with any film from genius director Terrence Malick -- in fact, one probably shouldn't. Yet the Mark Pellington-directed clip for Mraz's "I Won't Give Up," which premiered on VH1 on Thursday (Feb. 16), is oddly reminiscent of Best Picture nominee "The Tree of Life," with its lingering shots of wholesome Americana, sun-stroked imagery, non-linear structure and contrast between out-of-focus landscape shots and striking close-ups. Of course, Malick's Best Picture nominee didn't have Mraz crooning a love ballad in the desert. Pity.
Actually, Mraz's latest music video echoes the vibe of Bruce Springsteen's "We Take Care Of Our Own" clip, with its gritty portraits of beleaguered U.S. citizens of every race and creed. In one shot, a former Marine tenderly slow-dances with his girl despite missing a leg, and in another, a man cradles in a baby in the middle of a field. Mraz, with his shaggy curls and goatee making him look a little like Eddie Vedder, unfurls his song dutifully around these moving images, and begins and ends the clip by walking through some orange smoke.
"I Won't Give Up" stormed the Hot 100 with a No. 8 debut upon its release last month, following the chart success of Mraz singles like "I'm Yours" and "The Remedy." Earlier this week, the singer-songwriter's fourth full-length received a title and release date: "Love Is a Four Letter Word" will hit stores on April 17.
"This new album has less horns, it's got more piano and guitar textures. A lot more vocal landscapes," Mraz told Billboard about the album in December. The singer will appear on "The Late Show with David Letterman" on Thursday night, and on "Ellen" on Mar. 2.