Sound — 9
On an everyday basis, Jason Mraz is not your typical pop singer-songwriter. Immediately famous for his radio hits "The Remedy" and "You and I Both" off his debut "Waiting for my Rocket to Come", Mraz shows incredible growth from his days of man and a guitar style writing. In this album, he has concocted an impressively jazzy pop masterpiece, complete with duets with his contemporaries (Colbie Caillat & James Morrison), acoustic numbers, and overall great hooks on mostly every song. He has let down, to be sure, on his beginnings as a coffee shop singer, as evident in the opener, Make it Mine, which is so heavily produced (not a bad thing in this case)it would be impossible to render with only one band member, and also on the audibly promiscuous "Butterfly". Mraz's singing voice is tip-top that ranges from a softer coo to a marvelous Train(band)-like wail.
Lyrics — 10
01.Make it Mine: does not sound at all much like the familiar Mraz. Very listentoable, but becomes one to skip if you enjoy the album as a whole. Appropriate opener. 02.I'm Yours: the albums first single, for a good reason. It's catchy. It's sweet. And it's not boring. Mraz's lyrics make up for the simple guitar (which has the same progression as "Under the Rainbow") and the modern day dislike of anything anybody else likes. 03.Lucky: should be the second single, but so far isn't. It's a duet with Colbie Caillat, and is very fun to listen to if you're in the mood that the singers are in. It's about being in love with a best friend. It's a bit cheesy, yes, but never "cutesey" as some modern drivel tends to be. 04.Butterfly: this song can not be described to anyone who has not heard it. Filled with a horn section and lyrics that leave the listener wondering if he really just sang that make this a must listen. 05.Live High: a guitar based song, it is most recognizably Mraz from the get go. Some poorly phrased verses leave him straining a bit to ryhme ('no not the devil either/always a good deed doer' is one ex.) such case. The choir at the end is a tad obnoxious, given that it would be much better as a spiritual message than a religious one. 06.Love for a Child: a song about a divorce, presumably Mraz's parent's, although this is never confirmed in the music. Well written and sung, and better than most things off Mr. A-Z, but not the best on the album. 07.Details in the Fabric: a more Mraz-y song again. A duet with Brit James Morrison. These two are difficult to distinguish on the song unless one really pays attention. A slow, pick-me-up song with a long "phone message" intro that ought be cut, but adds to the overall effect. Check out James Morrison if you like Jason Mraz. 08.Coyotes: not the best song, but also not really a very good song. It's listenable, sure, but the rest of the album makes it look a tad weak. Children's choir is a bit much, and the song isn't really about anything. 09.Dynamo of Volition: easily (my opinion) the worst song. Still better than other less-than-stellar pop tunes, but people who liked the 'clever' "Wordplay" off Mr. A-Z will enjoy this song. Impressive voice, but an annoying wavering trick in the chorus is a major turn off. 10.If it Kills Me: not bad, not bad at all. A simple acoustic tune that grows. Not one to skip, but it is an easy song to not pay attention to, both because it is near the end of an album, and it isn't particularly distinctive. 11.A Beautiful Mess: again, this is by no means filler, but it isn't really an addicting song either. Easy listening enough that you may not notice that it's a change from "If it Kills Me". In all, this is a fantastically worded album. Mraz is a gifted songwriter at the very least, and this album shows no difference to that conclusion.
Overall Impression — 9
Much, much better than other pop albums put out. In the truest sense of the word, this is a POP album. Fun, catchy, and altogether soulful, We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things is most worth it when you can relate exactly (or it seems as if you can), or you're listening to it with someone who knows it as well as you do. While it is very much a singalong album, it's not an arena rock ensemble. You just find yourself remembering the words and singing along, but not because you have to in order to relate. If it were stolen or lost, I would find a way to recover it very quickly. One of few new(er) albums that would be worth buying again.