Judging by his music video for “The Remedy (I Won’t Worry),” one might get the impression that Jason Mraz is a romantic. It makes perfect sense, what with his boyish, John Mayer-esque charm and the hands-in-pocket bashfulness implied by the title of his major label debut. But one listen to Waiting for My Rocket to Come and it’s apparent just how swiftly he can switch from a loving tenderness to a cocksure brass. Take the tacky, banjo-laden, pseudo-rap track “Curbside Prophet,” for example, which makes attempts at cunning self-examination but comes off as nothing but arrogant. The same can be said for slightly more tasteful tracks like “Too Much Food” and “I’ll Do Anything.” Despite its flaws, though, the album redeems itself in other ways. Mraz’s rich voice is nicely complemented by more laidback pop fare like “Remedy” and “You and I Both.” Their message about life is optimistic, and resonates with an affectionate earnestness. Credit should be given to Mraz for his fearless blending of styles and influences: Dave Matthews, David Gray, and less obviously, Ani DiFranco. Still, the primary dilemma remains that while this lyrical and sonic whiplash works at times, it’s often too shameless for its own good.
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