Twelve years ago I, like many, became hooked on the lyric slinging, alt-reggae-pop sound of a kid who called Mechanicsville, Virginia home. But as time went on, his presence grew and my affection for his sound seemed to fade.
Perhaps it was the medium through which I was hearing his music that led me away because now, I find myself captivated once again; but this time, it is less for the energy and more for the maturity.
Jason Mraz released Yes! in July of this year and word on the street is that it wasn’t that great. So being the obsessive audiophile I am I had to give it a spin; keyword “spin.” Thanks to the plethora of options, that even a vinyl junkie such as myself would find impressive, SoundStage Direct had me covered. I grabbed the exclusive white color vinyl (two records, CD included), which was sealed and shipped in no time at all. I figured I’d go big or go home.
Much to my surprise Yes! was not only a success, but on vinyl it becomes a whole other experience. The slower paced sound Mraz has undertaken in comparison to his roots, combined with the attention grabbing meditation that is vinyl listening, it became a reflective oasis in this hectic world. From the melodic “Love Someone” to the beautiful love ballad “Long Drive” to his soulful take on G. C. Cameron’s (also done by Boyz II Men) “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” I was impressed by the level of musicianship Mraz brings in his latest release. Sure it would be easy to assume that someone of equal experience at this level should always bring such great abilities, but taking into consideration just how in depth he got with the writing, recording, and producing left me in awe of just how talented and how far Jason Mraz has come. His ability to be so seemingly humble in production and product, while growing as a musician has never been so apparent as with Yes!.
I understand that there is always going to be the argument of whether and how vinyl sounds better. To which I present the argument that it is a case-by-case basis. But in any given case, if armed with the correct tools, you are sure to have an amazing experience. Buy from a reputable source, support the places that genuinely love vinyl (not just those who sell, but those who take care of what the sell) and be sure it is top quality vinyl. It took some time, but I found why I liked Jason Mraz so much. But without a doubt Jason Mraz’s Yes! is best heard in vinyl. And the best place to get that vinyl is www.soundstagedirect.com.
Greg is a regular contributor and co-founder at Nanobot.