Okay, so it’s likely that John Mayer and Jason Mraz are not the same person, I know that. I also know I am not the first person to point out the similarities between the two. However, after checking out Jason Mraz Monday night at the Paramount I see now why the comparisons are made.
I’ve gotta preface this post by saying that I am a fan of Jason Mraz and John Mayer. That doesn’t mean I listen to their records nonstop, that just means I enjoy their music. As I critic I find myself enjoying all types of music I wouldn’t normally listen to and Mayer and Mraz both fall into that category.
Monday night Mraz was more into the quiet, soft and sappy side of his music, which was really pretty boring for me. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he put on a bad show, quite the opposite. His voice sounded better than ever and the crowd ate up all the rarities he sang. Just because it wasn’t my cup of tea doesn’t make it a bad show.
Anyway, here’s where my comparison between Mayer and Mraz comes into play.
I once called John Mayer a musical schizophrenic because he is an amazing blues guitarist, but he knows his bread is buttered by sappy pop like “Your Body Is A Wonderland” so he sticks to playing and writing songs like that because it is what his fans want.
Monday I realized Mraz sort of falls into that same category. He’s a funny guy and he is a great entertainer, but he too knows where his bread is buttered. While he doesn’t have as much of a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde thing going as Mayer does, he decided to stick to his sappy and sweet stuff Monday and deny his inner showman because that’s what his fans want, or at least that was my perception of what was going on at the show.
Now, is a musician who denies part of himself just to please a crowd or sell records a sell out? No. Did Mraz’s decision to go with the slower “You And I Both,” “The Boy’s Gone” and other ballady songs from his catalog Monday night instead of play the poppier “Curbside Prophet” “Geek In Pinl” and others make for a bad show? Not really. I just wanted to share my thoughts on the Mraz/Mayer conundrum and thought I would do so here.
Feel free to discuss.