March 29, 2007

Test Spin: Jason Mraz

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There was no need for Jason Mraz to release his latest live album Selections for Friends. In fact, it’s only available online. But now that this compilation of live songs from Shubas Tavern in Chicago and the Montalvo Center in Saratoga, California is here, I’m not complaining. I expected it to be a collection of live songs as a follow up to his sophomore slump Mr. A-Z. To my pleasure that is not the case. Instead it is a relaxing blend of old favorites, revamped versions of the newer songs I couldn’t bring myself to listen to more than a handful of times, and his newest track “The Beauty in Ugly” from the Ugly Betty soundtrack. Even if you think you’ve overplayed certain Mraz songs to the point of no return, or if you just flat out thought you hated other tunes, his unique live style of re-creating every one of his songs by vocalizing new notes as he jams makes his live tracks worth listening to.