by: Jason Mraz

Somewhere along the way, Jason Mraz decided his specialty was romance. This isn't quite the same thing as having his specialty be love songs, mind you. Mraz wrote and sang his fair share of love songs, but as he gradually muted his cleverness -- and hired Raining Jane, a group that was in his orbit since 2007, as his permanent backing band -- he let sweetness permeate his music, beginning with 2014's Yes! Delivered four years later, Know. is a mellow ray of sunshine like its predecessor. If anything, it's even lighter and sweeter, with Mraz burying his affection for corny rhymes ("Unlonely") and dirty puns ("Might as Well Dance") underneath layers of beachy vibes and sing-along melodies. Know.'s 36 minutes move swiftly and agreeably, partially because Mraz is now a seasoned pro. He knows not to lean too hard into either the jokes or sweet nothings, he knows that his easy-rolling tunes are best delivered with a slight reggae sway or maybe a little funk, so he crafted a record that is light and lithe -- a record that could serve as a soundtrack to either a romantic weekend or weekday drudgery, where it would brighten the mood on either occasion. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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