Mraz faces darker side on 'Love'

Jason Mraz (Reuters file photo)

Jason Mraz (Reuters file photo)

Jason MacNeil, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:22 PM ET

Singer-songwriter Jason Mraz found another tier of success with 2008's smash album We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. The light, summery record featured the hit single I'm Yours.

Mraz hasn't changed his tone much with his new record Love Is A Four Letter Word, but getting there wasn't exactly pleasant.

"It wasn't all easy and breezy," he says. "I had my ups and downs. But the album itself, once I really started to dig in and understand what it was, which was around May of 2011, all the songs just came quickly. But it definitely took me some exploring my shadows, my darker side to get there."

He also says getting to the proverbial nuts and bolts of making "an album about love" took some time and hard work.

"I thought it would be pretty easy as a songwriter to always write through a filter of love," he says. "But the challenges at first were trying to write songs about love from the heart that weren't cheesy. What I learned quickly was that when a song was cheesy, it usually just came from the mind. It usually came from the craft of songwriting which anyone can do. So what I needed was experience, things that were going to rip my heart open to show me what I'm made of."

Mraz plans to tour behind the album but don't expect a horde of dates. Instead he'll spend two months hitting major North America cities later this year before venturing to Europe and beyond.

And despite having a thriving musical career, Mraz says the last decade had him considering throwing in the towel.

"Oh yeah," he says. "After my second album I was kind of burned out and I didn't want to be in this for any other reason than my love of music. Then when We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. had so much success I thought why do I need to work so hard now? But then I rediscovered the power of music, what a song can do to empower a listener or brighten their day simply by shining a light."

 


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