I know you might be thinking, how many Jason Mraz songs are there, let alone ten good ones? But I had to take this challenge on after an episode of the podcast Punch up the Jam where they broke down “I’m Yours” and the guest Jacquis Neal was made fun of for saying he could come up with seventeen good Jason Mraz songs. Also, let’s be honest, Jason Mraz is extremely easy to mock. Like, he’s this new-agey, typical LA vegan, peace and love, puka shell necklace kind of guy who seems like he would definitely take every opportunity to whip out his guitar and call you a goddess in a way that you wouldn’t really want.
I could only come up with ten great Jason Mraz songs/songs by him that I really like, probably because I’m only counting from his 2008 album We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things (his best in my opinion) downwards and disregard everything after that (except one song). The truth is, he knows how to make songs that sound like they’re for white people, but are really undercover for black people based on how many people I know personally that love his music (Jacquis Neal has a great story of meeting a fellow black MrazHead on the podcast and maybe we should start a club?). And truthfully he borrows from so many genres and makes it work that he should be low-key applauded for that.
Anyway, here are my favorite Jason Mraz songs/songs by Jason Mraz you might not have known even existed.
10. You Fckn Did It
I literally only ever listened to this song when I started working in the real world and discovered it one day when I was definitely not working. “You Fckn Did It” immediately became my victory song for when I completed a difficult work task, or just got through a particularly hard day. Instead of giving myself a personal high five (which is technically just a single hand clap), I’d put this on and revel in Jason Mraz spelling out that I am A-W-E-S-O-M-E.
9. Mudhouse/Gypsy MC
Ok, this song is ridiculous. Like he’s rapping, and he’s rapping actual nonsense (what is a fallopian voice??), and out of all the songs on the list, this one is a prime example of Jason Mraz as that annoying white guy. But it also makes me think that it would be fun to see him live because he adds songs like this that involve the audience and is a bit of a laugh. Nostalgia-wise, this song reminds me of living in Los Angeles when I learned exactly what a “40” is.
8. I’m Yours
To be honest, when I was putting this list together, I actually forgot “I’m Yours,” the reason we’re here in the first place. But then I felt I had to add it because it is actually good, that’s why it got overplayed right? And it’s cute and harmless and like, your mom and your cool older brother and you can all like it (and we all do, my mom had it as a ring tone for a while, which was kind of triggering, and one my favorite new memories of it is at my brother’s wedding where we got all huggy and sing-along-y after wine and speeches).
7. The Remedy
This was another that I felt I had to put on here just to show the origins of Jason Mraz as a singer-songwriter person, and how before he went full-on rapping, he played around with that rhythmic lyricism but also had these like, karaoke choruses. There’s nothing more to say here because this song is fine (and this video is ridiculous), and maybe I’m saying it’s really kind of hard to think of ten whole Jason Mraz songs I like.
6. Absolutely Zero
I just really like singing this song and its dramatic sad song narrative (WHO AM I TO SAY THIS SITUATION ISN’T GREAT?) because it appeals to the emo kid in me who can’t resist a teary jam. Plus, once I had a dream about it for no reason and then became obsessed with finding out what it means (the only thing I could find was that Mraz was in a relationship that was happening just as his music career was taking off, which fits, but who knows).
5. Details in the Fabric
Truthfully, the best thing about this song isn’t really the song but the recorded voice message at the end where his friend says, “I feel like you’re an island of reality in an ocean of diarrhea…andIloveyoubye.” I also really loved “Details in the Fabric” when I was all in my feelings back in ’08/’09, and the combination of Mraz and James Morrison singing the different parts together and the stark acoustic riff is really quite pretty. “If it’s a broken part replace it/ If it’s a broken arm then brace it/ If it’s a broken heart then face it.” Oof.
4. The Boy’s Gone
I’m not quite sure what it is about this song, but I really like its acoustic Bossa nova vibes, and that it’s a kind of warning for something but I’m not even sure what. Is it about global warming? Just another Mraz motivational imploring you to be happy but in a dark-ish way? I don’t know. I just know that when I want to rank Jason Mraz songs, this one ranks high.
3. You and I Both
To me, this track is essential Mraz, like what you should think of first when you think of him. It’s a better, underrated version of “The Remedy” in that it has all those pop-y, singer-songwriter elements and that awesome sing-it-loud chorus, plus a little melancholy. Don’t question me on this one, just put it on, and put it on loud.
2. Dynamo of Volition
This would be the first song I would pick to show all the MraHaters (I tried to make that work) that he is actually kind of cool. I’m also going with the acoustic We Dance EP version because it’s slightly cooler than the album version mainly because he says “that shit’s so silly” on this one. Here is where his attempts at rap make sense, and I especially love it because of the memory of a day when I sat in a room with friends for hours and hours repeating a single playlist with this song on it over and over again for no reason.
1. A Beautiful Mess
I love this song so much that I learned to play it on guitar and then became that guy who played it over and over at a campfire on the beach so maybe you shouldn’t listen to anything I have to say ever. But again, I was 21 and also in love and had been called a beautiful mess and loved singing it and crying to it and totally applying it to my own life and feeling importantly dramatic (apologies to the bestie who had to by my friend through all of this). But look me in the eye and deny the beauty of the lyrics and the emotion of the choral repetition of “here we are” at the end (ok, and also maybe be a little drunk and 21).