• Darby VanDeVeen

'Look for the Good' Could Not Have Come at a Better Time

Positive lyrics and vibes dominate the release, providing a calming outlet for a rough year. 

Grammy-winner Jason Mraz is no stranger to feel-good tracks and releasing songs that can put a smile on your face. This reggae-inspired album is sure to leave listeners with a brighter feeling about the world around them. Mraz anticipated that this year was going to be rough, but he never expected it to be what it was.

In an interview with Entertainment Focus, he said that he had known that the upcoming election would come with a lot of debates, so he aimed for Look for the Good to “calm the seas.” The reggae sound came from producer Michael Goldwassar and Mraz said that this new sound helped him to open up and provided greater diversity for his messages.

“Look for the Good” is a standout opening track and one of my favorites on the album. The lighthearted tune and message set the tone of the album. “It always seems impossible until it’s done/Look for the good in everyone” Mraz sings on the chorus. I’ve met a lot of people in my life who have been closed-minded to other people, often judging them off of one specific interaction. I personally love the message this song conveys, and not only do I try to look for the good in every person I meet, I also try to find a silver lining in every unfortunate situation that comes up. Without COVID, I may never have started this blog (which is now something I love). As hard as it may be, it’s nice that this track serves as a reminder.

“Hearing Double” was an interesting concept - every word is said twice so listeners are actually ‘hearing double.’ I heard about this from another music review page who listened to the album before I did and let me say, I was really worried that this song was going to be a flop. I was pleasantly surprised with how much it worked. The line “I love you so much I have to say it twice” opens up the song and establishes it. Using the concept that love makes him stutter also makes this song work, since it invokes the image of a nervous guy trying to tell the person he likes his feelings.

The closing track “Gratitude” reinforces the main theme in it’s message. Taking a step back from all the hustle and bustle of life and taking time to realize what you’re grateful for can be really beneficial to your mental health and overall well-being. Mraz takes time to thank people who are typically overlooked (similar to the concept of thanking essential workers during COVID), like farmers, the people who paved the roads, volunteers, engineers and janitors just to name a few. He also injects some of his personal life into it, bringing up his cats, parents and his career. He ends the song with the thesis of the album, which is to look for the good, and implores listeners to do the same.

While Mraz takes on a new genre, it doesn’t seem like it hinders his past songs. He had already been taking steps towards reggae songs, so this album felt like a natural transition. Be sure to listen to Look for the Good and let me know what you think about it!

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