Jason Mraz

Tonight, Not Again: Jason Mraz Live at the Eagles Ballroom

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Jason Mraz made quite an impression in 2003 -- the anti-John Mayer even as he was his peer. Mraz built a nationwide coffeehouse on the strength of singles like "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)" and "You and I Both," and those tracks anchor this pleasant live set. Tonight, Not Again finds Mraz to be an engaging performer, able to flutter his voice up and down through registers with incredible ease. He's performing music tailor-made for the Aware Records crowd -- Midwestern college students, open-mike hosts, and guys with beards. Mraz's twittering following eats up every morsel of Tonight, from the soft tones of the title track opener through the drifting "Sleeping to Dream" (his own "Wonderland") and the rousing, smartly lyrical "Too Much Food." Mraz is also shown to have a classic rock flair in his songwriting. "Absolutely Zero" references Pink Floyd's "Us and Them," "Common Pleasure" and "Curbside Prophet" stretch into scat and percussion-filled jams, and he does a nice cover of Elton John's "Rocket Man." John Popper guests, the horn section is a nice touch, and pretty soon Tonight, Not Again becomes a fan-friendly breeze. [Some editions of Tonight, Not Again included a DVD portion with behind-the-scenes footage.]

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