Earlier this month I composed a series of posts about the music I’ve been listening to this summer. I still have a few albums to go. One of my favorites has been Jason Mraz‘s new album, We Sing We Dance We Steal Things.(Btw, check out his webpage at www.jasonmraz.com — it’s great too!)

I really liked his first album, 2002’s Waiting for My Rocket to Come, but I have to admit that I never paid any attention to his sophomore effort, Mr. A-Z, which came out in 2005. Sometime around the time We Sing We Dance We Steal Things came out, however, Mraz garnered a lot of attention on some of the gay blogs that I read due to the following picture:

Apparently, Mraz posted this picture on his myspace page as part of a discussion of vegetarianism (or something like that — I didn’t see the original posting; I just followed it on the blogs). I’ve always thought that he was really hot, so let’s just say that this picture got my attention and alerted me to the fact that he had an album coming out.

Shortly after seeing the picture, I saw the video for the new album’s lead-off single, “I’m Yours,” on Vh1:

Several things struck me about this song. First and foremost, this is a great song. I especially like the refrain:

I won’t hesitate no more

no more, it cannot wait,

I’m yours

It’s a catchy, simple hook. Second, I love that this song is immediately identifiable as a Jason Mraz song. It has his quirky, jazzy, off-beat sound. Third, I love that this song transports you to a beach as you listen to it — even if you don’t watch the video first. I feel like I’m in the Caribbean with PJ, drinking a cold beer, and enjoying the sun when I listen to it. It’s the perfect summer song. Fourth, Mraz is totally hot in this video. And finally, this video has begun a quiet whisper that’s been going on in my head ever since I first saw it. This whisper keeps saying, “You need to start wearing little hats!” It’s only a matter of time before I give in and give it a try!

Once I started listening to the album, I found several tracks that I really like. The opening track, “Make It Mine,” is a rousing, fast-paced song about positive energy and living life to the fullest. The album also has a duet, “Lucky,” with Colbie Caillat that is a great love song. I don’t know anything about her, but I love her voice and intend to find out more about her. I also like “Coyotes,” though I don’t quite know why — it’s a bizarre song! And finally, I really like “Live High,” a call to

Live high

Live mighty

Live righteously

Takin it easy

Live high, live mighty

Live righteously

As you tell by now, the album has a lot of positivity and embraces the philosophy of carpe diem. I’m the sort of person who sometimes finds this sort of sentiment rather grating, but I think Mraz pulls it off well, even when the gospel chorus chimes in on the refrain of “Live High.” (This reminds me that another element I like about this album is Mraz’s blending of gospel, R&B, pop, reggae, and unabashed romance.)

Our friend Wes gave us a copy of Mraz’s two EPs that preceded this album. These EPs contain some live versions of the songs that made it onto the album along with one or two other tracks. It was only after listening to the live version of “Butterfly” that I really started paying any attention to it. The song is a seduction song; it’s very sexual and erotic. Here are the lyrics:

I’m taking a moment just imaginin’ that I’m dancin’ with you
I’m your pole and all you’re wearing is your shoes
You got soul, you know what to do to turn me on until I write a song about you
And you have your own engaging style
And you’ve got the knack to vivify
And you make my slacks a little tight, you may unfasten them if you like
That’s if you crash and spend the night

But you don’t fold, you don’t fade
You’ve got everything you need, especially me
Sister you’ve got it all
You make the call to make my day
In your message say my name
Your talk is all the talk, sister you’ve got it all

Curl your upper lip up and let me look around
Ride your tongue along your bottom lip and bite down
And bend your back and ask those hips if I can touch
Because they’re the perfect jumping off point of getting closer to your

Well you float on by
Oh kiss me with your eyelashes tonight
Or Eskimo your nose real close to mine
And let’s mood the lights and finally make it right
But you don’t fold, you don’t fade, you’ve got everything you need
Especially me
Sister you’ve got it all

You make the call to make my day
In you message say my name
Your talk is all the talk sister you’ve got it all
You’ve got it all, you’ve got it all, you’ve got it all [2x]

You’ve got it all, you’ve got it all

Doll I need to see you pull your knee socks up
Let me feel you up side, down slide, in slide, out slide, over here
Climb in my mouth now child

Butterfly, well you landed on my mind
Dammit you landed on my ear and then you crawled inside
Now I see you perfectly behind closed eyes
I wanna fly with you and I don’t wanna lie to you
Cause I, cause I can’t recall a better days
I’m coming to shine on the occasion

You’re an open minded lady
You’ve got it all
And I never forget a face
If I’m making my own
I have my days
Let’s face the fact here, it’s you that’s got it all

You know that fortune favors the brave
Well let me get paid while I make you breakfast
The rest is up to you, you make the call

You make the call to make my day
In your message say my name
Your talk is all the talk, sister you’ve got it all

Cause I can’t recall a better day
I’m coming to shine on the occasion
You’re a sophisticated lady, oh you’ve got it all

You’ve got it all, you’ve got it all, you’ve got it all [3x]
You’ve got it all, you’ve got it all.

Butterfly, baby, well you’ve got it all

I’m not sure I’m prone to enjoying heterosexually explicit lyrics in general, but I think this song is hot, hot, hot. I started listening to the album version too and have come to love both versions. I don’t know where I belong on the Kinsey scale, but whatever tiny bit of bi-ness that’s in me comes out when I listen to this song! Furthermore, I’m definitely starting to use “butterfly” euphemistically from now on (though I’m going to queer it too and use it for men as well as for women).

I also really like Mraz’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Man Gave Names to All the Animals” from the EPs. Here’s a movie of it from YouTube:

At first I couldn’t remember where I’d heard this song before; only recently it struck me that it comes from Dylan’s Slow Train Coming, his Christian album. My dad used to listen to that album a lot when it first came out. I like Mraz’s version better — it sounds less religiously inspired and more hippyish.

Overall, We Sing We Dance We Steal Things is a really good album, one of my favorites of the year so far.