Mystical Magical Rhythmical Radical Ride

Mystical Magical Rhythmical Radical Ride

Jason Mraz became a superstar singer-songwriter in the 2000s for his plainspoken honesty and direct appeals to the heart—so when, on his eighth album, he declares “I feel like dancing,” you best take him at his word. With Mystical Magical Rhythmical Radical Ride, Mraz steps out of the coffeehouse and into the discotheque, forsaking his usual acoustic-oriented arrangements for glitter-ball beats, neon-tinted synths, and big blasts of brass. The rhythm-forward approach shouldn’t come as a complete shock—after all, a big part of what made Mraz’s 2008 signature “I’m Yours” so appealing was its reggaelike cadence, while more recent singles like 2020’s “Look for the Good” came fully immersed in island vibes. Still, the ease with which Mraz transforms himself into a Timberlake-esque dance-floor seducer on throwback disco jams like “Feel Good Too” and “You Might Like It” is quite astonishing, while “Pancakes & Butter” effortlessly stakes out the rarefied middle ground between folky and funky. But not all of Mystical Magical Rhythmical Radical Ride is eager to get into the groove: Tender serenades like “Little Time” and “If You Think You’ve Seen It All” return Mraz to his traditional troubadour terrain, so dance-resistant old-school fans can breathe easy—he’s still yours.

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