Single Review: Jason Mraz “You And I Both”

You and I Both
Album: Waiting for My Rocket to Come
Year: 2003

Jason Mraz may be one of the first Top 40 entertainers with a compelling journal online. Sometimes with filled with run-on sentences and reaching descriptions, Mraz’s journal isn’t the typical “Oh, I’m here in Topeka, so-and-so is cool! By the way, call TRL to request my new single, please” variety. He actually wants to connect to his fans. In an entry from August 24, 2004 he writes of entering a hotel room and wanting to make it a home: “with his imagination he removes the posters from the wall and mounts what his peers would refer to as art. No matter the nomad’s tale, a trip to the local home fixin’s store will be in order.” However, he tells it from an outsider’s persceptive (in which he is the outsider), giving his detachment yet another layer.

And so, with that journal entry he helps to sell his new ballad, “You and I Both.” In it, he talks about a relationship that is over. He focuses on the idea of words and how they are used in the single. In the first verse, he is thinks how his ex-girlfriend said all the things that would happen, but with him it was different. However, he knows she’s lying to spare his feelings: “Was it you who spoke the words that things would happen but not to me/Oh things are gonna happen naturally” He is optimistic and hoping that she’ll remember what a great relationship they had: “Until the dawn it brings/a little bird who’ll sing about the magic that was you and me.”

In the chorus, he sings that they essentially talked about a future, but not having any intention to follow through: ” Cause you and I both loved/what you and I spoke of/what you and I spoke of/others only dream of the love that I love.” In the second verse, he sings that he is all about words: “Over numbers, unencumbered numbered words/hundreds of pages, pages, pages forwards/more words then I had ever heard and I feel so alive” and that they are a part of it of all the words, too.

He tells her in the third verse that “it’s okay if you have to go away/but remember the telephone works both ways.” However, he realizes that she will find someone else (“if nothing else I’ll think the bells inside/have finally found you someone else and that’s okay.”) Finally, he confesses he has nothing to more to say to her in the chorus.

Mraz’s voice is gracious and understated. It’s imperfect, though. He squeaks and cracks through some of the noes. However, it’s natural. If the imperfections had been taken out, it would make him as bland as a boy band singer.

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