Friday, February 10, 2012

Random Song of the Week -- I'm Yours by Jason Mraz

With Valentine’s Day around the corner (That’s right! So get your your flowers and chocolate ready, dudes!) I decided to post one of my favourite songs on here. I’m Yours is an important song to me. My wife loves Jason Mraz, a singer-songwriter who straddles the line between mainstream recognition and fashionable obscurity. On our second date, Jennifer decided to take me to a Jason Mraz concert at the Cool Haus where I was exposed to all of his songs up to that point. But one song in particular was this one. It had not yet been officially released on an album (he released it as a special MP3 track to members of his website who pre-ordered his newest album Mr. A-Z at the time). It stuck in my head. The audience seemed really enthralled too. As we were leaving, I told Jenn that Mraz should totally release I’m Yours on his next album – I had no clue why he didn’t release it sooner. It would obviously give him fame. For the next two years the song was covered by every two-bit aspiring singer on youtube, and in 2008 it was included on Mraz’s album We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things. Suddenly American Idol contestants were singing the song in auditions and Mraz was invited to the finale to perform the track with finalists. Sesame Street came knocking and, unlike other a-hole artists who show up and do some half-assed rendition of their song, Mraz reworked the ballad into a gentle, thoughtful song about playing outdoors – and it still worked. But to me, this will always be “our” song -- a song my wife and I sing together randomly, and a song that we claimed as ours long before everyone else discovered it.

The wonderful Sesame Street version.

The crappy Jonas bastardization.

Let me rail off against these ass-clowns. The Jonas Brothers rocketed to superstardom, fuelled by unlimited Disney money, among insulated tweens that don’t know anything beyond a 2-year time-span. These Jonas dicks made a killing ripping off other peoples’ songs by rewriting lyrics (badly, I should add) and keeping their tunes (or strong hints of tunes, slightly reworked) so as to cash in on a song’s recognisability but still claiming the song as their own and not giving any credit to the original songwriter, or putting in the hard work the original songwriter undertook to create the song from scratch in the first place. To be fair, this may have been an initiative by the Disney Corporation with the Jonas Brothers as their figure-head puppets, but the Jonas Bros. still went along with it. Introducing Me, as seen in the movie Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam (dear god, I should hope so) is widely seen as being similar to I’m Yours. It does have strong similarities. Sure it's playful and cute, but I have a hard time believing that this song would exist at all if I'm Yours had never existed first and become a hit -- and there's something a little sinister and disingenuous about that. I remember a news story about this on CNN, saying that Jason Mraz was upset and was going to sue (Mraz was joking, he didn’t really care). At the same time, the Jonas Brothers TV show (can’t remember the name now) got cancelled. Where are the Jonas Brothers now? Growing older and getting more obscure, just like Hanson.

With that said, Happy Valentine’s Day!


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