JASON MRAZ Waiting For My Rocket To Come (Elektra) Rating: NNN
In case the testimonial from Dave Matthews himself or the presence of producer John Alaga (Dave Matthews, John Mayer) weren't enough clues, here's a tip: fresh-faced funky folkie Jason Mraz is the third member of their M-initialed arena-friendly soft-pop triumvirate. Only Mraz is less insipid and has a better voice than either of his peers. He's actually a decent songwriter, copping feels from funk, reggae-lite and Latin shuffle. He even takes a stab at whiteboy rap (yikes!). His genre-fusing antics (save for the rap) mesh into a nice blend of gentle poppy pleasantries. Think of it as a world-music primer for the backpack set. My biggest quibble is with producer Alaga: why does it all need to sound so freakin' slick?Jason Mraz opens for Chantal Kreviazuk at Convocation Hall this Saturday and Sunday (April 12-13).