Jason Mraz is touring behind "Love is a Four Letter Word," his fourth album. | Getty Images photo
◆ With Christina Perri
◆ 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15
◆ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, 19100 S. Ridgeland Ave., Tinley Park
◆ Tickets, $23 for general-
admission lawn or $39-$65 for
first- or second-pavilion seating
◆ (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com
Updated: October 15, 2012 9:19AM
Don’t let Jason Mraz’s optimistic demeanor fool you: He can be dark, and he has songs to prove it.
You just may never hear them.
The singer-songwriter, known for feel-good hits like “I’m Yours” and “The Remedy (I Won’t Worry),” said he’s recorded a ton of heavier tunes that remain on his laptop computer.
He added that he chooses not to share them with fans, partly because he doesn’t want to tour with a ton of sad songs.
In the process of creating the positive tunes, Mraz said he comes with the depressing ones first.
“I have to get a lot of out me first before I can get to that place ... where I can choose to celebrate life,” he said.
“It’s those celebrating songs that end up on the album.”
Mraz, 33, said he would like to release his melancholy material, but he still is searching for the right way to present it.
He has an 8-year-old song that he calls both “beautiful” and “heavy,” and he’s reworking it so it may one day see the light of day.
“I’d rather uplift and inspire, and you can also do that in darker tunes,” Mraz said. “I have to carefully place those and I feel the fewer, the better.”
His new album, “Love Is a Four Letter Word,” has its gloomy moments.
“I Won’t Give Up,” the first single and Billboard top 10 hit, is a searing song about his recent breakup.
Mraz announced his split from his ex-fiancee in December 2010. He said he wrote “I Won’t Give Up” to help him figure out what was going on in his life.
“I knew there were some things I believed in that I didn’t want to give up on, and this song was proof to me that I was working through it,” he said.
“In my relationship I didn’t know the outcome, but that wasn’t the point. The point was, no matter what the outcome, I don’t have to give up on loving this person, or I don’t have to give up on the friendship.”
He said he and former girlfriend now have “one of the best relationships.” He played “I Won’t Give Up” for her, and she “thought it was beautiful.”
“We butt heads, but we also know how to celebrate each other and be grateful for each other in life and have inspired so much for the other, and have healed so much,” Mraz said.
“Love Is a Four Letter Word” is his fourth album.
It follows 2008’s Grammy-winning “We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.” — a platinum-seller that featured “I’m Yours,” which has sold 6 million tracks and holds the record for the longest-running song on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
Mraz started writing material two years ago, and the 12 tracks that made the “Love Is a Four Letter Word” emerged toward the end.
“I not only had my heart burst open, but I had the capacity to mend it back together and see what this album was going to be about,” he said.
‘LOVE IS A FOUR LETTER WORD’
Produced by multiple Grammy Award winner Joe Chiccarelli (the White Stripes, Christina Perri, My Morning Jacket), “Love Is a Four Letter Word” marks what some say is Jason Mraz’s finest, most fully realized collection to date.
Fueled by textured arrangements and distinctive vocal landscapes, the album is Mraz’s fourth studio release and first new collection since 2008’s “We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.”.
Officials said “Love Is a Four Letter Word” confirms Mraz, a San Diego-based singer-songwriter, as one of modern pop’s most vibrant and inventive artists.
Long known for his many philanthropic activities, Mraz recently established the Jason Mraz Foundation, which is devoted to supporting a number of charities for which he has been a dedicated and impassioned advocate.