Single Review: Zac Brown Band - Jump Right In
By: Bobby Peacock
I admit that, as big of a Zac Brown Band fan as I am, I was a little worried when I saw the name Jason Mraz on their latest single. While not overly familiar with Mraz' work, I do have at least a passing familiarity with "I'm Yours". Sure, it's by no means a bad song, and unlike Todd in the Shadows, I don't have much disdain for WGWGs "white guy with acoustic guitar" songs — at least not in small doses. I could see someone wearing out rather quickly on a song that mellow, never mind some of Mraz' bizarre lyric choices. (Seriously, what's all this nonsense about checking your tongue in the mirror?)
But my worries were all for naught. "Jump Right In" starts off on the right foot, with Daniel de los Reyes working the congas, shakers, timbales, and triangle into an authentically Caribbean beat that somehow manages to keep that island flavor even with Hammond organ and fiddle backing it. Evocative lyrics like "Baby powder beach under my feet has got me rolling" carry the first verse, and while the chorus is a bit underwhelming (not to mention that it rhymes "in" with "in"), that's a minor complaint at best. Detractors might say that its theme of chilling on the islands is just a rehash of "Toes" or "Knee Deep", but the refreshing, relaxing yet energetic arrangement alone would be enough to elevate the song no matter what. Heck, even the "la la la"s on the bridge sound as credible as the invitation in the final verse to "find me where the music meets the ocean / If you get the notion, stop on by and play a while."
I've noticed lots of critics lately praising the ZBB for continuing to flex their musical muscles and create new, interesting sounds. And that's no exaggeration. The lightning-fast bluegrass "The Wind", the heartbreaker ballad "Goodbye in Her Eyes", and now "Jump Right In" are totally different in style, yet still clearly sound like the same band — and that is no small feat. What's more, they've managed to hit #2 or higher all but once, so it's clear that radio can't get enough of them. Look for "Jump Right In" to be the summer song of 2013.