Sunday, October 21, 2012

#92: John Mayer - Heavier Things (2003)

It's hard to judge Mayer impartially since I've been a fan of his so long. This album shows the potential that he had early in his career and that potential grew up to put out one of the best albums I've ever heard: Continuum. This is Mayer before he really introduced the blues into his music, this is 100% pop radio music. This record propelled him into the public eye and he even had a hilarious TV show - for one episode...

It was the second single off the album and Mayer had described the song about the first few moments after you wake up when you don't remember all the problems and worries in your life. The song has very sparse drums provided by Questlove of the Roots. It's one of Mayer's best pop songs.

Come Back to Bed
I really enjoy the guitar on this track even though it really holds back in the verses. The music embodies the feel of the lyrics and vocals. "I'll take back what I said, just don't leave me alone here, it's cold baby - Come back to bed." Much like the rest of the album the content isn't incredibly deep, but it's something everyone can relate to and the stories are told quite specifically and with great depth.

It's one of his all time best songs and I still enjoy it every time I hear it (even though the radio still won't stop playing it all these years later). The guitar is eloquent, the lyrics are spot on, and Mayer's vocals seem like the only appropriate and acceptable tone for this song. It's one of those tracks where I'm not sure if I'd like any cover versions because the original is just so well done. The track is sung in a very honest, emotional way - it's captured beautifully.

All in all, it's a good album - nothing great. From this point in his career going forward I feel like he's continually gotten better and better. This isn't a bad album by any stretch and his later works should not diminish what he did in his past, but this album just falls short of the bar I've come to expect of him. There's plenty of really good tracks on here and a few that fail to grab me nine years later.

Tomorrow's album: Buck Owens and His Buckaroos' I've Got A Tiger By the Tail.

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