John Mayer – Heavier Things

This guy is a breath of fresh air for someone like me who’s not at all impressed by the direction new music is taking. An easy listen; John Mayer makes awesome music, breezy pop/rock stuffed with so many great melodies throughout that you can’t even start to count them. Not only that, but he’s an excellent guitarist, has a fine, breathy, whisper-in-your-ear vocal style that’s already won him a much deserved Grammy for the extraordinary Your Body is a Wonderland.

Clarity is a great start to Heavier Things; an addictive jazzy opener quite fun to sing along to. The production and writing of the whole album is great, with the perfect amount of music and the perfect amount of singing. Bigger Than My Body finds him on a search for self and Something’s Missing does much the same on a bed of swirling guitars followed by the hilariously pathetic New Deep. Packed with much emotional heft, there’s a requisite pleading found within the confines of the bluesy Come Back to Bed. Home Life is a nice follow-up and sounds like something that could successfully spend months on the radio top 20 charts. In Split Screen Sadness, a guy sits by the phone, arguing in his head with his girlfriend, wondering just what in hell will become of their relationship. Daughters speaks of the importance of family and maintaining those special relationships that require loving with excess emotional baggage. And then there’s the poppy nugget Only Heart which leads us to the closing track Wheel.

John Mayer may have been labeled a wannabe Dave Matthews, but most of his tracks proceed more subtly, with an emphasis on interior life which have won him a place of his own ever since his debut in 1999. He is a maturing musician who deserves ample exposure simply because he has a lot of good music to share. He certainly has many years of growth and maturity ahead of him creatively, but what he’s come up with so far is also definitely worth a second listen.