John Mayer, Heavier Things
If you have perused the CD section of stores within the last month, you would have noticed the newest release of John Mayer, Heavier Things. Rolling Stone (issue 933) polls the album at No. 1 out of the top 40 albums in circulation. Among Mayer’s competition in the poll are Coldplay (14), Norah Jones (20), Audioslave (29) and The White Stripes (24) to name a few.
Mayer’s premier studio album Room For Squares provided a set list of soft acoustic rock. “Love Song For No One,” “My Stupid Mouth,” “Your Body Is A Wonderland,” and the rest of the songs on the album are filled with Mayer’s airy vocals with pop-like guitar riffs and rhythms. Contagious lyrics and themes pepper each song, creating something for everyone to sing along with or at least relate to.
Mayer’s new album follows the same genre with a twist. The impressionable vocalist is accompanied by the same “sing-a-long-able” beats and tunes, but with more gusto. His second album introduces the experimentation and the successful implementation of keyboards, saxophones, and trumpets to his tracks. It adds depth and harmonies that lack in most soft acoustic rock albums.
Songs such as “New Deep” follow the same story-telling method as his first album. This song gives insight to a man looking for answers, questioning surroundings, and reveals the numbness that follows him within his quest for the meaning of life; it’s a good song. Also standing out is the new radio single “Bigger Than My Body.”
Personally, I was extremely impressed with the jacket of his album, which provided not only lyrics but information concerning the mood and purpose in the lyrics behind each song, location of song creation, song tempo, file size, and other quirky bits of information; it’s basically irrelevant, but fun to read and digest while listening.
Although I personally am not a huge John Mayor fan, Heavier Things is an album that shows his diversity in style, and curiosity in presentation – both good qualities in a musician, unless you’re Bill and Gloria Gaither. I will say that I enjoy the album the more and more I listen, yet I believe that Room For Squares (2 hot pokers) is a more enjoyable album to me. I played trumpet in Jr. High and was scarred from the experience, so when I hear trumpets on the new album, I cringe. Plus, I like simplicity; too many instruments in a song can overload the listener’s ear drums.
Overall, I give this album 3 hot pokers. Now, let me explain my rating scale. Hot pokers are not considered “good” like stars in the movie ranking scale. Consider it like ranking burns. Third degree burns are worse than first degree burns, therefore a ranking of 3 hot pokers is worse than 1. It is on a scale of 0 to 5, 0 is the best ranking while 5 is the worst. For example, I consider Fridays to have 0 hot pokers while Sunday night is a full 5 because I know school is just around the corner. Make sense? If not, come and talk to me.
Also, Mayer will be touring the area in November. Ames, Iowa City and Omaha are on his tour schedule. For ticket information and dates, visit ticketmaster.com for more information.