"Continuum" (Columbia Records; 2006)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I bought John Mayerís "Continuum" because I wanted to see what the hell was all the hype was about. Well, I didn't expect what I heard. First, Mayer can flat out play guitar. That's obvious throughout this disc. Second, the vocals are not what you would call refined; instead, they're kind of rough in the vein of Bob Dylan or Tom Petty.

Mayer has what I would call "pop" or moxie. He may have won two Grammys (for Pop Vocal Album for "Continuum" and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Waiting on the World to Change") but what I heard was a total command of his medium and a killer record to boot. 

Mayer's music may be a commercial success, but his music is not commercial. Before Mayer ever won his Grammys, I knew he was something special and we can expect more great things from Mr. Mayer in the future. Mayer may only be thirty years old, but his musical style would rival Stevie Ray Vaughn's and ... if Frank Zappa were alive today ... I think he would say that Mayer is one hell of a guitarist. 

The songs may be light and poppy love songs but, with a very accomplished, blues-influenced guitarist doing what he does best, they become much more than that.

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"Room for Squares" (Sony; 2001)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I mentioned before in a review that to keep up with the musical offerings in all genres you would have to be plugged into so many outlets that an overload would be inevitable. I think it's okay to unplug every now and then. Sometimes sources come from friends referring an artist. Matt, my buddy at work, mentioned John Mayer and Iím always willing to give music a listen. I got the CD, ďRoom For Squares,Ē and settled in for a new music experience.

While reading his bio, and listening to his style of music, I found myself in a relaxed mode. The music on this release is geared toward the acoustic crowd, but itís so well done that you can flow along with the sound and not become bored at all. Sometimes acoustic albums are welcomed but not celebrated. This is one that I can be sure you will like. The producer of this album worked with Dave Matthews and incorporates the same style but not the same sound.

Mayer's songwriting is very reflective; itís from Johnís point of view but he has a way of making you relate as well -- the things that he sings about have happened to all of us. He is also a great guitar player and singer and even though itís acoustic, itís not barstool music. Sometimes, the words "adult contemporary" will rise to describe a song but there are more layers than meets the ears. A few listens will have you seeking through the rest of Mayer's discography.

Iím ever seeking music that I can listen to and have it connect with me. I need my aggression but I also need my meditation. John Mayer sits in the middle because the guitar is funky enough and brings a new style to my musical library.

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"Inside Wants Out" (Sony; 1999)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

John Mayer has been called "the next Dave Mathews." Now, Iím not a fan of Dave Mathews because his band is labeled as ďcollege rockĒ and that stuff just gets a little too artsy for me. I need a good ale when listening to music, not a spritzer. John's vocals may sound like Dave's but thatís about as far as it goes for me. Mayer has a more reflective attempt to his songwriting. His songs are personal stories and he tells them in a campfire/fireplace approach and, as the fire burns down, you sit and listen attentively.

Notice I alluded to the word ďwarm.Ē John uses a lot of acoustics in his musical approach. That may turn a lot of people off who require a full-bodied guitar when having to digest someone elseís angst. But sometimes we need a quiet whisper to cause us to really listen.

"Inside Wants Out" has only eight songs on it so, if you want to listen twice (or more), it canít be considered a waste of time. I donít wake up to Johnís style of music and rarely do I dream by it but, every now and then, a little bit doesnít hurt. I can always crank up my metal favs during the week and catch Johnís searching and intimate disc on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:59:47 -0400.