Thursday, November 19, 2009

5 Great John Mayer Moments

Mayer's new album was released this week. It's been a unique process, as Mayer has documented many of the songs-in-process and developments on Twitter and YouTube.

It's a great of Mayer's best in my opinion...but I'm enjoying some of the smaller, more subtle elements of the record and figured I'd share them to see if you feel the same.

  1. The closing lead transition in "Perfectly Lonely." This track is noticeably void of John's signature riffing until John sings the bridge of the tune and segues beautifully into his solo. Dynamically perfect!

  2. Closing vamp of "Half Of My Heart." Brilliant poetry comparing his heart to a "shotgun wedding" catches the attention and then lands where John sings about being a man who's "never loved anything." It's one of my favorite moments because John's taking a song that's fairly repetitive and still finding a way to surprise us - not with melody or rhythm, but with transparency.

  3. No rolls. Once you've listened to this record 10 or 15 times, go back and listen again for drum rolls. Oh, you'll find some. But not many. The record has so many songs that have captured groove without overselling it. I'm surprised many of the songs on this record actually rely on vocals to transition energy. Every drummer ought to dig into the record to see a great example of "less is more."

  4. Fake ending on the last track. You might think "Friends, Lovers or Nothing" is over, but you'd be wrong. John writes and records a great track that feels complete and then surprises us with this sing-song outro that tends to rattle around inside your head.

  5. The Straight Stuff. We're used to John's rocking and rollicking blues-shuffle stuff, but two of the most noticeable tracks are both very straight in their feel. "Half Of My Heart" and "War Of My Life" are almost country in their attack. The record is definitely varied and these two tracks give it some nice complexity.
I love it when music surprises me. This record has surprised numerous times already and I'd love to know what you think of it. Dig it? Don't dig it? Did any of it surprise you?


Robert Conn said...

I was a little afraid that trying to follow "Where The Light Is" was going to be impossible. I mean Mayer live is like winning the lottery. Some people just sound a million times better live (i.e. Dave Matthews Band).

But he did it in my opinion. I like that it's not overdone. He's John Mayer for crying out loud. He could have produced that thing way past perfection. But this album sounds almost like a debut album complete with songs that stick with you years to come.