2002 was a banner year
for 25 year-old singer/songwriter John Mayer. The Connecticut native racked
up awards and critical acclaim at every turn, or so
it seemed. After two years of
milking his cash cow debut album, Room for Squares, Mayer has blessed us
with the follow up effort, Heavier Things. This set is surprisingly short on
content but long in quality. From the first track to the tenth, Mayer shows
his growth both as a musician and at conveying emotions. "Clarity" is a
captivating tune about that
lingering feeling of insecurity
one often feels within a relationship... "And I will wait to find/If this will last forever/And I will
pay no mind/When it won't." The set continues on the roller coaster of
sensations, going from soaring with the
boasting confidence of lead single, "Bigger
Than My Body" to the materialistic indulgence of "Something's Missing."
Both tracks are blessed with ridiculously catchy hooks that radio program
directors will immediately gravitate towards.
The high point of the
album is the bluesy, R&B flavored "Come Back To Bed." It chronicles the
mishaps of being a young
couple and the attempts to reconcile. With its
brilliant production wrapped around Mayer's smoky voice, this track is
destined to follow in the footsteps of the 2002 Grammy winning single, "Your
Body Is A Wonderland." The most stirring track on Heavier Things
would have to
be "Daughters." The issue of divorce and the adverse
effect it has on an
relationship is cleverly disguised by Mayer's crafty guitar and
songwriting skills, and when his motives are finally brought to light, it is quite
Turning the knobs for
Things is producer Jack Joseph Puig, who mixed Mayer's previous effort,
For Squares. Puig, along with The Roots drummer Ahmir ?uestlove Thompson,
contribute to a more organic, metallic opus than that of acoustic-driven
Squares. This effort is more than just that, it is an example, a
well-crafted handbook of how to record a follow up to a smash hit debut.
Mayer's voice has grown, not only in sheer power, but also
His voice never waivers from that familiar romantic swagger, but
venture into worlds of tear inducing passion. Mayer steers his musical
journey perfectly, making sure never to get off track.
You better get on board, because this train will fill up fast.