PopEntertainment.com

It's all the entertainment you need!

 

FEATURE STORIES MOVIE REVIEWS MUSIC REVIEWS BOX SET REVIEWS TV SHOWS ON DVD CONTESTS CONCERT PHOTOS

 

 

  FEATURE STORIES
  INTERVIEWS A TO E
  INTERVIEWS F TO J
  INTERVIEWS K TO O
  INTERVIEWS P TO T
  INTERVIEWS U TO Z
  INTERVIEWS ACTORS
  INTERVIEWS ACTRESSES
  INTERVIEWS BOOKS
  INTERVIEWS DIRECTORS AND SCREENWRITERS
  INTERVIEWS MUSIC
  INTERVIEWS OSCAR NOMINEES
  INTERVIEWS THEATER
  IN MEMORIAM
  REVIEWS
  MOVIE REVIEWS
  MUSIC REVIEWS
  CONCERT REVIEWS
  BOX SET REPORT CARD
  TV SHOWS ON DVD
  MISCELLANEOUS STUFF & NONSENSE
  CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY
  LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  CONTESTS
  LINKS
  MASTHEAD
  EMAIL US

"WILD YEARS-THE MUSIC & MYTH OF TOM WAITS" BY JAY S. JACOBS

AVAILABLE IN BOOK STORES EVERYWHERE!

 

PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > John Mayer

MUSIC REVIEWS

John Mayer-Heavier Things (Aware/Columbia)

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 awe-inspiring.

Turning the knobs for Things is producer Jack Joseph Puig, who mixed Mayer's previous effort, Room 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 in expressiveness.  His voice never waivers from that familiar romantic swagger, but it does 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.  (9/03)

Abraham Kuranga

RETURN TO RECORD REVIEWS MENU

LinkShare  Referral  Program

Copyright 2002-2003 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Revised: August 05, 2015.

John Mayer-Room For Squares (Aware/Columbia)

The troubadour has sort of gotten the bums rush from modern music.  A guy and a guitar singing catchy acoustic-based tunes of life and love have been hijacked by the histrionics of the Dave Matthews Band and Phish.  Every once in a while, the real thing sneaks into the party, though.  A few years ago it was Duncan Sheik, and now it's John Mayer. 

Room For Squares is, quite simply, one of the most enjoyable male solo albums in recent years, precisely because he does not try to reinvent the wheel.  John Mayer is not the greatest singer out there, nor is is he best guitarist or songwriter.  But all together his talents swirl into a wonderful debut. 

"No Such Thing" is a near perfect single, an extremely catchy pop-folk confection with surprisingly world-weary lyrics that cut against the grain of the exuberant tune.  "My Stupid Mouth" is a tuneful and insightful look at love gone wrong.  "Why Georgia" is another elegiac look at love-gone-wrong, but it is imbued with a pure longing and hurt that makes it impossible to dislike.  The childhood reflection "83" is charming with a sense of nostalgia and loss. 

"Your Body Is A Wonderland" is a charming ode to the giddy feeling of a new love... though perhaps just a tiny bit too obviously crafted to be "our song" for couples world-wide.  A scatting jazzy guitar line and wonderfully Steely Dan-ish feel makes "Neon" sway and primp and purr.  "City Love" is a grandly beautiful and detailed ode to both romance and New York.  If the success of the first single "No Such Thing" is any indicator, Room For Squares is meeting with an appreciative public.  The music biz is the better for it.  (4/02)

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright 2002-2003 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Revised: August 05, 2015.