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Heavier Things

John Mayer

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Album Review

Don't take the title of John Mayer's Heavier Things literally. Mayer offers nothing heavy on the follow-up to his breakthrough hit, Room for Squares — nothing heavy in the music and nothing heavy in the lyrics. No, Mayer is smooth, slick, and streamlined on his second or third album (it all depends if you count his 1999 debut, Inside Wants Out, half of which was re-recorded for Room for Squares, which itself was released in two different incarnations), playing things straight and following the blueprint his big radio hit, "Your Body Is a Wonderland," provided. The title Heavier Things does reflect his new directness, lacking the lithe playfulness that resulted in a Hank Mobley joke, of all things, for an album title last time out. That extends to the rest of the album — the humor and interesting wordplay have been toned down, leaving very little ambiguity. Actually, there's little left unexplained on the record, with every song on the album spread across several grids explaining where they were written and how many beats per minute they are, breaking them down into keywords, charting what "suggested target points" on the body the song should hit (tellingly, not one track is targeted at the crotch), and even grouping the songs together by key. The latter is a bit of a mistake, since it shows that for all those jazzy major and minor seventh chords gliding by in his songs, he's keeping his songwriting pretty simple, sticking to D, E, F, G, and A, with a G minor thrown in for good measure. This, of course, is not really a problem for listeners, since most listeners don't care how a song is written as long as it sounds good, but this does confirm that he's kept things simple, concentrating on how the record sounds and feels. And, as a piece of mood music, this is really quite effective, delivering on how "Your Body Is a Wonderland" sounds, with some really nice lush, laid-back textures and songs that are melodic without being truly catchy. It's music that floats through the speakers nicely and never leaves much of a lasting impression; it's how a jazzier, laid-back, less adventurous, and MOR-oriented Dave Matthews would sound. Mayer is now more of a record-maker than songwriter, which will undoubtedly dishearten those who liked the song-oriented Inside Wants Out, but those who just enjoyed the sound and feel of Room for Squares should feel right at home.

Customer Reviews

Almost Five Stars

John Mayer keeps his amazing stlye alive and moving in this CD. With great music and lyrics and a great overall setting mood it creates the CD "Heavier Things" is a great part to any collection. This rock music from this amazing artist is great for anyone.

PURE MAGIC!!!

This album is amazing!! I cant stop listening to it!!!! All of the songs are fantastic and fun to listen to!! Split Screen Sadness, Home Life, and Daughters are beautifu!!l Buy this album its completely incredible!!!!

Thoughtful and Deep

Heavier Things was the first John Mayer cd I ever listened to, and it was incredible. John Mayer pretty much sums up many dark and worrying things in his songs like Bigger than my Body, Clarity, Wheel, Daughters and New Deep. There is so much praise that this cd deserves, but I just want people to take a few minutes and listen to it. It's so easy to connect to, no matter who you are. (Please don't be intimidated by my nickname, but I do think highly of John Mayer.)

Biography

Born: October 16, 1977 in Bridgeport, CT

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

After making his introduction as a sensitive, acoustic-styled songwriter on 2001's Room for Squares, John Mayer steadily widened his approach over the subsequent years, encompassing everything from blues-rock to adult contemporary in the process. Arriving during the tail end of teen pop's heyday, he crafted pop music for a more discerning audience, spiking his songcraft with jazz chords and literate turns of phrase. The combination proved to be quite popular, as Room for Squares went triple platinum...
Full Bio

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