Reviewed by Alan Ho-----
This reviewer might be a little biased because he's a big John Mayer fan and knows what he can really do, but this reviewer is for the most part quite pleased with John's third album (technically his fourth if you count 'Inside Wants Out'). 'Continuum,' Mayer's latest offering is definitely a departure from the sugar-coated, James Taylor-like pop/rock he crafted in 2002 that even he began to hate later on in his musical evolution towards his ultimate goal: being mentioned in the same breath as blues-rock legends BB King, Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and guitar god Jimi Hendrix.
The CD begins with the uptempo beats of 'Waiting on the World to Change,' his biggest stab at getting relevant with his "aging (if 22, 23 is old, then so be it)" audience. He waxes the very emotion most young people experience when dealing with the current issues of the world, complete indifference. He does make a subtle remark over his views of the Iraq war and that might be the only black spot because now any song that even touches the subject is just getting plain tired.
He still does bring in the expected songs about relationships as "I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)," "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room," "The Heart of Life," "Dreaming With a Broken Heart" and "I'm Gonna Find Another You" all depict some sort of broken relationship with that last one more closer to what we expect John to fully become as he continues his musical journey, picking up a few legendary points along the way. "I'm Gonna Find Another You' is one of the shorter songs on the album but it captures exactly where John will probably see himself a decade from now; it's completely cloaked in the very form of blues-rock one of his idols Buddy Guy is well known for...deep, poignant and touching lyrics behind guitar mastery.
The most interesting song
is 'Stop This Train,' where John takes a look at his body clock with lyrics like "So scared of getting older," he sings, "I'm only good at being young." He is definitely preaching to a lot of his generation in the choir.
He also took two songs from 'Try,' the only album John Mayer Trio ever released, 'Gravity' and 'Vultures,' which remains like 'Try,' the favorite song on 'Continuum.' The great thing about those two songs is that John, Pino Palladino (co-producer of 'Continuum'), and Steve Jordan didn't complete remade the two songs...in fact they almost sound like the live originals in 'Try' right down to the high falsetto of Mayer in the refrain of 'Vultures' and the mastery of the acoustic and electric for John. Now that is very hard to do and even the most sharp of critics have to appreciate that.
The only weak point in 'Continuum' is that in some of the later songs in te album it seemed John was struggling to reconcile with his admitted pop past with the new John Mayer he would like to be.
Remember the line in the first track of 'Try,' "Who did you think I was?" Well, John is definitely saying that to his biggest detractors, who think he just simply took the place of boy bands for the teen female crowd. He may have, so it remains to be seen if they're going to still hang around with him after 'Continuum' because anyone who expected more 'Your Body Is A Wonderland' or sapfests like 'Daughters' will be very disappointed. Even John admits, that sucked.
And while he may gain new detractors believing he is spitting on hallowed ground, John is going to say one thing..."I don't care.' And in today's music industry, that's rare.
Overall: 'Continuum' is a must-have for Mayer fans who have heard everything from 'Inside Wants Out' to 'Try.' The fans who enjoyed 'Your Body Is A Wonderland' and 'Daughters' might get disappointed that he has chosen to leave them to chase the very people he idolized growing up, the Buddy Guys and Jimi Hendrixs of the world. But, still you have to pick it up and listen to it more than once. He does have spots in the album where it seems like he's struggling to reconcile what he wants to do now with his music with the music he once did and would like to leave this very moment. This album gets a 4.8 out of 5.
Alan Ho is the chief head of Musiqtone. If you agree, disagree, or want to say something to him, please contact him at email@example.com.
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