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4.5 out of 5 stars22
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 18 January 2006
I was first introduced to John Mayer's music by my brother at the end of 2002, when he returned from a global trek and presented me with a cd single from the USA he thought I would like. The single was 'No Such Thing' a catchy tune with intelligent, if not too serious, lyrics. However, the stand out track on this short cd was Mayer's artful interpretation of Jimi Hendrix' 'The Wind Cries Mary'. This new cd, 'Try'- which sees a collaboration between the extraordinarily talented Mr Mayer with two less-publicly celebrated but amazing musicians with impeccable track records; Steve Jordan (drums) and Pino Palladino (bass)- is a return to this kind of inspired and spectacular music. A few of the tracks are Mayer's own take on 'classics' (it would be grossly unfair to label them cover versions), but most are original works written by Mayer himself. Lyrically, he is as articulate and expressive a writer as any. His music complements his thoughtful lyrics perfectly, with soaring guitar solos and melodies that can turn your spine to custard. His re-working of his grammy-award winning single 'daughters' is a case in point. To hear the audience' reaction when they recognise the tune makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. With new and original works such as 'Gravity' and 'Vultures' we hear a more familiar Mayer sound, but with an added edge. It would be hard to say he has matured as a writer, as his writing has always been mature, but what he is doing is building on extra dimensions and giving the listener just a little bit more each time. That this is a live album enhances it still further, as the raw emotion and outstanding vocal performances added to the trio's superlative musical skills make it something very, very special. So, pour yourself a large one, turn up the volume and lay back on the sofa. It'll feel just like heaven.
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VINE VOICEon 6 December 2005
A live album recorded in Chicago, TRY! Is the first offering from John Mayer’s side project, the aptly if unoriginally named John Mayer Trio. I’m not a music buff but numerous articles on the band inform me that Pino Palladino on bass and Steve Jordan on drums aren’t just some guys who can play a bit. Palladino has played with the Who while Jordan has drummed for the Rolling Stones.
I’m no blues aficionado and I think that’s what John Mayer had in mind when putting this album together. He’s trying to make the music he loves - blues - more accessible to those who wouldn’t normally listen twice to it. By blending Blues sensibilities and pop laden hooks, he’s creating a mainstream blues that may make people take notice. Maybe you’ll hear Mayer’s cover of ‘I Got a Woman’ and look up the Ray Charles original or listen to the album and download a BB King track. If so then his work here is done. He loves this music and you can tell from watching him in live performances of this new material. He’s bored of singing ‘You Body is A Wonderland’ and he wants the fans to mature along with him.
Like I said, I’m not a huge blues fan, but I don’t think you have to be to enjoy this album. There’s a mix of covers and original tracks with some old favourites from ‘Heavier Things’ reworked and thrown into the mix. The album opens with ‘Who Do You Think I Was’ whose lyrics are a sly reminder of what John Mayer has up his sleeve. Following is the brilliant ‘Good Love Is On The Way’ and the Hendrix cover ‘Wait Until Tomorrow’ which is one of the stand out tracks for me. ‘Vultures’ will soon become a fan favourite I think, while songs like ‘Another Kind of Green’ which has been heard in an unreleased acoustic cut comes alive with the trios playing. The title track ‘Try!’ is a great song to finish on in the same vain as ‘My Stupid Mouth’.
If you liked John Mayer’s first major release album ‘Room For Squares’ but found the follow up ‘Heavier Things’ not to your taste, you should probably give this album a miss. However, if your ready to let John Mayer’s music open up new musical tastes, then part with the money and get down with the Blues.
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on 30 November 2005
Who is John Mayer? He's the handsome singer/songwiter that seems to have taken the world by storm. He's the guitarist who has impressed and played alongside his heroes: B.B. King, Clapton and Buddy Guy. He's also the one contemporary musician that seems quite content following his instincts no matter where they take him, and thats exactly what he has done here. He's gone home to the blues.
The first thing you notice when looking at the cover of the CD is that there is no image of the man himself, and that he is no longer a solo performer but part of a very talented trio. So no egos here. That's because this is about the music and that is apparent from the energy that has been captured in these recordings. John obviously pens most of the material himself, but it is the band that brings this music to life. This can be felt on their interpretation of Mayers own song, 'Daughters'. There is no acoustic guitar on this track just a song led by the rhythm section, complimented by Mayers lead guitar.
The set opens with the new single "Who did you think I was", an upbeat guitar driven song that could have been written by Hendrix in his Band of Gypsies era, this is swiftly followed by the equally upbeat "Good love". The third song Hendrix's "Wait until tomorrow" is a good indicator of the tone of the album, this is not like Mayers' previous output. This is raw, seemingly unfinished and spontaneous and all about bringing the blues to a new generation. "Gravity" is another new tune and the most reminiscent of the old Mayer."Vultures" is amongst the strongest tunes here and sounds distinctly like a Police classic. John throws in more of his new material before performing the Ray Charles classic "I got a woman". An excellent version, utilising his falsetto. Mayer starts to close the night in safety by playing two of his better known songs "Somethings Missing" (very much like the original) and "Daughters" which send the crowd into a frenzy as soon as they hear their intros. The night ends in style with the title tune "Try". This ends the night in style, and closes what is truly a fantastic live record. Buy this today!
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on 23 May 2014
This is a good single companion cd with where the light is
the other live set john has recorded The excellent Gravity is on both
There is some great guitar work going on here His handling of jimi hendrixs
Wait until tomorrow is very good A worthwhile purchase
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on 9 June 2014
It's easy listening popmusic with some blues strewn in. The rhythm section playing is the best about this album i think and for that it is well worth getting.
The voice is pleasant enough and the songs are ok but to me it's about the rhythm section.
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on 7 January 2006
Well, being a total John Mayer nut I naturally went for 5 stars for this album.
But even if I hadn't heard of John, I would certainly be impressed by this effort. I have only listened to it twice and already its a classic to me. I think what does it for me is the mix of tempos among the songs and the rawness of each song. You can almost visualise them playing it. There's no fancy production - what you hear is what you get. And what you get is great.
Eleven tracks on the album two of which are from John's solo album Heavier Things. Both are given a fresh sound and I love the version of Daughters more than the original. Covers include Wait Until Tomorrow and I Got A Woman, which I have to say sounded so "John" I didn't realise they were originally performed by Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix. Am looking forward to getting out and hearing them too!
But the standout part for me is the fact that it isn't just John. You can tell he is part of a band now and that he's fitting in with them as much as they are adjusting for him. They are a unit and because of it, it works so well.
All I would say to anyone thinking of buying this is - and pardon the pun - give it a try. I guarantee you'll like it.
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on 23 October 2010
John Mayer is impossible not to like, in any incarnation. From the bubblegum pop of "Room For Squares" to the more rocking "Heavier Things" (my personal faveourite, but bare in mind, i havn't heard "Continuum" yet) to his awesome blues playing. This CD is just flawless. His voice is soulful, expressive and easy on the ears, and he makes that strat sing! All those people who've given this a dud rating were probably expecting something else. People have said he sounds like Hendrix and Stevie Ray and maybe they're right. I know he's a huge fan of both but you can't compare any of them. Hendrix and SRV are legends, but John Mayer's something different. Saying that though, i prefer this to most of Hendrix's live stuff. Thats not to say that this sounds like Hendrix at all. Just Hendrix makes alot of mistakes and plays alot of bum notes for instance on "Live From Berkley". This is almost as polished as a studio album. That could be a bad thing or a good thing. It depends on your perception. My reccomendation is to buy it. I don't think you'll be dissapointed by any strech of the imagination.
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on 6 December 2005
I first heard of John when I was in Australia in 2003. I heard 'Room For Squares' over there. At first I was a little sceptical. But then, after listening a few times, it really hit me what a great singer/songwriter he is. Then, after 'Any Given Thursday: Live' (also brilliant), he released 'Heavier Things'. This really turned up the heat for me with his ripping guitaring and gravelly voice. I also managed to get my hands on his debut 1999 album 'Inside Wants Out'. Over the past 2 years, my love for Mayer's work increased 10-fold!
Now comes 'TRY!'. This album really brings John back to his roots in the blues. It is his influence that has now got me listening to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and the like. If he wanted to bring the blues to a new generation, he has certainly done that for me as a teenager. I hope he comes to the UK next year after his next studio album 'Continuum' has been released. I really am inspired by JM's lyrics and emotions. He puts his heart and soul in to every track on the album. 'Gravity' and 'Out Of My Mind' are particular favourites of mine. If John keeps going this way, there will be only good things coming his way!
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on 2 January 2016
Terrific stuff
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on 22 July 2008
I've only recently become aware of John Mayer having seen him on B&W's Live at Abbey Road DVD but I've been really impressed with what I've heard since. Try is just one of those albums where you really feel part of the audience immersed in the performance and what a performance it is! I thoroughly recommend it.
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