10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The album I've always wanted John Mayer to make....,
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This review is from: Continuum (Audio CD)
This is something very special indeed, not that John Mayer hadn't accomplished great things with his major label debut 'Room for Squares' and considered follow-up 'Heavier Things', but 'Continuum' is a mature and individual album that I think showcases John Mayer as the artist he has perhaps 'wanted' to be in the past.
Those who follow Mayer closely know that in between the recording of his last album and this one, he released a live album called 'Try', which showcased Mayer with an excellent rhythm section and his own excellent blues guitar playing, modelled on Clapton BB King and Stevie Ray Vaughn. 'Continuum' therefore finds Mayer looking for the middle-ground between this, and his more commercial studio work. That he finds such a compelling balance between the two is a testament to his ability as a songwriter.
Opening song 'Waiting on the World to Change' and later 'Belief' epitomise this approach. Lyrically they are intelligent responses to the nervous and difficult world we exist in today, while rhythmically they are propelled forward by strong grooves and great guitar work.
Mayer's voice too, has grown. He feels more comfortable in his shoes ('Gravity' in particular, is a great vocal performance) and this is demonstrated in his decision to include 'Bold as Love', a Hendrix cover. It's not perfect, but is a strong inclusion nevertheless. For me the standout track is 'Slow Dancing in a Burning Room', a delicate and bitter love song that marries this new maturity in both Mayer's musicianship and writing. Continuum has been huge in the US, but as always it remains to be seen whether it will do the same over here. My advice is fairly simple - if you like your music to be considered and articulate then look no further - John Mayer has definitely arrived.