John Mayer -- Battle Studies

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25 jan. 2010, 21h03m

John Mayer is and has always been one of my favorite people -- witty, sarcastic, thoughtful, and just really fucking talented. It doesn't hurt that he's cute, either.

Let me first say that it's hard for me to really be objective when I review his music; the original slower recording of "No Such Thing" from the Inside Wants Out EP and the entirety of Room for Squares were major parts of the soundtrack to my middle school-early high school years, and the release of Heavier Things was something to celebrate when you're 16.

Now, all that being said, John released another album in 2006, literally less than a month after I'd went to McMinnville for College. Continuum blew my little Chelly mind out of the water. A good friend of mine snagged the album off iTunes the second it was available and it couldn't have fit better into our lifespans -- "Stop This Train," "Waiting on the World to Change," "In Repair" -- and, just as God intended, he included a cover of Hendrix's Bold As Love.

It felt mature, it felt classy, yet unready and raw. There's no doubt in my mind that Continuum's the peak of John's career. Around this same time I was exposed to his work with Pino Palladino and Steve Jordan in the John Mayer Trio on Try! and saw him live in concert for the first time. Incredibly talented guitarist.

I could not get enough of this man -- he oozed awesome from every orifice.

In fact, he's almost single-handedly uprooted me from mainstream pop and introduced me to the worlds of jazz and blues. Every orifice.

Getting to the actual album I wanted to review, Battle Studies: in a word, I'd call it "good." And... that pretty much covers it, I think.

I wanted more tracks like his cover of Robert Johnson's "Cross Road Blues" ("Crossroads" on the BS album) -- I require more proof for my theory that John also sold his soul to the devil to be able to play this well.
I can settle for just one of these gems in an album. After all, he's considered a pop artist... covers like these are almost like B-sides, and I'm happy to even have that much.

The album as a whole is, like I said before... good. There are a few songs which bug me -- I can't help but cringe at "Who Says" and "All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye" just makes me want to punch him in the face for some reason -- but it's all genuinely John. Lyrics, guitar and production. It isn't something to rave about obviously, otherwise this review wouldn't be two months late. It's a good album even following Continuum's act.

In addition to "Crossroads," some of the best tracks on the album: "Heartbreak Warfare," "Edge of Desire." I fucking love this man.

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