John Mayer
Where the Light Is


3.5
great

Review

by FriendofTheDevil70 USER (14 Reviews)
July 15th, 2008 | 42 replies | 15,028 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A nice assortment of styles all found in Mayer's career. Fans, get this, others, don't bother.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

By now, you all know who John Mayer is. We’ve seen him start out as a humble Acoustic Pop guitarist, who engaged in the same lyrical themes that any other blue eyed, suburban kid may write about. We saw him gain national success with this style, and while, at times he dazzled us with his jazzy blues, acoustic playing (See: ”Neon”), many of us simply stood blank faced, and asked, “What’s the big deal?” But then, a funny event occurred, that prompted much of the music community to turn a complete 180, on their views on John Mayer: he released a Blues album. The idea seemed laughable, that an Acoustic Pop artist could pick up a Fender Stratocaster, and evoke B.B. King, and Eric Clapton, but it was true. From then on, with a whole new level of respect from people who once denied John Mayer, he would shift styles over the next several years until Mayer took the next logical step, and released a live album that combined both his love of the Blues, and his blue eyed Acoustic Pop. Enter, “Where The Light Is”.

Indeed, if there was ever a live album made to showcase all of an artist’ talents into one show, then “Where the Light Is” would fit the bill perfectly. Taking place in Los Angeles, California, on December 8th, 2007, this concert shows the progression of John Mayer’s music. It’s a sprawling album, consisting of 22 cuts (with several covers, and two previously unreleased songs mixed in). The acoustic set is up first, with “Neon” beginning the show. Some staccato Jazz lines are improvised by John, and then the song takes off, along with the set. While “Neon” is a definite highlight, “Daughters” makes use of some delicate slide guitar lines, and “Free Fallin’”, a Tom Petty cover, fair just as well. Overall, the acoustic set just seems like a warm up to the actual show, as its only five songs long, until we get to the next set with the John Mayer Trio.

Without a doubt, the Blues portion of this show is what most people will probably be interested in hearing. For the most part, Mayer just lifts the songs he did on his “Try!” album, while adding the Blues favorite “Everyday I Have the Blues”, which actually ends up being perhaps the biggest highlight of the Blues Set. I’ll admit, for someone who doesn’t listen to much Blues, this set will provide to be fairly entertaining, but will prove to be rather average to avid Blues fans. What you have is the standard level of improvisation, decent rhythm section, and basic warm Blues tones throughout. It’s kind of neat to listen to Mayer’s own style (despite all the blatantly stolen Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan guitar licks), but it gets old rather fast.

While the main set may not be too appealing at a glance for most people, it really is the best part of the night. All of Mayer’s recent hits and notable songs are on here. There’s even a swinging cover of “I Don’t Need No Doctor”, which is wonderfully done complete with sax and guitar solos. The funky “Vultures”, mega hit “Waiting On The World To Change”, and soulful (and on this concert, extended) “Gravity”, all provide to be highlights. Everything else on this last set proves to be at least good, and in many ways at least different from their studio versions. This is where Mayer is at his best, not with the Blues, as many people want to believe, but by playing his own brand of Soul, Pop, Funk, and Blues, all mixed into one package.

If you heard that John Mayer was releasing a live album again, and expected it to be just cuts from his newest album, then think again. Mayer takes songs from all the styles from throughout his career, and throws them into three separate sets. No, this album isn’t flawless, as it was turning out to be an average live album until the final set with his full band. But there’s enough notable stuff on here to recommend it to any Mayer fan. If your not a fan, then this release won’t convert you unfortunately, but you can’t go wrong with this is you have enjoyed previous installments of John Mayer’s music.



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user ratings (204)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
Tom Gellatly (4.5)
Where The Light Is shows all three incarnations of John Mayer at their very best, and, for once, thi...

zachypoo1991 (4.5)
John Mayer transcends what a great musician/singer should be. He is as good if not better live than...


Comments:Add a Comment 
FriendofTheDevil70
July 15th 2008



384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow I'm rusty, my first review since February I believe. Anyway, as usual comments are welcomed. I think my next review will be something other than a pop album as I feel that what I've reviewed on this site, doesn't represent my musical taste completely fairly.

But yeah, this album was pretty good.

dub sean
July 15th 2008



980 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I have been listening to this album for 2 weeks straight and I was gonna review it >

FriendofTheDevil70
July 15th 2008



384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ah, my bad man, but since you seem to have a different opinion, just submit a review anyway.

dub sean
July 15th 2008



980 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Nah it's cool haha I'll get around to a review eventually.

SHOOTME
July 15th 2008



2393 Comments


Sexy comeback review my good man.

dub sean
July 15th 2008



980 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Rereading -- I kind of agree the blues are not the best blues around, but they are Mayer's blues, and like no other. The entire Trio set is downright dirty, but it can drag on. I would also say that the Hendrix influence far outweighs the Clapton or Vaughn influences and not just because of Bold As Love. Slow Dancing and Gravity are downright fantastic. Seriously, I saw Mayer last year and Gravity blew my mind.


Oh, and I pos'd.This Message Edited On 07.15.08

FriendofTheDevil70
July 15th 2008



384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers for the comments guys.

And dub, I enjoy Mayer's blues as well, but I know many other players that can do the same thing. I will admit that Mayer has his own unique style, but IDK, just doesn't appeal to me as much. However, I think the material off of Continuum (the Soul, Pop, Blues, hybrid kind of thing), is fantastic, and my favorite style that Mayer uses. Also, Mayer has the rare ability to make some utterly cheesy songs, sound actually genuine, not many artists can do that. A song like Slow Dancing In A Burning Room, sounds nothing out of the norm lyrically, even though it should one of the cheesiest songs ever written.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
July 15th 2008



3765 Comments


Mmm, this sound good, ill get it soon =D Great review as well.

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

ohcleverhansyou
July 16th 2008



885 Comments


I only recently got Try!, I was very impressed. This sounds really good. I've really been digging John Mayer in general lately.

Tyler
Emeritus
July 16th 2008



7926 Comments


But then, a funny event occurred, that prompted much of the music community to turn a complete 360, on their views on John Mayer: He released a Blues album.

Pretty sure you mean the music community did a 180. Turning a complete 360 would mean they're back where they started. Also, you dont need that second comma and you can leave the H in "he" after the colon lower case.
I might check this out, but it seems a little redundant at this point.

SynGates
July 16th 2008



2467 Comments


You also don't need the third comma, correct?
Probably won't get this, never liked the guy too much. Pretty good review though.

FriendofTheDevil70
July 16th 2008



384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Pretty sure you mean the music community did a 180. Turning a complete 360 would mean they're back where they started. Also, you dont need that second comma and you can leave the H in "he" after the colon lower case."

Thanks, edited.


Tyler
Emeritus
July 16th 2008



7926 Comments


Sorry, I actually meant the third comma, the one before "on their views".

StrizzMatik
July 19th 2008



3182 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

F*cking awesome live record. Probably the best thing to pick up if people are getting into Mayer. Dude has ridiculous talent. I don't really agree that his blues stuff isn't special - his guitar playing is probably some of the best blues material out in the last few years. Even if he clearly bites SRV and Hendrix - and really, every single blues guitarist since has done it - he has his own style with his jazzy inflections, and his chops are incredible. The Trio set is the best thing here, but his extended renditions of his Continuum material are sick.

AtavanHalen
July 19th 2008



17927 Comments


I need to hear this- I worship the ground John Mayer walks on, especially his later work.

dub sean
July 19th 2008



980 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Man, at the end of Heart of Life, when John does the little bit of In Repair, I just giggle.

timbo8
July 19th 2008



618 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I loved Continuum and Try!, and this review convinced me to get this

cbmartinez
July 19th 2008



2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm ashamed to say I havent gotten this yet and I was anticipating July 1st since like May. But I got to see him twice in the last week and man, the two best live shows I've ever seen. I'm really excited to relive it watching this DVD, most of the songs on here are stuff he's been playing on his tour.

StrizzMatik
August 8th 2008



3182 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd love to see this dude live if he didn't charge $100+ a ticket.

cbmartinez
August 8th 2008



2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i saw him both times for around 40. Hopefully catching him a third time!



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