John Mayer
The Search for Everything - Wave One


3.5
great

Review

by IfYouRun USER (19 Reviews)
January 23rd, 2017 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: John Mayer returns with a solid yet unspectacular first wave in his very own Search for Everything.

When John Mayer tweeted last year that he was recording a new album with the same guys he wrote and recorded his fantastic (and yet to be bested) 2006 album Continuum, expectations were obviously high. After a two album foray into country and folk which garnered mixed results, it seemed the next album would look back to his more bluesy sound. However, instead of a full album, Mayer announced he would be releasing his next full-length, The Search for Everything, in four song batches once a month, starting with wave one on the 20th of January.

Opening with Moving On and Getting Over, the first wave gets off to a strong start. Doubled up vocals create nice harmonies throughout the entire track, whilst the verse features a hook where the music and vocals syncopate in a stop start motion that accentuates every word. Instrumentally the song is relatively simple, with the bass in particular shining with little runs, and the song benefits from a lack of flashy guitar parts, instead relying simply on good song writing.

Following this is Changing, which is the weakest track on the release. It opens with a solo piano and Mayer's vocals, before opening up with an acoustic guitar and the full band. A solo cuts in after two minutes and the solo itself feels fairly grand and important, but it feels a little disjointed from the rest of the song, which can feel a little plodding and uninteresting.

The third track is lead single Love on the Weekend, a love struck ode to the start of a new relationship. The track features a lot of reverb on the lead guitar that creates a washy ocean vibe, conjuring images of palm trees, sunny days and coastal drives. Lyrically meanwhile, Mayer keeps it simple yet effective as he sings; "And I'll be dreaming of the next time we can go, into another serotonin overflow. Love on the weekend, love on the weekend." It's a great pop single which would have definitely been at home on 2009's Battle Studies.

The final song is titled "You're Gonna Live forever In Me", and it ends the first wave on a high note. Opening with a piano and Mayer whistling, the tone is set. When Mayer starts singing, it's far more soothing than anything we have heard previously, although he does sound a little too close to Coldplay's Chris Martin for comfort, whilst the whistling and instrumentation make this song seem destined to soundtrack a Pixar film. Lyrically the song starts as an ode to a loved one, before a sharp turn sees Mayer sing the following; "And when the pastor asks the pews for reasons he can't marry you, I'll keep my word in my seat. But you're gonna live forever in me, I'll guarantee, just wait and see." It's an unexpected turn before the song fades out that gives an otherwise overly cute song a little edge.

It's early, but it seems The Search For Everything is going to be more varied than some of his more recent albums, with the styles of Continuum, Battle Studies and Born & Raised all hinted at here. We still don't know how many songs are part of this release, anything from 10 to 40, and there are bound to be hits and misses along the way, but the first wave is a solid yet unspectacular start.



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user ratings (48)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
theBoneyKing
January 23rd 2017


13456 Comments


Serviceable review I guess, but it feels a bit too procedural with its track-by-track approach.

Didn't realize the the whole album was going to be released in this fashion so I guess I'll give this a listen now instead of waiting for the full thing to be out. Mayer's discography is kind of all over the place in terms of quality but when he gets it right (Continuum and Born and Raised) I love him. Hopefully this whole project ends up being one of his better ones.

Digging: Lambchop - Nixon

IfYouRun
January 23rd 2017


309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@theBoneyKing Yeah it's the first thing I've written in way over a year so I'm definitely rusty. Just wanted to get back into the swing of things really and with only four tracks it seemed easy to approach them one at a time.

tommygun
January 23rd 2017


26718 Comments


this is a bit underwhelming

dig the battle studies vibe of love on the weekend and the solo on changing but not quite what i was hoping for when i heard he was recording with jordan and palladino again

moving on is cool but really cheapened by the fake-sounding percussion

nickslip
January 24th 2017


68 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"You're Gonna Live forever In Me" sounds pretty timeless. Great song. The EP as a whole is pretty lethargic though, so I hope there's some rockier, more energetic stuff coming up.

tommygun
January 24th 2017


26718 Comments


yea that one grew a bit after a few spins

nostalgia, whimsy etc

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2017


13460 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

the blandest shit ive ever heard

Digging: Palehorse - Looking Wet In Public

conditionals
January 24th 2017


545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Absolutely love the production, and like that we finally get to hear some of Mayer's mind-boggling guitar talent on the opening track and 'Changing' (which is an otherwise average track).

That being said, I was a bit underwhelmed with his selection for this first set. Despite it sounding good as fuck, the songs were just a bit bland. Is it wrong of me to want to hear him just unleash the beast for once? I personally would have swapped 'Changing' for a more rockier/blusier track, and saved that song for a later wave. Then again, I guess he's in no rush.

Still have high hopes for the project.

DinosaurJones
January 24th 2017


7288 Comments


I adore Continuum, so I'll probably check this out. I haven't listened to his last two albums.

Digging: Jeff Rosenstock - POST-

bloc
January 24th 2017


45988 Comments


Did not know he had new stuff coming out, I'll check it

Digging: W.A.S.P. - The Headless Children

theBoneyKing
January 24th 2017


13456 Comments


Honestly I kind of hate that Mayer ever made an album as good as Continuum because I remain obliged to listen to his new material even though he's likely never going to match that quality again on record.

IfYouRun
January 27th 2017


309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Even a week later I would totally restructure this review, but at least I got back into writing again.



Anyway, I'm thinking that maybe the songs being released in waves could indicate a wide range of styles. Hopefully future waves see him dabble into different sides of his previous work, including the folkier side and the harder hitting, more technical blues guitar work we know he can pull out.

tommygun
January 31st 2017


26718 Comments


i just want continuum ii tbh

Log S.
February 27th 2017


1662 Comments


"Honestly I kind of hate that Mayer ever made an album as good as Continuum because I remain obliged to listen to his new material even though he's likely never going to match that quality again on record."

Continuum's good but I still consider him an individual-tracks artist. find it so hard to get through his slow-ass albums - my favorite thing he's ever released is Where the Light Is



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