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This is the second music album that mayer has released. I would say that this album definitely shows progressive from his previous album entitled 'room for squares' as the album is a bit more deep and slightly more rockier. I am a huge mayer fan so perhaps i may be considered a little bit subjective but i would have to say that out of ten tracks, one of them isn't great, six are really good and three are fantastic.
I would say that home life is worst track on the album, it is pretty dreary and doesn't show mayer to his full potential.
My favorite three tracks on the album are daughters, split screen sadness and somethings missing - the beauty with these tracks is that they have all been beautifully written. In fact, the whole album is well written and the track aren't your typical meaningless pop lyrics.
Daughters is all about keeping a good relationship between fathers and their daughters - the tune in the song is fantastic.
Split screen sadness - is a well written break up song that you must listen to when you are feeling a little blue
something's missing - is about trying to find that missing piece in your life, the last section of the song is great!
Buy this album - listen to it again and again - it just gets better!
After thinking of what do review on my return I decided after a little thought that This album would be the one I would review. John Mayer is one of my favourite artists and this is due in no small part to hearing his Continuum album, seeing his live dvd Where the light is and also seeing him live in Hyde Park during Hard Rock Calling 2008. After becoming a fan thanks to his most recent release I looked up his back catalogue and I thought I would give Heavier Things another few listens to review it.
Heavier Things is the second studio album released by John Mayer, It was released in 2003 and the title pokes fun at some critics who were critical of his debut "Room for Squares". Heavier Things features ten tracks and guest musicians include Steve Jordan, ?uestlove and Jerry Hay. The album proved to be a successful one with "Daughters" winning song of the year at the Grammy's beating off competition from both Alicia Keys and Kanye West. He dedicated the award to his grandmother Annie Hoffman, who died in May 2004.
2.) Bigger Than My Body
3.) Something's missing
4.) New Deep
5.) Come back to bed
6.) Home Life
7.) Split Screen Sadness
9.) Only Heart
Opening Heavier Things is the enjoyable "Clarity" which has a poppy rock feel to it with some catchy drum beats and a pleasurable feel. This track gets things off to a great flow. Next up we have "Bigger than my body" which finds Mayer in a similar place vocally but the musical backing is less catchy but still provides good backing. Now comes "Something's missing" which is a very pleasantly flowing track which I can imagine being a great track to drive to. This is the best of the first three tracks so far. "New Deep" follows with an interesting guitar part that then is joined by the drums. This is another very flowing track which has a great melody. Very good stuff. Now track five is up and "Come Back to bed" is a very impressive track which shows the progression between the first album and Continuum. This is a slow bluesy rock track which is very good thanks to the emotive vocals and guitar from Mayer as well as the James Brown like Trumpets in the background. This track has a great chorus.
"Home Life" is next up and this is another decent track, It has a very catchy beat and some nice guitar melodies that are a very key part of the songs appeal. Now we come to Split Screen Sadness which is a decent track, It opens with a gentle beat and then John Mayer's distinctive vocals come in. Although this track does not have the catchy feel of some of the more instant tracks it still has enough of a radio friendly feel. Next up we have one of his most well known tracks "Daughters" is a lyrically very strong ballad about parents responsibilty. Although not a dad himself this track hints that he would be a very good dad. Next up we have "Only Heart" which is another very catchy track which could be great for driving on a summers day. This is a very impressive track which leads well into the final track on the album which is "Wheel" which is a decent closer of the album.
Whilst Heavier Things does not have the amazing consistency of Continuum it certainly is an important album in shaping John Mayer's musical history, It shows the progression from the first album into a more serious artist and it also hints at the incredible guitar playing he shows on His live shows and of course on Continuum. This is a very strong album which should be a must for any John Mayer fan. Not as good as Continuum but it's a very strong sophomore release.
John Mayer's 'Heavier Things' is arguably his most introspective and pensive album of the 4 he has currently released. This more sombre mood is reflected through the album artwork, in both colour tones and pose. The album title is in fact a lyric from 'Home Life', a track on the album.
Within 'Heavier Things', Mayer sings about a variety of themes, from love lost, to self realisation, inexplicable sorrow or the importance of family relationships and taking care of our loved ones. After his first major album produced the Grammy award winning track 'Your Body is a Wonderland', this album also shows more signs of how this success and fame in America has affected Mayer in his personal and creative life.
These songs can at times express those niggling low feelings we all get at times but can never really explain, they can eradicate these feelings, or allow you to wallow in the sadness. The most uplifting tracks on the album are arguably, "Only Heart", "Daughters", another single in which Mayer discusses the impact that a damaged family life can have upon relationships when you're older, if you are left with emotional scars, "Clarity" and "Bigger than my Body".
His sex appeal is also expressed in several tracks in a similar vein to "Your Body is Wonderland", in tracks such as "Come Back to Bed", which shows Mayer's versatility as a songwriter. There is a lot more you can take from this album than what you might originally think is on offer.
John Mayer is quite an established artist in America but its not a name Id heard of before my friend introduced me to his album at Christmas. It seems to be quite a growing trend that many artists who are successful in America find only limited success over in the UK. John Mayer is currently most famous for dating American beauty and singer Jessica Simpson; their relationship began back in August 2006. Heavier Things is Mayers third album although its only the second to be released in the UK. His third album was released back in 2006 although Id yet to get my hands on a copy of it.
So who is he? Hes a 29 year old American artist, both singer and guitarist, who has in the past won Grammy Awards for his contributions to music. His sound is largely advertised as being acoustic rock although dont let that put you off, Id argue against this and say although there are some light rock sounding tracks the majority of the album is much mellower and theres even a few pop like sounding tracks. His rock sound could be compared to something similar to Bon Jovis lighter, softer tracks while his voice contains a raspy, sexy sound similar to that of Gavin DeGraw or Howie Day.
The album contains 10 tracks which may leave you feeling a little short changed, I do tend to expect 12-14 tracks on the average album these days. However the quality of these tracks quite easily makes up for that. It was released back in September 2003 and found quite large success in America although never really reached the charts in the UK. For those of you that know his previous album then this one has a more sophisticated yet not totally dissimilar sound thatll definitely make it a hit with you.
1. Clarity is the first track on the album and it opens with soft melodic piano chords which create an instantly relaxing atmosphere. Mayers voice initially is very soft, almost like Jack Johnson but with much more sex appeal to it somehow. There are some elegant melodies in this track that will warm you to it straightaway, the pace remains quite similar throughout with the soft backing music suiting his voice ideally. The track itself is quite simply about gaining clarity and how very often we worry and cant quite see or understand whats going on, yet at certain times everything seems to fall into place and become a lot clearer, By the time I recognize this moment, this moment will be gone, but I will bend the light pretend, that it somehow lingered on.
2. Bigger than my body contrasts nicely with the opening track in that its got a much more energised and upbeat feel to it as well as having a more rock image as well. His voice sounds much stronger and almost more mature than it did in the previous track with his raspy voice managing the lyrics effortlessly. Towards the chorus theres a great crescendo which almost makes your skin tingle and will certainly have you singing along in a matter of minutes. The song itself is about how in a sense, mentally youre bigger than your body, you possess much more knowledge than your body alone suggests, Why is it not the time, what is there more to learn, Ive shed this skin Ive been tripping in, and Ive never quite returned.
3. Somethings Missing is the third track on the album and is much more relaxed than the previous track and somehow more pessimistic than the opening track. Its got a very calm atmosphere with quite strong chords in the backing music. Its the first track on the album that really seems to focus on love, although it could quite easily be interpreted as being about friendship or something similar. Although there are depressing elements in the music and his voice seems to have taken on a negative mood, the track itself wont make you want to curl up and cry by any means. The song focuses on how sometimes when we loose something we often feel that were missing something, or sometimes how we just get that feeling that there must be more to a situation than what is there, Somethings missing, and I dont know how to fix it, somethings missing, and I dont know what it is.
4. New Deep has quite a surreal feel to it with a jumpy opening and then some solid guitar sounds coming through. The beat is quite slow throughout the track with the pace never really picking up except slightly at the chorus. The chorus itself is probably the catchiest on the album so far and I find it impossible not to sing along to, especially as the lyrics have quite a nice meaning. The song itself has quite a light meaning to it, it talks about how if you dont take things to seriously or try and analyse things too deeply life in general will be easier, Cause ever since Ive tried, trying not to find, every little meaning in my life, its been fine, Ive been cool, with my new golden rule.
5. Come back to bed is the slowest track so far on the album and the one that also sounds the most like a soft Bon Jovi love song. Its arguably the first track on the album that really focuses on the emotion of love which is a refreshing change to most albums Ive heard recently. The track itself is almost verging on a smoky blues ballad with soft lyrics while his raspy voice soars over the music, sounding strong throughout. This is one of my favourite tracks on the album, possibly his most mature sounding track so far and definitely the most soothing. The come back to bed idea is quite simply a metaphor for getting over an argument and making up, What will this fix, you know youre not a quick forgive, and I wont sleep through this, I survive on the breath you are finished with.
6. Home Life marks the half way point through the album which is almost disappointing in a way as I feel like I could listen to his songs for hours. This track is the first one on the album that I dont absolutely love, although its not a bad track and it is quite catchy its just a little drab feeling. His voice is particularly depressing and almost cold on this track while the music is slightly hypnotic but in quite a bad way almost. The track itself is about how he basically wants a home life and quite simply a happy family life, I wanna see the end game, I wanna learn her last name, finish on a Friday, and sit in traffic on the highway.
7. Split Screen Sadness is rather ominously titled and the music is quite ominous sounding, theres what sounds like a church organ playing the same chord repeatedly in the background for the first minute or so which gives the track quite an eerie feel. This is the only backing music along with a gentle beat for the first verse which gives a hollow feel to the track. Suddenly theres a crescendo and much warmer feeling music as we move towards the chorus which creates a great contrast in this track. I personally love this track, its about the end of a relationship really and how that can create sadness but happiness of a sort at the same time, And I dont know where you went when you left me but, it says here in the water you must be gone by now, I can tell somehow.
8. Daughters is the eighth track on the album and it is a slightly odd song really. Im not quite sure what the inspiration behind this track was but despite it being a little odd its sung beautifully with very mellow backing music. The song itself, from what I can tell from the chorus is about how a daughter should be kind to her mother as one day she will be the mother. However this notion doesnt seem to flow throughout the track as the opening lyrics show, I know a girl, she puts the colour inside of my world, shes just like a maze, where all of the walls all continually changes.
9. Only Heart is the penultimate track on the album and its a slightly upbeat number. Its quite different to any of the other songs and almost has an indie feel to the opening as if it could quite easily slot into a Razorlight album. On the other hand theres also quite a soft rock feel to this track in parts with some great backing music, especially to the chorus which just seems to give the song a completely new burst of energy. The song itself has quite a warm feel to it and its about how hes completely smitten with a girl, so much so that she now has his only heart, Its so hard to be so far out, living our separate lives, your phone was really broken, I tried your number twice.
10. Wheel is the final track on the album and its a very mellow, soft track to finish on. I really like this song as a final memory of the album as it seems to sum up the whole album quite succinctly with his voice alternating between soft and raspy sounding. The title of the track is actually used as a metaphor of movement almost, as the function of a wheel is quite simply to move and in a sense this song talks about how we have to move on from things in the past, And airports see it all the time, when someones last goodbye, blends in with someones sigh, cause someones coming home.
All in all Id recommend this album to absolutely anyone if you like artists such as Bon Jovi, Howie Day or Ben Jelen then itll certainly be up your street. Basically if you like relaxing, somewhat raspy sounding lyrics with a backdrop of energetic or mellow music then this should be in your music collection! His vocals for the whole are rich and textured in a sense which adds feeling to the album. The songs are quite emotive without being so emotionally charged that they bring tears to your eyes and for once theres not a complete focus on the emotion of love with this album. There is an element of soul searching which is evident through the lyrics but this only serves to inspire me in a sense. Mayer addresses a range of topics through his songs including clarity, the future and various relationships. It would be ideal listening while driving or simply relaxing at home as its not overly down or upbeat.
Thanks for reading.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Bigger than my body
3 Something's missing
4 New deep
5 Come back to bed
6 Home life
7 Split screen sadness
9 Only heart