Highlights: John Mayer ‘The Search for Everything’


★★★★½

John Mayer, The Search for Everything © Columbia39-year old Pop/rock darling John Mayer comes back strong on his first new album after a four-year hiatus, ‘The Search for Everything.’

Unbelievably, pop/rock, singer/songwriter John Mayer is approaching his 40th year of life. As middle age nears for the guitar virtuoso with the smooth, soulful pipes, He releases his first new album in four years, The Search for Everything.  Eight songs arrived prior to the album, issued over the course of two EPs. The Search for Everything in its entirety is comprised of 12 brilliant, consistent songs.

“Still Feel Like Your Man”

Opener “Still Feel Like Your Man” initiates The Search for Everything soulfully. Mayer is incredibly honest as he asserts he isn’t over his ex.  On verse one, he rejects the opportunities to move on.  On the second verse, he remembers the scent of her shampoo, refusing to throw it away. The chorus confirms Mayer’s emotional position, plainly, but effectively.  It’s highly relatable, making the record the crème de la crème of The Search for Everything.

“Helpless”

On “Helpless,” guitar provides fuel for the fire, with a driving groove propelling the record forward.  Mayer maintains a sense of coolness and poise, but there’s clear bite.  He doesn’t need vocal histrionics, just top-notch production work, awesome guitar skills, and a respectable, well-rounded vocal performance.

“Love on the Weekend”

Love on the Weekendserved as the promo single from The Search for Everything.  Somewhat restrained, characterized by its subtlety, its magic unveils itself more with successive listens.  The record sports a quintessential soft-rock sound, led by guitar. Mayer delivers clear, calm, and collected vocals, that ultimately, finds him flexing his signature sound.

“Moving On and Getting Over”

“Moving On and Getting Over” proves to be incredibly soulful, bearing a sound characterized by tidiness and clarity.  Vocally, he matches the thoughtfulness of the production work, never pushing, but also, never under-singing.  The blue-eyed, pop-soul number is among the most impressive songs on the LP, differentiating itself from his past work, yet not sounding totally unfamiliar.

“Rosie”

The blue-eyed soul of “Rosie” impresses from a first listen.  As laid back as the record is, it packs a punch.  Constructing the soulful ambience are background vocals, horns, organ, and Mayer’s guitar chops. He laments the end of the relationship between himself and Rosie.

“Don’t leave me here / Under the January rain / Come let me in / Take my heart by the hand / And lead me back to your room / and sing me your tune.”

“You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me”

On closer “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me,” Mayer sounds exceptional vocally.  While he has vocal limitations in regards to range, he uses that limited range flawlessly.  The songwriting matches the sheer beauty of his instrument. “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me” is the type of record from Mayer that gives goosebumps – chills.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, The Search for Everything is a magnificent John Mayer album without question.  While Mayer has never released a dud, The Search for Everything is by far his best album in years.  Everything has been sound at its worst since crowning achievement Continuum, but The Search for Everything rivals the brilliance of that tour de force.

Gems: “Still Feel Like Your Man,” “Helpless,” “Love on the Weekend,” “Moving On and Getting Over,” “Rosie” & “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me”

John Mayer • The Search for Everything • Columbia • Release: 4.14.17
Photo Credit: Columbia
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