John Mayer’s latest effort, Battle Studies, goes deeper in the mood than Continuum ever did. [firstpara] He keeps his type of music inclined, but there are several prominent attempts to go elsewhere.
Listening to a John Mayer song immediately brings you to an underground film that could use a really heavy soundtrack. It shouts sensitivity, but with music so good you can’t help but be commendable about it.
“Heartbreak Warfare” is not much of an intro in terms of pumping you up; in fact the mood of the song basically carries itself all the way to the last track of the album.
The song “Assasin,” on the other hand, channels Sting from the instruments to the back-up vocals. It’s a clear indication of the direction he wants to pursue: anywhere but his old self.
“Half of my Heart” was written by Mayer himself, but was musically interpreted by Taylor Swift. The message is the same, but the melody lifts it high enough to make it sound like a happy song. Not to mention the blended country singing style of Mayer and Swift in the chorus.
We can’t help but think that “Perfectly Lonely” was written with his exes in mind. His public persona is notches higher than his music, but we’re siding on the musical side of Mayer on this one. The song practically says “it’s not you, it’s me” in a different light.
“Crossroads” and “Do You Know Me” are short enough tracks that seem to be a chip off songs that didn’t make the album, or perhaps an epiphany made in 5 minutes. Either way, we’re glad it’s there; otherwise the entire album would have been blues all the way.
“Friends, Lovers, or Nothing” is a true enough approach to the complex side of love. His guitar interpretation over speaks the words, and sometimes it’s a good thing. The “Edge of Desire” is a country-nized heartfelt song, instinctively engineered to make your lady say “bati na tayo”.
“All We Ever Do is Say Goodbye” is our favorite track, thanks to its honest lyrics, classic guitar-rifts, and Beatle-like vibe that resembles “Across the Universe”. Mayer doesn’t try very hard with his vocals, and that alone is a cornerstone in his musical success.
Battle Studies isn’t made to suit a typical Pinoy’s sense of music, but John Mayer is good enough to make you think how the music industry is so much better with him around. Mayer embodies the play first, sing second type of musician, much like the Eric Clapton of our generation.
Battle Studies, by the way, is named after the recording studio in Calabasas, California where John Mayer recorded a portion of his album. Clever.
Here's a preview of John Mayer's new single, "Heartbreak Warfare":
WORDS BY: MIKEY AGULTO