Friday, March 7, 2008

Heavier Things

In addition to the new Lenny Kravitz album (this week’s album of the week), I’ve been listening to John Mayer’s 2003 album, Heavier Things. At first this album felt like a guilty pleasure, but after repeated listenings I really dig this cd. Lately it’s been one of those albums that “fits” my mood.

I liked Room For Squares and Inside Wants Out, the two albums precluding Heavier Things. But it was one specific review I read when Heavier Things was first released that prevented me from buying the album right away. It said (and I’m paraphrasing), "Mayer is turning into Sting, and not the cool (young) Sting, but the boring, adult contemporary Sting”. Reading that was a major turn off! The critic also went on to say something about the album being poppy, jazz-lite, and very radio friendly.

Normally I take music reviews with a grain of salt. There are some critics I trust, but most of the time I will buy albums regardless of the reviews...especially if I like the artist and/or the concept. The thing with John Mayer is that I could see him going mainstream cheesy or something safer and boring… But I was wrong.

Expecting nothing, I finally listened to the album a few months ago. “Bigger Than My Body" instantly sounded better than I remembered and songs like "Something's Missing" and "New Deep" pulled me in right away. The long and the short of it is- I really like this album. I still don’t like the song Daughters; the album’s signature song and Grammy winner for song of the year in 2005. But I don’t vomit when I hear it now (I just dry heave a little).

Anyway, I like almost every song on the album, and the first 7 tracks are especially strong. I think John Mayer is very talented. I’m only 4 albums into his catalog, but he has potential to be a pop legend when and if he can put together an entire album of smart, sensitive, chamber pop that is free of any chez whiz (aka Daughters). Oh... and one more thing about the album... I hate the album cover!

Lastly, on March 25th I will be a very very happy man. The most eagerly anticipated album of the year (so far) will be released on that day... The new COUNTING CROWS album! I read this today on about the new album

"Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings is the story of what happens when all the bright lights start to burn instead of glitter and you become more of a part of the shadow they cast behind you than the person you are in front. Produced in two parts by Gil Norton & Brian Deck, it's about a flood of sin and liquor and dissolution and insanity and it's about trying to rebuild the life you wrecked in the wake of that flood. It's about the way it feels. It's about me. It's a Counting Crows album. We're back. We were only ever as far gone as you can go."
- Adam Duritz, Counting Crows


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