John Mayer has a deep abiding respect for the blues, and never has it been more apparent than on his superb album Continuum. When Mayer made the switch to the blues, some folks seemed caught off guard and confused, nevertheless his true fans knew better. Personally, I have heard a lot about this artist but never sat down and listened to any of his work. Now I am sorry I missed so much. I was glad to hear he shook all the comparisons to Dave Matthews and developed his own identity and unique sound.
Continuum is easily in my top ten albums for 2006. After listening several times it has continued to grow on me with each listen. Make no mistake about it; Mayer is a very talented and real individual with nothing but a great future ahead. He knew exactly what he was doing when he hooked up with some blues legends and played his six-string right alongside them (check out his tear-out-your-heart version of the Hendrix classic “Bold As Love.”) Not only did he learn his chops, he exposed himself as a legitimate contender to take his place alongside the legends he was playing with. If he continues to release albums like this his place in history is secure. Even if he suddenly stopped recording today, his impact would still be felt for many more years to come.
Out of the 12 tracks, I did not hear one that I couldn't identify with or thoroughly enjoy for the musicianship, vocals, and lyrics. This recording oozes with a strong feeling of confidence and maturity at every turn. Mayer owns who he is, unlike that ditzy blonde he was dating recently. He called it as he saw it and told her to take a hike. I say right on brother! You are the real deal and your music tells the story beautifully who you are deep down in your soul.
The lead off track “Waiting For The World To Change” is so prolific, musically and lyrically. You have to love what Mayer says in the fourth verse.
Now, if we had the power
To bring our neighbors home from war
They would have never missed Christmas
No more ribbons on their door
And when you trust your television
What you get is what you get
Cause when they own the information
They can bend it all they want
Now if that doesn't make you look in the mirror and question who you are and the world we live in, well you just are not hearing this young man’s message.
Mayer’s guitar playing is clean, sharp, and biting all at the same time. His vocal style is relaxed yet very effective because of the way he brings each word from his toes to his lips; it all comes rolling out with meaning, like something he holds very close to his heart. I especially enjoyed the irresistible hooks and rhythms of “Vulture.” And oh the words, my oh my does it hit you square between the eyes. This album is so good you could choose any one of these tracks and make it a single and it would zoom up the charts. Yes, it's that good.
Continuum is a true classic of our time, a sparkling and memorable production that deserves all the gushing and media attention it has been receiving and will continue to get many years from now. John Mayer arrived a few years ago but this time out he has made a statement that he is here to stay and expect more of the same in the future. As we are waiting for the world to change, we can listen to good music and do our part to change it.
01. Waiting on the World to Change (3:21)
02. I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You) (4:52)
03. Belief (4:02)
04. Gravity (4:05)
05. The Heart of Life (3:19)
06. Vultures (4:11)
07. Stop This Train Mayer (4:45)
08. Slow Dancing in a Burning Room (4:02)
09. Bold as Love (4:18)
10. Dreaming with a Broken Heart (4:07)
11. In Repair (6:09)
12. I'm Gonna Find Another You (2:43)