The Search for Everything “Wave One” Album Review

 

 

The Search for Everything “Wave One” Review

So is John Mayer’s The Search for Everything “Wave One” EP any good?  Why only four songs?
Well, John Mayer is being smart about his release, knowing how rapidly changing the attention span of people are, so he’s making his release a several part process, kind of like cliff-hangers on a TV series. Mayer has promised us a huge blast of music in 2017 and this is the first wave. Die hard Mayer fan are going to hear John pay homage to different ages of his sonic evolution; dipping into sounds from Heavier Things, Continuum, Born and Raise, Paradise Valley and give us some completely new colors to digest.

Musically, he’s done a fine job balancing what we’re all expecting, what the label is demanding, and where his inner artist wants to go. Lyrically, he seems to hold back until the end of the EP but finally gives us the true reflective songwriter genius we have come to expect from him in “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me”, which is the pinnacle of the EP. John may risk being trite in “Love on the Weekend” but you somehow just forgive him the more you listen because of the way he’s able to deliver his lines.

Die Hard Mayer fans, expect to go on another emotional ride through relationship, philosophy, life, love and the ever-familiar nostalgia that John is able to craft effortlessly and somehow deliver it uniquely each time.

Moving on and Getting Over

What does it sound like? Groovy, Spacey, Soulful
Who does it feel like? Justin Timberlake, Marvin Gaye, D’Angelo

Ok, so if a choir of angles wrote the McDonald’s jingle, it might be like the hook of the this song…..bada ba ba baaaaaa……and that’s not a bad thing. John captures neo-soul, modern soul, contemporary R&B and it’s pretty thick with his tasty bluesy guitar riffs. The groove indicates that John dabbled with some electronics, possibly the drum machine he was playing with when he made an appearance at Berklee College of Music circa 2008. The hook’s meandering feel helps color the lyric. Anyone who was missing that funky side of John that we haven’t really got to hear since Continuum can rejoice because it’s back.

Lyrically, there’s nothing ground breaking. It walks in stride with John’s favorite theme: date a girl, break up, always want her to reserve a special place in your heart so you never have to conclusively let her go, even if she’s with someone else. The songwriter in you may want a little more, but musically it’s all there. Quick note – John’s falsetto is back – giggety. So all you douche nozzle’s on youtube who were smirking-ly spouting “he’s never gonna sound the same again” you can pull your lip over your head and swallow.

 

Moving on and getting over
Are not the same, it seems to me
Cause you’ve been gone, I’m growing older
But I still can’t seem to get you off my mind
And I do believe I feel you all the time

Moving on and getting over
Are not the friends they used to be
It’s been so long since I got to hold you
But I still can’t seem to get you off my mind
And I do believe I feel you all the time, all the time

Tell me I can have the fact you’ve loved me to hold onto
Tell me I can keep the door cracked open, to let light through
For all my running, I can understand
I’m one text away from being back again
But I’m moving on and I’m getting over
I’m-a getting over, I’m getting over
I got to get over

Moving on and getting over
It’s been so long; it just goes to show you
That I still can’t seem to get you off my mind
And I sure would like to see you one more time, one more time, baby

It’s taken me so long just to say “so long”
Maybe it’s all wrong, but I’m moving on
I’m gonna get a new girl, it’s something I can do, girl
To try to get me through, girl
Cause I’m moving on
I’m moving on
And I’m moving on
I’m moving on
And I’m moving on
Consider me as good as gone
Cause I’m moving on

 

Changing

What does it sound like? Swaying, Reflective, Old-Timey
Who does it feel like? Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Irish Drinking Songs

Can you hear it? A crowd of friends gathered around the bar at the end of the night, rocking back and forth, clanging their glasses, beer sloshing, as a few thousand people ride around in their cars singing the same tune. Move over Chumbabumba, let the bar have a good song now. This song carries the “Piano Man” 6/8 limmerick feel with Bob Dylan style thought process.

The dorian drenched solo in “Changing” definitely seems like his recent tour with “Dead and Co.” left some of the 70’s hallucinogenic spirit residue on him and gave him the ability to instantly transcend from the world of songwriter to the world of jam band without it sounding jaunty or unrelated.

I am not done changing
Out on the run, changing
I may be old and I may be young
But I am not done changing
I met me someone changing
We had some fun changing
Sometimes I wonder if she’ll be the one
When I am done changing

Some of us stopped running
Some of us went home
Some of us don’t got one
So we’ll build one of our own
Friends behind their fences
Looking at me strange
Wondering when I’m gonna come to my senses
But I’m still changing
And I can’t change my ways

I see the sky changing
Reminds me of my changing
Wish I could tie me a rope ’round the sun
‘Cause I am not done changing
Time’s been talkin’ to me
Whispering in my ear
Saying “Follow your heart
‘Til it tears you apart”
But hearts keep changing
Hearts keep changing
Hearts keep changing
Hearts keep changing
Hearts keep on changing
Hearts keep changing
Hearts keep changing
Hearts keep…

I am not done changing
Out on the run, changing
I may be old and I may be young
But I am not done changing
Changing
Changing
Changing
Changing

Love on the Weekend

What does it sound like? Atmospheric, Lush, Anticipating
Who does it feel like? Bruce Springsteen, Norah Jones, Eric Church

This song wasn’t my favorite when I first heard it. It seemed to tread too close to the “bro country” garbage that has literally swept the nation for the last five years with content about “weekends” and “seeing your face” and oversimplified ideas that just don’t need to be sung about ever again, since there are already enough songs with that type of content to plug a black hole. I felt so disheartened to hear that John had sold his soul to tap into the market, but upon a second listen it seems to create a different space and bring a bit of that ethereal yearning that he’s so good at channeling. Ok, John, well played.

It’s a Friday, we finally made it
I can’t believe I get to see your face
You’ve been working and I’ve been waiting
To pick you up and take you from this place

Love on the weekend, love on the weekend
Like only we can, like only we can
Love on the weekend, love on the weekend
I’m coming up and I’m loving every minute of it

You be the DJ, I’ll be the driver
You put your feet up in the getaway car
I’m flying fast like a, a wanted man
I want you, baby, like you can’t understand

Love on the weekend, love on the weekend
We found a message in a bottle we were drinking
Love on the weekend, love on the weekend
I hate your guts ’cause I’m loving every minute of it

Oh oh oh
I gotta leave ya, it’s gonna hurt me
My clothes are dirty and my friends are getting worried
Down there below us, under the clouds
Baby, take my hand and pull me down, down, down, down

And I’ll be dreamin’ of the next time we can go
Into another serotonin overflow
Love on the weekend, love on the weekend
I’m busted up but I’m loving every minute of it

Love on the weekend
Love on the weekend
I’m looking for a little love I’m looking for a little love, oh yeah
Love on the weekend
Love on the weekend
Love on the weekend

You’re Gonna Life forever in Me
What does it sound like: Sparse, melancholic, stoic
Who does it feel like: Randy Newman, Frank Sinatra, George Gershwin

The second you hear the whistling you know you’re going to pine over exes, long for something you can’t even describe and go on an emotional ride to wherever John decided to steer. You might understand the song immediately but be unsure of whom it’s addressing and who’s narrating. Is it about God? Is it from the perspective of God? Is it about the universe? Life? What?
Until you hear this:

“And when the pastor rises the pews
From reasons he can’t marry you
I’ll keep my word and my seat”

Ever been at a wedding and smiled as you watched the bride and groom knowing that person used to be your lover and now seeing your “what if?” be concretized into a “maybe in another life” right before your eyes? There aren’t many better ways to say it than in this song.

A great big bang and dinosaurs
Fiery raining meteors
It all ends unfortunately

But you’re gonna live forever in me
I’ll guarantee, just wait and see

Parts of me were made by you
And planets keep their distance too
The moon’s got a grip on the sea

And you’re gonna live forever in me
I guarantee, it’s your destiny

Life is full of sweet mistakes
And love’s an honest one to make
Time leaves no fruit on the tree

But you’re gonna live forever in me
I guarantee, it’s just meant to be

And when the pastor rises the pews
From reasons he can’t marry you
I’ll keep my word and my seat

But you’re gonna live forever in me
I’ll guarantee, just wait and see

Overall, John’s done yet another great job at balancing artistic integrity with commercial viability. As a lifelong fan I was very happy. As a critic I was happy. Guitarists, songwriters, music lovers and people new to John’s music can all celebrate Wave One as a new space that’s oddly familiar as we stand on the shore and anxiously await the next wave.

If you’re a fan of John Mayer, get a free download from up and coming songwriter Dylan Galvin. Go here and click “download

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