Story by Elizabeth Schoof, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Headline Planet
For as long as I can remember, I have been a fan of John Mayer’s jams. There was a bit of a break during his Taylor Swift scandal, but it did not take me long to hop back onto the Mayer bandwagon.
John’s music has always had a very unique vibe. Although some of his songs are rather heavy, the majority of his music is presented in a light matter. I was more than a little relieved to find that, even after a three year hiatus, that upbeat sound was still prevalent in his latest album “The Search for Everything: Wave One.”
While some musicians take breaks to get back in touch with reality or to return to their roots, John took his break because of a case of writer’s block. Describing the songwriting process as a task similar to matching socks, Mayer has explained in several interviews that he was struggling to match his lyrics with the feeling that he wanted to share with his fans. In the same way that an individual cannot go outside in two different socks, Mayer felt that his music should not convey more than one message.
In an interview with American Top 40, Mayer explained that “as a songwriter, if I can exemplify a feeling, then I get to keep it forever.”
He did not want to release an album that he did not feel accurately captured the relaxation and positivity that he had experienced in his latest adventures in California. He has had an opportunity to “get away” and search for the simple things in the world around him. This was an experience that helped inspire the title of the album, and it was an experience that he wanted to share with his fans.
The idea of enjoying the simple things is heavily emphasized throughout the instrumentals on this album. Focusing primarily on the use of piano and guitar, Mayer kept things simple. Both “Changing” and “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me” open with simple piano chords before they lead into guitar and other instruments.
Although the album maintains a consistent low-key vibe, no two songs are exactly alike. For example, I have been playing “Love on the Weekend” on repeat for several hours now. It’s a song that makes me want to pack my car and go on an adventure. It falls somewhere between a soft rock jam and an acoustic pop song.
On the other hand, “Moving On and Getting Over” has a stripped down, jazz vibe to it. Personally, I do not care for this song in particular. This song is much more rhythmic than the others, and I cannot say that I appreciate that in the way that John intended.
“You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me” is a sad little love ballad, but “Changing” presents listeners with a sense of optimism and opportunity. Although they have contrasting messages, I can honestly say I enjoyed listening to both of them.
Mayer discussed his intent behind showing such deep contrasts in the four songs on this album.
In his interview with American Top 40, he stated, “I’m not trying to achieve one vibe on this record. I want every song to be like, ‘That one’s good too. That one feels good too.’”
While some may argue that intentionally making each song different could be risky, I think that it is one of the most intriguing aspects of the album.
While “Moving On and Getting Over” may not be my favorite song, and the album only consists of four songs, I can definitely say that it was well worth the three-year wait. I give John Mayer’s “The Search for Everything: Wave One” a solid 9.5/10, and I encourage everyone to go give it a listen.