Allison O’Reilly

John Mayer released his first album in four years, titled The Search for Everything, with a sound shockingly similar to that of the Mayer we all know and love from 2006

The album, which came out April 14, includes bluesy songs about heartbreak that took me back to days of listening to  “Gravity” in the car with my mom as a child.

I’ve been a Mayer fan for as long as I can remember, so I have nothing against his old sound, but it was impressive to watch him grow into the sound of his last album, Paradise Valley. This slight reversal to his usual ways came as a bit of a disappointment.

The leading track, “Still Feel Like Your Man,” is the most reminiscent of his early 2000’s music to me, while “Changing” and “Never on the Day You Leave” sound more like Mayer’s recent work. t

Mayer didn’t do himself any favors by releasing eight songs (of 12 total) from the album in the form of EPs, Wave One and Wave Two earlier this year. Already having heard more than half of the album took away the excitement of hearing an artist’s new music after a long wait.

The songs, while catchy, well-written and of musical merit like most of Mayer’s music, are really nothing more than something to sing along to in the car. There are no standout hits and no especially moving ballads to take the collection from good to great.

After the unique sound of Paradise Valley, and time spent touring as a guitarist and vocalist for Dead & Company, I expected more experimentation from Mayer.

Taking away comparison and expectation, though, this album is relatable, simple enough to enjoy with ease, vocally impressive and full of melodies that will get stuck in your head.

The album takes listeners through various stages of a relationship, something Mayer has always done well – easily expressing his experiences falling in love, out of love, mentally holding on to love and moving on. His talents as a lyricist continued to prove themselves through these songs.

Any die-hard, long-time Mayer fan will enjoy this album, even though it may not be the peak of his artistry or career.

The Search for Everything is, at its core, classic Mayer, which can be taken for better or for worse.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of John Mayer’s Facebook page.

Allison O’Reilly is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at aoreill1@terpmail.umd.edu. 

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