Battle Studies review by John Mayer

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  • Released: Nov 17, 2009
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (120 votes)
John Mayer: Battle Studies

Sound — 8
Modern blues guitarist, soothing pop vocals, Jennifer Aniston, Twitter. Which one of these doesn't remind you of John Mayer? And thanks to Twitter, 2.5 mil followers will notice the preparation of the new album--Battle Studies. As profound as the theme, the music in this album doesn't show much of a guitarist characteristic. By saying that, that doesn't mean it does not contain awe-inspiring music. The affinity of the album cover, has its value within. The music you hear will not be a track where you will get an impression just listening to it once. Every single track is worth discovering, and acknowledging. "Half Of My Heart" and "Who says" seemed like the only tunes heavy with the acoustic guitar, but not losing its simplicity of the melodic guitar strings of John's. Something we've been familiar with after John came to the music scene for quite some time. Align with the war theme "War Of My Life" and "Heartbreak Warfare" pretty similar and different in many ways. "Heartbreak Warfare" burst with a Passion Pit inspired electronic feel and incarnated with a muddy guitar solo. Though, the song loses its greatness for some time in my liking but the guitar solo is still very unique. "War Of My Life is not a stand out from this album just the words in the songs comes perfectly with the music. Mediocre tune but very touching life struggles rung. "Edge of Desire" is one of my favorites from Battle Studies. I got to admit that the music wasn't much catchy, but when the vocals and the guitar solo came it, it just came to head and teased my persistence to not continue listening. "Do You Know Me" and "All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye" are both a mixture of nice, calmed lullaby with soulful pop vocals. These two songs marked the improvement of John's vocal skils since the first 3 albums. "Perfectly Lonely" assembles another kind of catchy guitar riffs and fun, energetic bounce throughout the song. The guitar playing was much more obvious in this track compared to others. "Friends, Lovers or Nothing", an important relationship lesson, started with a stupendous shuddery echoed piano part, which widens our ear range at first, but then contradicts with the main riff that came in seconds later. A love hate song to be fair. A cover of Cream, and the late Robert Johnson, "Crossroads" showed the new guitar tune that John ought to present to the globe from this album. The fuzzy, muddy and harsh tone changed the whole phase of guitar playing. Many might not raise their hands to consensus that this was a right move in this album, but I will give this a definite and distinct praise. Lastly, my utmost favorite track is none other than the moody, silky song "Assassin". The more times I listened to it, the more I fell into the actual "situation" John pictured it to be in his lyrics. The metaphoric storyline makes you want to know what's next and makes you curios and want to stay until you see what happened in the end. The brilliant opening lyrics, invites you into the plot after the Japanese-like sound effect at the beginning.

Lyrics — 10
John Mayer has been known as a sought-after singer-songwriter muso for years to be recognized. This album is no exception. From lyrics that raised eyebrows on "Who Says", to the heart warming track "Edge Of Desire" that showed a lot of frustrations and simple solution to relationships. My favorite of all will still be "Assassin" as every word matches the song really well. If the music doesn't impress you with this album, his lyrics are still at the top notch. Really, really inspiring and true.

Overall Impression — 8
After the giant leap John Mayer had from "Heavier Things" to "Continuum". This fourth album marked a new status for modern music. He introduced a new kind of fuzzy guitar tone that made suitable for songs, and somewhat acceptable. He didn't only showed that these are the music our future generation might be hung up to, but also the reincarnation on 70's and 80's rock inspired tunes. The audacious attempt of Mayer's to try to experiment something organic and new is definitely what musician these days should take a bite at. As always, his albums are about a rejuvenation of new ideas and fresh new whims to allow the others to interpret and make it their own. John Mayer pointed out that this album is an "experimental, melodic album but not losing the trace of simplicity". At least, this dude still knows what he's doing. If Continuum deserves a 9/10, Battle Studies is definitely a 8/10. A must try. My personal countdown, enjoy: 01. Assassin 02. Crossroads 03. Perfectly Lonely 04. Edge Of Desire 05. Half Of my Heart 06. Who Says 07. Friends, Lovers or Nothing 08. War Of My Life 09. All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye 10. Do you Know Me 11. Heartbreak Warfare Cheers.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I love how the real listeners or real music show from this album. The people that just want pop.pop.pop.mainstream.pop don't like this album at all. But yet.. for the people that really listen.. Like! Listen to music.. really understand this album.. I Just Love it! Thank Goodness the people that don't really listen hate this album! I would rather have more people who appreciate listen than, have people with no clue listening to this album.
    But this album is pop pop mainstream pop... His first albums got no radio play over here (Ireland) and now this one is.
    You really have to quantify what "pop" means, because this album is "pop" but its at a completely different level anything that is out there in the so called pop mainstream. If your going to call it pop, atleast call it mature intelligent pop, otherwise just saying pop lumps it in with the Britney Spears, and Miley Cyrus of the world, and it definitely deserves more credit than that.
    defintely more pop. Not as good as continuum, but still pretty awesome. assassin is nothing short of awesome.
    I was excited to hear crossroads on the album. but after getting to hear it it sounds like crap. guitar sounds awful and compressed. but other than that great album. his studio albums are never as good as his live performances
    thought this album was pretty average, especially since continuum was so good. Too many over-done guitar solos over the record for my liking - just because we know he's a good guitarist doesn't mean he has to showcase it every song. As Kurt Kobain & Jack White have taught through-out their careers, sometimes less is more.
    I love it! Heartbreak warfare! I went to Amsterdam in the HMH, it was great! although he didn't play many Battle Studies.
    patience is must for listening to batlle studies. In the beginning i've heard heart break warfare i was convinced but after listening to all songs i felt this thing "coolest songs i've ever heard in my life". This is a great album for peaceful mind.I couldn't resist my ears to the album
    I haven't heard the entire album but I'm 100% sure that the album is a success. I love "who says" and "heartbreak warfare" if the rest of the album is like that, I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it. John Mayer is really good artist. I hope to be someday as good as he is. Keep on Jammin, Mr. Mayer. Peace.
    this is a brilliant album.ive yet to hear any john mayer music i dislike though.its less bluesy than continuum but its very easy listening.i love mayers music because every album sounds different. there is alot of amazing guitar playing on battle studies and some great guitar solos,especially on assassin and crossroads. ive been to two of the shows on the battle studies world tour and the songs sound excellent live
    I agree. It may take some time to get into the more subdued guitar presence, but then you realize that each song has quirks and complexities that make it good. Plus, in my opinion, pop music can be brilliant if handled in the right way.
    ravichandra927 wrote: patience is must for listening to batlle studies. In the beginning i've heard heart break warfare i was convinced but after listening to all songs i felt this thing "coolest songs i've ever heard in my life". This is a great album for peaceful mind.I couldn't resist my ears to the album
    This is one of the best albums to come out in the past twenty years, in my opinion. Truly great songwriting and his lyrics and guitar work rarely disappoint. And I don't really know much of his other stuff aside from the hits.