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.