Sound — 6
John Mayer's sound in "The Search for Everything" is hard to define. From R&B influenced tracks like "Still Feel Like You're Man" and "Moving on and Getting Over" to songs with heavy country influence like "Roll It On Home" and "In the Blood" to ballads like "Changing" and "You're Going to Live Forever In Me", it's almost hard to keep up with Mayer. Recognized as a master guitarist by Eric Clapton, Mayer does not shy away from showing off his chops on both the acoustic and electric guitars in this album. His versatility as a musician is clearly on display all-throughout. Even his voice adapts from song to song. He goes from falsettos to raw country vocals. But perhaps Mayer's versatility is to his detriment with "The Search for Everything." Listening to the album from beginning to end can be an odd experience. In my opinion, John Mayer incorrectly organized his waves. "Rosie" should have been his single, not "Love on the Weekend". "Still Feel Like Your Man", "Helpless" and "Moving On and Getting Over" should have been one wave. "In the Blood", "Emoji of a Wave" and "Roll It On Home" should have been another. I have countless other ideas, however, it doesn't matter now. While many songs stand strong alone, they suffer when together - at least in my opinion.
Lyrics — 8
Again, when it comes to this album, John Mayer varies. I personally believe that "Believe" was one of his stronger pieces lyrically, but he did not venture anywhere near there with "The Search for Everything." While "In the Blood" is pretty strong, songs like "Still Feel Like Your Man" bring it down. It's a great track, but there's nothing too impressive lyrically. However, one thing that is impressive is Mayer's ability to pair lyrics with the right song and his ability to sing those lyrics with just the right tone of voice. This, in my opinion, is a big step up from "Paradise Valley" where I felt that songs such as "Who You Love" could have been much more than they were if the lyrics were better. I believe John Mayer did a solid job with this album.
Overall Impression — 8
Compared to John Mayer's "Continuum," "The Search for Everything" hardly stands on its feet, but when I consider the other songs that I (a teenage girl in the U.S.A.) am exposed to on a regular basis, I find the album to be a welcome change. John Mayer is a great inspiration to me not only when it comes to being a guitarist, but being an all-around musician. While I was disappointed by some of the tracks when the waves came out, these are my favorite tracks:
- "Emoji of a Wave": Like everyone else, I was afraid when I saw the name, but it has a great acoustic vibe and his vocals are impressive on this track.
- "Helpless": At first I was skeptical of this song, but then I listened to it more carefully. Between its heavy theme about alcoholism and the great guitar riffs, any listener can feel that the song meant a lot to Mayer.
- "In the Blood": Not much to say. I don't really like country, but this song struck a chord with me as I asked myself how much of my life is predetermined.
- "Moving On and Getting Over": I love the funky R&B elements of this song. It is the first I wanted to learn from the album. I'm working on it now and it is a lot of fun.
- "You're Gonna Live Forever In Me": A nice ballad to close out the album. I am a big fan of this track.
Now, I am just going to say it. "Theme from 'The Search for Everything'" is so off putting. I'm listening to the album and out of nowhere I hear subtle "Ahs" in backing up a light track that seems awkward in between "Changing" and "Moving On and Getting Over." I do like this album though. I can't wait to see Mayer in August.