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Continuum [Revised]
     

Continuum [Revised]

4.3 32
by John Mayer
 

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Anybody who was initially confused by singer/songwriter John Mayer's foray into blues with 2005's Try! John Mayer Trio Live in Concert could only have been further confounded upon listening to the album and coming to the realization that it was actually good. And not just kinda good, especially for guy who had been largely labeled as a See more details below

Overview

Anybody who was initially confused by singer/songwriter John Mayer's foray into blues with 2005's Try! John Mayer Trio Live in Concert could only have been further confounded upon listening to the album and coming to the realization that it was actually good. And not just kinda good, especially for guy who had been largely labeled as a Dave Matthews clone, but really, truthfully, organically good as a blues album in its own right. However, for longtime fans who had been keeping tabs on Mayer, the turn might not have been so unexpected. Soon after the release of his 2003 sophomore album, the laid-back, assuredly melodic Heavier Things, Mayer began appearing on albums by such iconic blues and jazz artists as Buddy Guy, B.B. King, and Herbie Hancock. And not just singing, but playing guitar next to musicians legendary on the instrument. In short, he was seeking out these artists in an attempt to delve into the roots of the blues, a music he obviously has a deep affection for. Rather than his blues trio being a one-off side project completely disconnected to his past work, it is clear now that it was the next step in his musical development. And truthfully, while Try! certainly showcases Mayer's deft improvisational blues chops, it's more of a blues/soul album in the tradition of such electric blues legends as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and features songs by Mayer that perfectly marry his melodic songcraft and his blues-slinger inclinations. In fact, what seemed at the time a nod to his largely female fan base (the inclusion of "Daughters" and "Something's Missing" off Heavier Things) was actually a hint that he was bridging his sound for his listeners, showing them where he was going. That said, nothing he did up until the excellent, expansive Try! could have prepared you for the monumental creative leap forward that is Mayer's 2006 studio effort, Continuum. Working with his blues trio
hythm section of bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Steve Jordan, along with guest spots by trumpeter Roy Hargrove and guitarist Ben Harper, Mayer brings all of his recent musical explorations and increasing talents as a singer/songwriter to bear on Continuum. Produced solely by Mayer and Jordan, the album is a devastatingly accomplished, fully realized effort that in every way exceeds expectations and positions Mayer as one of the most relevant artists of his generation. Adding weight to the notion that Mayer's blues trio is more than just a creative indulgence, he has carried over two tracks from the live album in "Vultures" and the deeply metaphorical soul ballad "Gravity." These are gut-wrenchingly poignant songs that give voice to a generation of kids raised on TRL teen stars and CNN soundbites who've found themselves all grown up and fighting a war of "beliefs." Grappling with a handful of topics -- social and political, romantic and sexual, pointedly personal and yet always universal in scope -- Mayer's Continuum here earns a legitimate comparison to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. Nobody -- not a single one of Mayer's contemporaries -- has come up with anything resembling a worthwhile antiwar anthem that is as good and speaks for their generation as much as his "Waiting on the World to Change" -- and he goes and hangs the whole album on it as the first single. It's a bold statement of purpose that is carried throughout the album, not just in sentiment, but also tone. Continuum is a gorgeously produced, brilliantly stripped-to-basics album that incorporates blues, soft funk, R&B, folk, and pop in a sound that is totally owned by Mayer. It's no stretch when trying to describe the sound of Continuum to color it in the light of work by such legends as Sting, Eric Clapton, Sade, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Steve Winwood. In fact, the sustained adult contemporary tone of the album could easily have become turgid, boring, or dated but never does, and brings to mind such classic late-'80s albums as Sting's Nothing Like the Sun, Clapton's Journeyman, and Vaughan's In Step. At every turn, Continuum finds Mayer to be a mature, thoughtful, and gifted musician who fully grasps his place not just in the record industry, but in life. [Columbia's "revised" edition was issued in 2008.]

Product Details

Release Date:
04/22/2008
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0886972797618
catalogNumber:
727976
Rank:
2098

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Mayer   Primary Artist
Larry Goldings   Organ,Keyboards
Roy Hargrove   Horn
Ricky Peterson   Piano,Keyboards
Willie Mitchell   Horn Engineer
Manolo Badrena   Percussion
Jack Hale   Trombone
Jamie Muhoberac   Keyboards
Pino Palladino   Bass
Lester Snell   Organ,fender rhodes
Willie Weeks   Bass
Lannie McMIllian   Tenor Saxophone
Steve Jordan   Percussion,Drums
Ben Carley   Trumpet
Jim Mahorn   Baritone Saxophone

Technical Credits

Willie Mitchell   Horn Arrangements,Vocal Engineer
Joe Ferla   Engineer
Jimi Hendrix   Composer
Dave O'Donnell   Engineer
Pino Palladino   Composer,Vocal Group
Lester Snell   Horn Arrangements
John Alagia   Engineer
Art Smith   Drum Technician
Jeri Heiden   Art Direction
Steve Jordan   Composer,Producer,Vocal Group
John Mayer   Composer
Chad Franscoviak   Engineer
Glen Nakasako   Art Direction
Kristen Moss   Vocal Group
Scotty Crowe   Vocal Group
Ricky Cytonbaum   Vocal Group
Harley Pasternak   Vocal Group
Maggie Slavonic   Vocal Group
Sandy Vongdasy   Vocal Group

Customer Reviews

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Continuum 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
He's not just a great writer or artist in these times of thin, worthless attempts at music, he is an abberation no matter what time frame you put him in, period. John Mayer stands along as one of the best songwriters I've heard since Stevie Wonder. Yeah, I said it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
John Mayer is a songwriting and musician virtuoso. From his early work to recent outings, he captures the true essence of what music is and should do for its listeners: to take them away and make them feel through lyrics and music things perhaps they had never felt before....and love it! Continuum is certainly a step up however from his other 2 studio albums in both quality and style. Every track from this album takes me away to feel empowered, comtemplative, and just plain good having listened to them. Definately a classic. If you don't have it, GET IT!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, it never seems to fail. A pop super-star moves a little away from his niche, and he's hailed as a genius- an artist who is displaying growth. In this case, rather than directing his wares at his usual teen-age female audience, John Mayer is attempting to "stretch out." He has composed songs with lyrics that are not entirely personal in character, and he has eschewed pop for blues and R & B. Sorry to say, however, that effort alone does not produce a good album. Indeed, I now am convinced that the passing elements of sophistication heard in "Room for Squares" were very much, as I suspected, the handiwork of the producer John Alagia. Without that production and the technique of a seasoned pro in the studio- no matter what the choice of material- Mayer is the same self-absorbed, mediocre musician-singer-songwriter that I suspected he was. Having said that, the main problem with this CD is actually not so much in the production, but that it isn't nearly authentic. Our guitar-player, singer super-star has often admitted that he is enchanted by blues and R & B. Unfortunately, he's no better than average at it. Indeed, if you're a fan of that music at all, you won't put up with this insincere flailing for more than a few minutes. Clearly out of his element, in place of originality he has resorted to aping the sound of those who do (or in this case, did) it so well. Therefore, on selections such as "Waiting For the World," for instance, he is the new Marvin Gay, the same for "I Don't Trust Myself"- (where the production, incidentally, is also almost entirely a theft from Boz Scagg's album "Dig." Oh- the humanity!) Listen as well to the Percy Sledge-like "Gravity" or the Otis Redding copy on "I'm Gonna Find Another You." Soulful? Not really. Without any evidence of passion, it's merely inept imitation. As a result, Mayer's not playing the blues, he's "playing at it." To make matters worse, as pretenders like this are wont to do, he tries to do a cover of Hendrix material. Since it's not Hendrix, it's just not going to come off. It never does. In this case, though, the effort is handicapped even more by the fact that Mayer is neither an innovative nor accomplished guitar player, making "Bold As Love" an embarrassment. The fact of the matter is that John Mayer is at his best when he is doing mainstream pop, listenable numbers that include festive and clever variations mixed in by a capable producer. For that matter, Continuum is not a total waste. There is something to be said for "Belief," with its haunting guitar riff, "Vultures" that features a steady driving rhythm, and "Stop this Train" which, while simple in structure, still makes an enjoyably tender statement. But even those numbers lack the little nuances and accented infectious hooks that have distinguished Mayer from the average MOR performer in the past. Indeed, without those bits of spice that have characterized his previous releases, even Mayer doing Mayer isn't quite enough. Overall, then, Continuum is mostly not really worth your time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw John Mayer in concert on DirecTV and I had to order the CD immediately. Once I heard it, I ordered all of his CDs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a John Mayer fan since the early days....I mean I have his very first release "Inside Wants Out". I will admit after the aweful cd that was "Heavier Things" I was in no way going to buy this disk. But alas I did. And I was suprised...I actually like this disk. It has depth! And soul! And blues! It is what a great disk should be! I am so pleased that after the release of his trio's disk he didn't revert back to his pop-hit radio friendly crap! While this disk may not be the best for those who didn't enjoy his trio or for those who loved his super-pop, this is a disk that those with diverse taste will enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mayer has evolved and changed his top 40's style. The songwriting is moving and deep, the music is tight and correctly in the groove. The melodies are haunting. It's bluesy, Claptonesque, very cool. Grammy material.
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Mayer discovers a newer cooler sound with his new album. He brings a more blus feel with songs like Vultures and Gravity. He also has the clossest thing to a Lennon song in a while with Waiting On The World To Change....but also turns to acoustic with Stop This Train. Then he rocks out Jimi Hendirx's Bold As Love...all the tracks are very strong.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is AWESOME! I bought it, knowing a few of the songs, but really just thinking it would only have a handful of songs that I would like. It totally exceeded my expectations and is now one of the favorite CD's that I own! My favorite songs are "The Heart of Life" for the message, "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" for the amazing, descriptive lyrics, "I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)" for the guitar....I could go on and on! This whole album is so smokey and sexy and mind blowing! I would reccomend this to anyone who wants to hear John Mayer at his best!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really really want to like John Mayer, I really do. I thought most of his stuff from the first two albums was ok, but what kept me from writing him off was the fact that I knew he was capable of rock and roll greatness. I would read quotes from him saying things like, "I really got into music after listening to Stevie Ray Vaughn. He made me want to play guitar." and I would think, hmmmm... ok, so why do you keep offering the same lite-rock pablum. Then I would hear him say, "I am proud of my previous songs (ie. Daughters), but I dont think I will ever write songs like them again." and I start to think, well, perhaps he is going to go in a new direction... this could be good. THEN he releases "TRY!", a record that was really good. Like four stars good, and I am starting to think this could be the beginging of the transformation into the "New and Improved J.M." that I had been hearing about and was waiting for. Then he releases "Continuum." Now, dont get me wrong, this isnt a bad record. Most of his contemporaries would be hard pressed to put out an album this focused, polished, competently written and pleasing. But I was left disappointed once again because I, personally, felt that he was playing it safe. Where is the edge to this album John? The only track that even comes close was written by Jimi Hendrix! Instead we get a bunch of tracks that I felt would be best at home on a light rock station (and a few that could almost rub up against lite-jazz, yuck!). Again, this a personal review, and I dont want to discount the level of craftsmanship put into this album. If you liked "Heavier Things" you will most likely love this album, but if you were looking for a J.M. album that expands on and bulks up his stuff with the Trio, you will probably be disappointed. 2 1/2 stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Comparing to his previous albums, this one is the best. This album is a very mature work of his covering not just the topic of love and broken heart but also the current issues that are going on around us. All of the songs are very easy for the ear and it's a pleasure listening to them. After one time the melodies stick with you so you can catch yourself humming them :) The best songs of the album are: "I don't trust myself (with loving you)" and "Vultures". "Stop this train" is a very personal song which can make you feel like John is sharing his very personal thoughts in a conversation with you. The only song that stands out from the rest is "Bold as love" and it's because it's a remake of Jimmy Hendrix's hit. Overall it's a very well musically and melodically created album that won't disappoint the faithful fans and even the ones who are just discovering John's music. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Mayer has created a record to top all records with 'Continuum'. Unlike past albums where John Mayer sings of a new love, Mayer mourns the loss of a lover on this album with songs such as 'In Repair' and the beautifully written and sounding 'Slow Dancing in a Burning Room'. He also shows the activist in him with 'Waiting on the World to Change'. A stunning cd, good to relax and wind down with. "and definitely amazing to see these songs performed live"
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved john mayer's cd continuum. I am a big fan of his and own all of his cd's. This cd from him is a master piece and I love every song on this cd. If you like john mayer or have heard "Waiting On the World to change" you'll love this cd!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a party, dance style album, buy Fergie's album. If you are looking for the best songs put together by a song writer in the class of Sting, Clapton, U2, etc....then get Continuum. It's simply outstanding, and it's one of those albums that sounds good the 1st time and by about the 6th time, it's the greatest thing you've ever heard in your life. Well worth the $$$.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've heard John Mayer on the radio, but was never a big fan of his. My friend let me borrow her cd and told me to give it a try. I was absolutely blown away by the lyrics and overall sound of the cd. Every song makes you think, reflect and relax. I can't decide which song is my favorite because there are so many great choices. This is truly a rare find and I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished listening to John Continuum's "That real" with feelings, emotions and heart that he so melodious with his expression of his passion that delivered in his music. This is one I Highly recommend to everyone. The cat is smooth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not fully ready to say this is the best album I've heard that has come out in my lifetime (past 25 years), but it is dangerously close. Perhaps a few more listens and it will be there. It's pretty simple, this is an album that deserves to be seen as a classic right now. It will be remembered and referenced for many years in the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always been a john mayer fan. But this Cd is just perfect, every song is likable and gets suck in you head. I have to hand it to him he really improved his sound and hands down the best cd yet....hope there is more to come!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is great but not a suprise from Mr. John Mayer. He has just enough rock, soul, and blues to interest all types of music lovers. ROCK ON JOHN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just bought JM's "Continuum" this afternoon and I love it. This album has a very mature sound to it and the guitar work is superb. This is arguably one of John Mayer's best albums. There is a mix of blues-rock and simple alternative melodies and all are good. I really don't think there is anyway to show up this album's simplicity and that's what makes it so good. "Waiting for the World to Change," "Gravity," "Vultures," and the Jimi Hendrix cover "Bold as Love" are my favorites. A must have album for any music fan!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Forget all the guitar playing. He needs to come up with great lyrics and songs. That's what made him famous. I don't find anything magic about an artist thinking he's as innovative as Hendrix.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I seriously can't stop listening to this CD. It's so multi-faceted, it fits every possible mood you could be in.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An truely great album that will never go stale. Everything about it is just incredible. It is definatly a MUST buy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of JM for forever and I absolutly LOVE this. It's more bluesy but amazing. 5 stars and more if i could =)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
John Mayer is definitely one my favorite singer/song writers. John has really matured from his last two albums (which were also fantastic).
Some of Mayer's greatest works are on this album. For example "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room", "Gravity" and "Dreaming With a Broken Heart".
Not only is he a phenomenal singer and song writer, he an incredible guitarist. If you are on a long car ride or just relaxing and looking for something to listen to, Contiuum is perfect. Especially with the live versions of his more popular songs with all of his guitar solos.
If you love blues/jazz you will love this album and if you don't? You will start to like blues/jazz music!
The greatness of this album really cannot be explained in words.
This is one purchase you will not regret.