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Continuum [Revised]

( 32 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
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...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
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.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/8/2008
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 886972797625
  • Catalog Number: 727976
  • Sales rank: 9,444

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
Greg Calbi Mastering
Joe Ferla Engineer
Jimi Hendrix Composer
Ted Jensen Mastering
Nathaniel Kunkel Digital Editing
Dave O'Donnell Engineer
Pino Palladino Composer, Vocal Group
Lester Snell Horn Arrangements
John Alagia Engineer
Art Smith Drum Technician
Jeri Heiden Art Direction
Martin Pradler Digital Editing
Steve Jordan Composer, Producer, Vocal Group
John Mayer Composer
Brian Montgomery Digital Editing
Chad Franscoviak Engineer
Peter Doris Digital Editing
Glen Nakasako Art Direction
Kristen Moss Vocal Group
Bryan Pugh Digital Editing
Angie Teo Digital Editing
Scotty Crowe Vocal Group
Ricky Cytonbaum Vocal Group
Harley Pasternak Vocal Group
Maggie Slavonic Vocal Group
Sandy Vongdasy Vocal Group
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(19)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Loved it, especially daughter

    Great, love John Mayer, I really don't think he can put out any bad music

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 14, 2011

    GREAT!

    JUST BOUGHT THIS AT KMART.GLAD I DID.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Love this CD...bought another for my Mother..now every member of my family has one.

    One of John Mayer's best CDs...even my five year old niece loves it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Overall, good CD.

    Overall, good CD.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    not the best

    this CD is not as good as the previous one. Mayer's songs in this one lack thought in the words (repeats same words A LOT) in my opinion.
    The person receiving this gift thought so as well. We could not return because it had been opened.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Who's He Kidding?!

    Did you ever ask yourself, who is John Mayer and how did he ever develop such a distinguished reputation as an accomplished musician- singer - songwriter? Certainly, it's a puzzle to me. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, since the release of "Room For Squares" he has somehow become the new reigning czar of musical integrity- ostensibly able to bridge different musical idioms and periods- hmmm able to leap tall buildings . . . Oh well, I just don't get it.

    Case in point, on Continuum, with the production primarily in his own hands (as opposed to "Room For Squares" which was the handiwork of producer John Alagia), Mayer exposes himself for what he really is- nothing more than a very average performer. It may fool some, but it doesn't move me. Most of it is blasé, ordinary and- most important- not very inventive. Indeed, with the exception perhaps of a few of the selections (and I am stretching the point)) - such as "Belief" with a bit of a haunting guitar riff, "Stop This Train," a sentimental ballad bathed in a simple but pleasant acoustic arrangement, or "Vultures" which holds the listener with a steady rhythm (but also features Mayer's embarrassing falsetto voice on the chorus- like a poor man's Boz Scaggs)-there is very little that is enlivening here. The rest unfortunately is mere mimicry.

    In fact, the greater problem is that this CD is a simply a poor attempt at blues and R & B. Mayer fancies himself a blues stylist, but in fact, his playing falls short of the mark. It's not that Mayer can't do the blues. He's just not very good at it. What's more, lacking any originality, he has resorted to aping the work of those performers who do (and have done) it well. For instance, on selections such as "Waiting on the World" and "I Don't Trust Myself," the writing and production are in reality a shameless copy of the Marvin Gaye sound- minus, of course, that great singer's penetrating interpretation. Likewise, listen to the Percy Sledge-like imitation on "Gravity" and that of Otis Redding on "I'm Gonna Find Another You." Beyond these outright thefts and the lifeless character of the compositions, Mayer is also incapable of generating any authentic passion. The result is that he's not playing the blues; he's simply "playing at it."

    The unavoidable reality is that John Mayer is really just another folk-pop, mainstream performer, and his music is only listenable when it has been placed within an appealing arrangement, accented with the clever variations that only the hand of a capable producer can provide. Those resulting nuances and infectious accents then make his sound entertaining and help to distinguish him from the other MOR "artists" who tend to bombard our air waves with their monotony. While that still is not saying much, at least it defines his contribution to the music scene. When Mayer ventures beyond this niche, however, he stumbles horribly and at best is a merely an imposter.

    Therefore, Contiuum deserves to be hoisted into a bargain bin.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    "Continuum" is awesome!!!!!

    This is the total package when it comes to great music. I love listening to the album. This cd is best of all John Mayers past albums,in my opinion. There is not one song I do not like. It is totally worth it. I truly adore this record. :)

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Jason Mraz continues to deliver

    Continuum is a terrific CD, very enjoyable!

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    Posted September 3, 2010

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    Posted August 22, 2009

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    Posted October 18, 2008

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    Posted November 1, 2008

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    Posted January 21, 2009

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    Posted May 27, 2009

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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    Posted March 27, 2011

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    Posted January 20, 2009

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    Posted November 29, 2008

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    Posted October 28, 2009

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews