Review: ‘Continuum’ , John Mayer

Evolution on Contiuum

Amy Scoma, Writer

“I’ll make the most of all the sadness,” a lyric from “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room,” is exactly what John Mayer has done with Continuum. With this album, Mayer has taken his musical prowess to new heights. Continuum mixes the soft, sultry beats found in an Atlanta jazz club with the familiarity of the voice that brought us “No Such Thing.”

His current single, “Waiting for the World to Change,” is Mayer’s reminder that one day, his generation will be in power and the world will improve. This song is politically tame compared to “Belief,” in which he sings, “What puts a hundred thousand children in the sand? / Belief can. Belief can. / What puts the folded flag inside his mother’s hand? / Belief can. Belief can.” In an interview with the Associated Press, Mayer said of “Belief,” “I’ve never finessed the lyric in a song more.”

Mayer’s lyrics are simple and heart wrenching. “Pain throws your heart to the ground/Love turns the whole thing around/No, it won’t all go the way it should/But I know the heart of life is good” uplifts the listener in “The Heart of Life.” This melodic piece acts like a friend reminding you that everything will be okay.

Continuum is themed around what may be a hurtful breakup in Mayer’s own personal life. The last three songs of this album exhibit a post-breakup demeanor just by their titles: “Dreaming With a Broken Heart,” “In Repair,” and “I’m Gonna Find Another You.” For anyone who has been through a breakup recently, this is the album for you. In spite of all his sadness, Mayer reminds us that he’s “Bold as Love.”

I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite track off Continuum, although it has been continually playing on my iPod. In “Dreaming with a Broken Heart,” Mayer asks, “Do I have to fall asleep with roses in my hand? / Would you get them if I did? / No, you won’t / Because you’re gone, gone, gone, gone, gone.” These lyrics and Mayer’s haunting voice make your heart physically ache in recognition of his pain.

After you’ve listened to the album several times, Mayer’s loss becomes your gain. You gain a friend in John Mayer and an ally in Continuum. The album acts as a mirror for the listener; you get to see your own growth charted within steamy, gritty guitar solos and lyrics that show amazing clarity of thought.

Mayer humbly lets us into his world; he sings, “I’m in repair / I’m not together but I’m getting there.” John Mayer isn’t who we want him to be anymore, he’s better – he’s finally himself on Continuum.