John Mayer, I. Still. Can’t. Seem. To. Get. You. Off. My. Mind.
By Olivia Levesque, Arts and Culture Editor
The Internet has been graced with the newest release from John Mayer as wave one of The Search For Everything made its debut on January 20th on most respectable streaming devices. In this day and age, we have music at our very fingertips, which means artists have the responsibility of keeping things interesting. Album releases have become more and more creative over the last decade, from the cinematic drop of Beyonce’s Lemonade (not to mention its self-titled predecessor of 2013). Artists are keeping us on our toes. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Mayer discussed breaking away from the traditional album release scheme and trying out an unconventional approach, citing artists like Drake and Rihanna as inspiration for the idea.
Drawing from other artists is always a good tactic for inspiration, but Mayer shared with fans that he was most interested in doing something further out of his comfort zone – something he’s never done before. Thus the came the wave format. Mayer announced the release date for The Search for Everything, and explained some of the ideas behind releasing in waves rather than a conventional album.
Over a live Facebook video chat, Mayer shared with fans that he has created far too much music, covering at way too large of a range for a conventional album, explaining that 2017 would be “a year of more music coming than [he’s] ever put out in one year.” He also describes that his own universe of songwriting hasn’t changed much, but shared that the new music is “sort of like a mix tape” comprised of all the styles that inspire him. Some are skeptical of not having a full album to listen to right off the bat and of the limits of only listening digitally. As of last week, however, anyone who purchases tickets to The Search for Everything World Tour will receive a physical copy of the full album.
The title The Search For Everything started off as poem for Mayer, which serves as a metaphor for his entire career and the way that his mind works as an artist. He describes it as being the true nature of the record, embodying many concepts and discoveries both in writing and in music.
The first wave consists of four songs, including the single “Love On The Weekend” which dropped back in November 2016. In the same interview with Rolling Stone, Mayer shared the level of lyrical intensity in his new music: “I want to leave the Earth as a writer,” he explains. “I wasn’t interested in doing anything I’ve done before, and I wanted to stoke the fire of abstraction and just start punching hard”.
The first track of wave one is called “Moving On and Getting Over”. It has an irresistible groove and a certain jolt to it with some thematic halting breaks throughout the song. The verse, “I still can’t seem to get you off my mind,” is punctuated at each word, which gives it a pretty unique vibe.
The next track, entitled “Changing”, feels pretty simple and melodic, but has a whole lot of heart. The line, “I may be old and I may be young, but I am not done changing” feels so relatable and also embodies John Mayer fully as an artist and a person (is it just me or does he seem perpetually like, 28?). The last track of the quad is called “You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me”, and it feels like the most raw thing Mayer has ever produced. It’s a heart wrenching kind of lost love tune, and is so beautifully written that it sounds like a score for a movie with the immense amount of story telling it does. This song for sure covers that lyrical hope Mayer was anticipating to capture with this new project.
The next waves are highly anticipated, as the first wave hit the top of charts within a day of its release. I think it’s safe to say that it’s been a long wait since 2013 and the release of Paradise Valley. Happy to have you back, John.