Review: The Search for Everything by John Mayer

The Search for Everything by John MayerPerhaps, perhaps, we’re being too hard on John Mayer. Perhaps we all need to remind ourselves that, ultimately, John really does what he feels like doing, which explains his many diversions over his career – although those diversions appealed to the beard-stroking music geek in all of us, never mind whether his excursions towards all-out blues or three-quarters-hearted Americana were successful or not. That perhaps also explains the curious decision to release his latest album, The Search for Everything, in three sets of four. After the first two thirds of the album were dropped in the past couple of months, sparking glee among his not-quite-dormant fans, we have the full album, and, well, it does prove that he does what he wants to do. Unfortunately, that decision to release the album in batches has dulled the whole thing’s impact. Sure, it’s not really a remarkable album – those beard-strokers will see this as a return to bland territory, or blander territory, with actual orchestral flourishes – but knowing that already means listening is not as fun. That, and I have found that listening to John’s albums the first time can be rewarding in its own way. At least he shuffled the album around: “Moving On and Getting On” remains as sublime whether it’s the eighth track in the whole record or it’s the first track in that first tranche of releases. [NB]3/5

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