Tuesday, January 5, 2010

John Mayer Bradley Center Show | Battle Studies Review

Despite his heavy rotation in the tabloids and his undeniably aloof and sometimes abrasive attitude when interacting with interviewers, John Mayer is truly a musician at heart. The John Mayer Bradley Center show is March 1, 2010. In his fourth studio release Battle Studies, he takes a big step outside of his stylistic boundaries set by previous albums and hit singles to write an album with a fresher focus. Battle Studies appears to be Mayer’s musical expansion and exploration as he starts to investigate the moody domain of acts such as Coldplay and Keane while still paying homage to classic guitarists including Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn and George Harrison.

This new album is a great showcasing of Mayer’s chops and his real guitar wizardry. The opening track “Heartbreak Warfare” foreshadows the theme of the album, discussing the struggles of love lost. On the track "Half of My Heart," with Taylor Swift, Mayer plays the dude who kisses, pun intended, half-heartedly with one eye open, scanning for his next acquisition. The first single “Who Says” is an ode to dope-smoking escapism with a folk-pop groove.

After listening to the entire album, it’s easy to find the parallels between Battle Studies and third studio release Continuum but despite the few similarities, they are two very separate bodies of work. While Continuum was chock full of classic Mayer hits and had a more intense and progressive feel, Battle Studies feels like each track is almost floating in a new plane and atmosphere of John Mayer. Battle Studies is an exciting and strong album with a great new collection of sounds and styles for Mayer fans, including a few singles that will certainly make way to the radio waves.