These days, John Mayer is popular just for being popular.
He’s everywhere. The media closely watches the details of his relationships, life and music career, and his online presence is phenomenal – he has over 2.6 million followers on his twitter feed. He gives the media something to be interested in, and there’s so much to like about this snarky, enigmatic, anti-hipster.
And it’s at a time like this when he’s at the peak of his popularity that he releases his fourth studio album, Battle Studies.
The album has a total of 11 tracks, with one bonus track if you pre-order it from the iTunes store. With track titles like “Heartbreak Warfare”, “All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye”, “Perfectly Lonely”, “Friends, Lovers Or Nothing”, Battle Studies seems to take a more reflective tone as compared to his last album, Continuum.
While Continuum contained themes about war and politics and is said to be the album that helped to establish John Mayer as one of the guitar greats of this generation, Battle Studies is, in a nutshell, a melancholic chronicle of relationships past and heartbreaks.
Not that John Mayer has lost his touch, because Battle Studies contains gems like his remake of “Crossroads” (originally by Robert Johnson), a fast and catchy melodious work of his guitar, and “Perfectly Lonely”, featuring a long guitar solo at the beginning that seems to really hit the spot with heartbroken souls everywhere.
Other tracks like “Do You Know Me?” don’t quite do justice to John Mayer’s portfolio of deep and emotive songs. The song is decent, but isn’t memorable or quotable.
However, the single, “Who Says”, manages to be a huge hit with his fans. With lyrics like “Who says I can’t get stoned” and “I don’t remember you looking any better, then again I don’t remember you”, John Mayer seems to channel a modern day Holden Caulfield, the rebellious teenager from JD Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. The music video is set in New York City at night, and the scenes are of him carelessly living his life as if it were a party.
Battle Studies may not be John Mayer’s best work, but it’s packed with tiny anecdotes in every song, revealing a very boyish and emotional-at-heart John Mayer, but hey – he’s still brilliant at making music.
Title: Battle Studies
Artiste: John Mayer
Record Label: Columbia
Release Date: Nov 17
All songs written by John Mayer, except “Crossroads” by Robert Johnson and “I’m on Fire” by Bruce Springsteen.
1. Heartbreak Warfare
2. All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye
3. Half of My Heart (feat. Taylor Swift)
4. Who Says
5. Perfectly Lonely (feat. Taylor Swift)
7. Crossroads (Robert Johnson cover inspired by Cream)
8. War of My Life
9. Edge of Desire
10. Do You Know Me
11. Friends, Lovers or Nothing
iTunes pre-order edition
12. I’m on Fire (Bruce Springsteen cover)