If you’re not a major Mayer fan, you may not have noticed that his input on the music market has been pretty minimal for a couple of years. Apart from touring with Dead & Company, he’s spent most of his time hiding in the studio working harder and longer than before on his greatly anticipated album The Search for Everything. Before realising the album in it’s entirety just last week, Mayer released two untitled ‘waves’, each consisting of four songs, over a two-month period. Whether it was a narcissistic marketing strategy for his own satisfaction, or a test of investment for his fans, the so-called ‘waves’ worked. He had the full attention of fans from the moment he teased an upcoming album through a slightly off-putting portrait on his Instagram.
Still, don’t let his somewhat odd album cover put you off (I initially thought it was all a bit of a joke), the whole album is a break-up album unlike any of Mayer’s previous ones. Differing from the adorning ‘Your Body is a Wonderland’ and ‘Something like Olivia’, the songs on this album focus more on himself. Mayer portrays himself as a broken-hearted man who – pretty well known as a womaniser – is unable to come to terms and accept that it is all really over. It’s a little sad to think about, when at the same time Katy Perry was swiftly paddle-boarding along with everybody’s favourite elf.
The songs on this album focus more on himself
Two years in the making with lyrical genius and offbeat melodies, I’ve listened to The Search for Everything too many times. His first single ‘Love on the Weekend’ was upbeat and created the suspicion that the others were going to be just the same, but the newest editions such as ‘In the Blood’ and ‘Never On The Day You Leave’ prove differently. Favoured by a few, ‘In the Blood’ fails, for me, to have the same affect as the others have. The lyrics that concentrate on not letting your family mistakes shape who you are undoubtedly relatable for anybody, but the repetitiveness and dull chorus makes it the one track I’m happy to skip.
Still focused on the struggle of the break-up, Mayer manages to create a subtle image of a drunk unable to carry on with everyday life, with lines like “The same drink that gets me out the door/Is the same drink that puts me on the floor”, you can’t help but feel sorry for him. Yet, it his sadness, as is with any artist, that has allowed for the creation of an album that will be remembered for its diverse and clever musical compositions, just as he wanted. In an interview with Rolling Stone, not long after his first release Mayer pointed out: “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.”
His recent break-up isn’t going to be as easy to replace as the others
Most break-up albums focus on moving on, either through hatred for the other or the realisation that it’s time to get up and go on. Mayer on the other hand chooses to avoid that clique and rounds his album up full circle, showing no signs of ‘Moving On and Getting Over’. Starting with ‘Still Feel Like Your Man’ and ending with the slower ‘You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me’, the album’s crafty track placement makes it clear that, amongst the drinking, and long days in the studio, his recent break-up isn’t going to be as easy to replace as the others. All I can say is I hope he finds love one day, mainly for the selfish reason that it’ll make for one unforgettable album.