first off, i recently watched “Crazy Heart”, so i can’t help but feel like i’m hearing a bit of jeff bridges in mayer’s voice at times - which i’m really digging. (the control in his voice in “speak for me” and “if i ever get around to living” is especially impressive)
mayer keeps changing his style around (because he can), and even if it’s not as “exciting” i’m really appreciating all the subtleties of this album, musically - and plus, i’m a sucker for that folky/southern music from time to time. in many ways, it’s my heart music.
his lyrics have always been good but this album has some really good stuff that can only come from having lived a little bit of life. i can definitely feel the sense of the dust having settled from some really rocky times, and that he writing w/ humility, calmness, disappointment, and even a little bit of humor.
some of my favorite lyrical moments:
“you can tell that something isn’t right when all your heroes are in black and white”
“i can’t retrace how i got here, i cheat the light to check my face”
“so line up and take your place, and show your face to the morning, cause one of these days you’ll be born and raised, and it all comes without warning”
“there’s no time that you must be home, so sleep where darkness falls”
“i’ll take the end of every day, tie it up to every morning, and sail away”
production is not fancy but SO warm and comfortable to listen to. they got some really great sounds, and i especially love the way the acoustic sounds on this album. just enough “room” and still intimate (as are the drums).
i love the length of these songs as well. the structure of the songs, lyrics, verses, and instrumental sections all seem to play a very intentional part, and when it doesn’t lend to the story - it simply is not included. (love that bridge in “a face to call home”)
“whiskey whiskey whiskey” is a sobered up version of “who says” (from ‘battle studies’), and it seems to mark yet another time where he’s hitting that same wall - but now he’s feeling the weight and consequences of it, whereas “who says” is careless. it’s good to hear the contrast between these two songs.
i’ve always had a soft-spot for mayer despite things he’s done and what’s been said about him. at least he knows that it’s his own “stupid mouth” that gets him into trouble.