Friday, December 4, 2009

Battle Studies Indeed

My first blog post ever will be to review John Mayer's latest album Battle Studies (released Nov 17, 2009). So lets start with when I heard the first single "Who Says." When I heard the first 3 seconds I thought I was listening to "Stop This Train" from his previous album Continuum, not only is the guitar in this song incredibly simple for Mr. Mayer but they lyrics are also very simplistic (and shallow). "I don't remember you looking any better, but then again I don't remember you." "Who says I can't get stoned...who says I can't fake love for an hour or so." It's like he's saying "It's ok that I party and sleep around in the Hollywood spotlight because I wrote a soft acoustic song about it!" I can't say I was excited to hear the rest of the album after hearing this song.

But of course being the loyal Mayer fan I am I purchased the album on iTunes the day it came out. 1st track: "Heartbreak Warfare" My first thought was that it sounded a little "poppy" for his recent stuff since he's successfully established himself as a great blues guitarist. The lyrics are definitely better than his single but overall the song bores me.

His duet with Taylor Swift "Half of my Heart" not surprisingly sounds country, however Taylor isn't heard much throughout the song. My opinion, if you're going to duet with someone as huge as she is right now go all out with it, don't just leave her in the chorus harmonizing. "Assassin" musically I find this song interesting. lyrically not so much. It sounds like he got stoned and wrote a song about the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith. "Crossroads" is a step forward for the album, it sounds more blusey than anything else however it is a very short song, and I felt like I had been deprived when it was over.

Overall I was disappointed by the album, I feel like it was a step back musically and lyrically. Since I first listened to it it has grown on me a bit, I only listen to it as background music though, it doesn't inspire me or make me want more. If anything I wanted less Battle Studies and more Continuum.


  1. Agree 100%. Battle Studies feels like a step backwards for John. He went from awe inspiring guitar work and passionate lyrics to poppy meaningless drival. I don't feel like he put any real effort into this album. "Assassin" gave me hope, but then it let me down as soon as it hit the chorus.

    I try not to compare it Continuum, but six or seven songs into it, I can't help but find myself wanting Continuum (or even Heavier Things for that matter...).

  2. Haven't listened to Mr. Mayer in a long, long time. Sorry to read he's apparently watering down his own music. Hmm.