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Have you heard John Mayer's Battle Studies yet?
Old 11th November 2009
  #31
Gear Maniac
 

John Mayer records are always something I look forward to. Whenever ugly people make music, it's always better then pretty people making music. And John Mayer is semi ugly, so I'm hoping for another great record.
Old 11th November 2009
  #32
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Pretty unimpressed. Very mellow, standard pop drivel for the most part. Don't like his choice of gtr FX at times. That said, there are a few gems on there as well as some very catchy tunes which is he good at writing. I have spun it about 3 times thus far and need to spin it a few more times to form my overall opinion but so far I like it about as much as the last one which is to say it's just OK. IMHO
Old 11th November 2009
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
This one?




I dunno man, I kind of wish he was broke, living on the street, playing guitar for his next meal. Maybe he would write some inspiring songs again.
My best friend Directed this Video Shoot on Green Screen as well as did all the CG, motion Graphics and edited it. He also helped come up with the concept. Adobe farmed out the job.
Old 12th November 2009
  #34
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Sounds Great's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sventvkg View Post
My best friend Directed this Video Shoot on Green Screen as well as did all the CG, motion Graphics and edited it. He also helped come up with the concept. Adobe farmed out the job.
Yes, it is a cool video. And the song is decent. I agree with the posters that said he is one of the few new real players/writers out there in pop right now. Still I think his song writing from his first record is miles above everything he has done since, save for the occasional song here and there. It just seems like his songwriting went on auto cruise after that.
Old 12th November 2009
  #35
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ironbelly's Avatar
 

Dont mean to rain on the Meyer parade, but man the word bland comes to mind most of the time this guy comes up. Yes the stuff is well recorded and produced and he writes his own songs, but it always just seems to bore me overall. What a position he's in to do something different and challenging, and he comes up with heartbreak warfare? Seems like he's more interested in laying celebrities and breaking up so he can write lame songs about it.

That being said, I heard a song on the radio by him last week where he was singing 'who says i can't get high' and found it to be interesting and real. There's hope I suppose
Old 12th November 2009
  #36
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Sounds Great's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironbelly View Post
What a position he's in to do something different and challenging, and he comes up with heartbreak warfare?
True, he pretends to get all political and then bombards us with marshmallows. I guess he's still WAITING for the world to change.

CSN&Y he ain't.
Old 12th November 2009
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tibbon View Post
Then when "Your Body is a Wonderland" came out, I really didn't like him. All of his songs right around that album were just not for me. His guitar playing, songwriting, nor singing really came through. Nor did his sense of humor. I was at Berklee at the time and most people couldn't get past making fun of him and no one assumed he was a decent guitar player.

But over the last few years I have come to really enjoy him. I can't wait to hear the new stuff.
I know what chu' mean dude, I was playing the subway here in NY when that record drop, and i was thinking the same thing, but hey at least i was getting a real education playing music with some jazz masters ... on the D line ... kidding Berklee is grreat eseheh
Old 12th November 2009
  #39
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I've had a chance to listen to the entire album and it's truly superb. I think the song that's going to get the most scruitiny is his cover of "Crossroads"...personally I like it. He'll prolly get some flak for having Taylor Swift on one of his songs...but it's pretty subtle.

After listening to the whole thing I sorta got this Beatles vibe or something from it...I think it has a lot to do with some of the chord progressions that he's using...dunno...

As far as the sound - it's amazing...very nice vocal performance...I do hear some auto-tune in parts, but it's as subtle as I've heard...nothing like what I've heard previously (there were some awful auto-tune mishaps that I can't believe made it on the Where The Light Is... DVD).

There's only a couple parts on the album so far that I've found that drive me nuts. The first one is from Assassin and there's a part after the bridge when he comes back in his vocal just isn't right...not sure what it is...like it's flat or something...but the first time I heard it on there it stood out big time to me. The second one is just a weird guitar lick at the end of Half of My Heart that halfway sounds like a f'up...but if it's not the phrasing just doesn't fit there.

I know he co-produced the record so no doubt he's been over this thing with a fine tooth comb, so if it's fine for John and Steve...it's good to me!

Anyway, it's a killer album...it will be in my CD player for a while...
Old 12th November 2009
  #40
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oceanblue's Avatar
 

Hey, that looks like my cousin Early Cuyler (Squidbilly).....
Austin must be the new Squidbilly mecca....were moving out of the hills I reckon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by choinga View Post
I've had a chance to listen to the entire album and it's truly superb. I think the song that's going to get the most scruitiny is his cover of "Crossroads"...personally I like it. He'll prolly get some flak for having Taylor Swift on one of his songs...but it's pretty subtle.

After listening to the whole thing I sorta got this Beatles vibe or something from it...I think it has a lot to do with some of the chord progressions that he's using...dunno...

As far as the sound - it's amazing...very nice vocal performance...I do hear some auto-tune in parts, but it's as subtle as I've heard...nothing like what I've heard previously (there were some awful auto-tune mishaps that I can't believe made it on the Where The Light Is... DVD).

There's only a couple parts on the album so far that I've found that drive me nuts. The first one is from Assassin and there's a part after the bridge when he comes back in his vocal just isn't right...not sure what it is...like it's flat or something...but the first time I heard it on there it stood out big time to me. The second one is just a weird guitar lick at the end of Half of My Heart that halfway sounds like a f'up...but if it's not the phrasing just doesn't fit there.

I know he co-produced the record so no doubt he's been over this thing with a fine tooth comb, so if it's fine for John and Steve...it's good to me!

Anyway, it's a killer album...it will be in my CD player for a while...
Old 12th November 2009
  #41
js1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuld View Post
I heard the single!! Sounds great!! The band I play in will be opening for him. Feb thru April. Looking forward to getting to know Pino Paladino & Steve Jordan!!
Cant wait!!
Well, I'll have to catch the show when you come through town. I like John Mayer, and I really like your band too. Will be a great bill.

js
Old 12th November 2009
  #42
Reverb and pitch correction

Dear mister Brauer,

Would you maybe mind to tell us something about the types of reverb you used and how? This is one of the things that really stand out, in my opinion. The reverbs really make it spacey, big and intense. I don't know which one's you mixed, but for example on 'Edge of Desire' the drums get really big because of the reverb. I like that! Also, in the bridge of 'Assasin' John's vocals have a pretty nice reverb on it. Maybe you could tell us something about that? I'd appreciate it!

Did you have to use any pitch correction on John's vocals? It seems like he just did some really good takes and you can hear that he really improved his singing. So I'm curious about that!

Thanks a lot! This album sounds really, really good!!

ben van essen
Old 12th November 2009
  #43
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Levon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post

CSN&Y he ain't.
What's your point? Only CSN&Y is CSN&Y, why do we want a second CSN&Y? John Mayer is John Mayer and he's good at being John Mayer...
Old 12th November 2009
  #44
Deleted bd1be4f
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Levon View Post
What's your point? Only CSN&Y is CSN&Y, why do we want a second CSN&Y? John Mayer is John Mayer and he's good at being John Mayer...
Excellent point. heh
Old 12th November 2009
  #45
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Sounds Great's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Levon View Post
What's your point? Only CSN&Y is CSN&Y, why do we want a second CSN&Y? John Mayer is John Mayer and he's good at being John Mayer...
I didn't say we want a second CSN&Y, but that was some serious songwriting. The title "Battle Studies", and the song in question and it's material seems to allude to the possibility that he may be taking the subject seriously, which he doesn't. So I'm not quite sure what HIS point is. I'm talking about song writing and I just wish he would get a little more gritty, it's just so fluffy. I still think he is a great artist, but I think he is holding back, and that is sad to me.
Old 12th November 2009
  #46
Gear Head
 



So nobody else thought the main/opening riff is a total ripoff of U2's Bad?!?!? Mr. Mayer, if you're going to steal music from one of the greatest songs ever, at least try not to steal the lyrics as well... "I don't care if we sleep at all tonight"....

I'm wide awaaaaake, I'm not sleeping... tutt
Old 12th November 2009
  #47
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FireMoon's Avatar
Dates *pleasant celebs" makes *pleasant music"...headlining this coming year's Snoozopolooza i hear... how apt...
Old 12th November 2009
  #48
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sventvkg's Avatar
 

I'm spinning continuum to see if it's better then Battle Studies or not. I'll jam them back to back, so we'll see.
Old 12th November 2009
  #49
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I think like most albums...some songs take time to grow on you. Battle Studies should not be compared to any of his previous efforts - it's quite unique. After many pass throughs the only song I don't really care for is "Friends, Lovers or Nothing". The rest are very nice.
Old 13th November 2009
  #50
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRW View Post
Ah great, I always think of the 176 as pretty laid back (at least sometimes), love that fact that I'm wrong here though!! Love LA3As...

Thanks for the info Michael.

Oh by the way, is assassin your mix or manny's?

-Tom
Assasin is mine along with:
Hearbreak Warfare
All we can ever do is say goodbye
Who Says
Friends Lovers or Nothing
and a bonus I'm on fire
Old 13th November 2009
  #51
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headwerkn's Avatar
My pre-release purchase on iTunes slid down the digital hole earlier this afternoon and I'm currently on my second listen through. Initial thoughts are a bit 'meh' but it took me a while to warm to Continuum, which I now love and listen to all the time.

Battle Studies in many parts reminds me an awful lot of a rockier version of Room For Squares's B-sides, like they all came from the mould that produced "Not Myself" and "Back To You"... nice songs, mind you, but a bit generic, basic, 4-on-the-floor feel and not really in the same league as JM's later stuff. "Heartbreak Warfare", "War Of My Life", and "Perfectly Lonely" all fall into into this category.

Track by track...

"Heartbreak Warfare" - as others have mentioned, sounds a lot like U2. I hate U2. Also has a bit of Dire Straits about it, which saves it from being totally awful. If this were my album I wouldn't have opened the CD with this track.

"All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye" - JM's RFS-era acoustic pop returns - not a bad thing - albeit more heavily produced. Solid song, catchy chorus, the chicks will love it ;-).

"Half of My Heart" - This is the one "with" Taylor Swift... detractors of Miss Swift will be pleased, because her input is minimal... her backing vocals are mixed right down in the chorus (if you weren't told otherwise you'd mistake them for JM doing his high voice thing) and she only gets a couple of unique lines towards the end. I actually don't mind her and was kinda disappointed she didn't get a chance to add more to the track... ie a proper duet, etc. Otherwise, the track is decent enough... very middle of the road rock-country... reminds me a lot of Dire Straits too.

"Who Says" - cut from the same vein as "Heart Of Life" and "Stop This Train", and that's a good thing. Lovely intimate feel. Very mellow for a first single but definitely one of the stronger tracks on the album. Nice.

"Perfectly Lonely" - reminds me (a bit too much) of The Eagles "Busy Being Fabulous".

"Assassin" - quite a minimal tune that builds up over time. Another very strong tune, probably too long to be a single though.

"Crossroads" - JMTrio-style rendering of the Robert Johnson cover, and it works well. Love Pino's playing on this one too.

"War Of My Life" - reminds me of "Not Myself" humping the leg of Dire Straits in the presence of a drum machine (what's up with the drums on this track?!?!). Inoffensive without being particularly amazing.

"Edge Of Desire" - another one that takes a while to get into its stride, but is the worth the wait.

"Do You Know Me" - Another low-key brooder with lots of nylon string noodling.

"Friends, Lovers or Nothing" - John trying to the be The Beatles, perhaps? It's not bad... gets epic in a "Hey Jude" kinda way at the end. Kinda.

"I'm On Fire" (bonus track?) - Country-esque acoustic tune. Low key but really nice, one of the better tracks, which makes you wonder why it got relegated to "bonus" status?

Overall, the album feels... restrained is probably the best word. While writing this I've been bouncing back and forth between it and his previous efforts and everything before there was a certain sense of immediacy. His guitar chops have definitely taken a back seat over vocals and overall arrangement, and too often it just sounds a bit too... well, boring. The unique-(ish?) lounge-blues-rock-pop hybrid JM had managed to create on Continuum is more or less completely removed from this album, and I think that's a shame.

On a positive note, the tones are, unsurprisingly, fantastic, and Steve and Pino manage to inject some much needed groove into the tracks... though to hear Steve Jordan playing so much straight 8th shit that even I could play myself is concerning. People of his talent need to be unleashed, not put in a box. The mix is warm and thick and - thank god - it hasn't had the snot compressed out of it. It's wonderfully easy to listen to; perhaps too much so... after a while it becomes background music. Very little of it demands your attention, or gets you involved.

As I said before, it took me a while to get into Continuum... in fact, thinking, it's been the same with all of his albums... so for now, I'll give Battle Studies the benefit of the doubt and keep playing it for a while to see if it makes sense. Everything is relative, of course... John Mayer is more credible an artist than 90% of the shit we're currently bombarded with, so thank heavens he exists, but in my mind, at the moment at least, Battle Studies is a very restrained, very safe John Mayer effort.

As a side note... One thing that definitely does suck, is the cover... why is John trying to look like some weird George Michael meets Kraftwerk clone?!?!?!

As another side note... to all the people who hate "Your Body Is A Wonderland"... I used to hate it too, then I started going out with a girl who really likes John Mayer, so I looked up the tab, figured out how to play it (not very hard at all) and played and sang it for her. Then I got laid. So bear that in mind next time to you slag it... it is a song that serves a worthy purpose! ;-)

Last edited by headwerkn; 14th November 2009 at 12:48 AM.. Reason: Rewritten in english.... :-p
Old 13th November 2009
  #52
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studjo's Avatar
ok you guys might don't like his music but that Fender Signature guitar is absolutely killer - that guy knows how a good guitar has to work heh
Old 13th November 2009
  #53
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sventvkg's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sventvkg View Post
I'm spinning continuum to see if it's better then Battle Studies or not. I'll jam them back to back, so we'll see.
After about 5 spins the album has grown on me. I'm liking it as much as Continuum at this point. What I don't like is his production. He could use a good producer in my opinion.
Old 14th November 2009
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headwerkn View Post
As another side note... to all the people who hate "Your Body Is A Wonderland"... I used to hate it too, then I started going out with a girl who really likes John Mayer, so I looked up the tab, figured out how to play it (not very hard at all) and played and sang it for her. Then I got laid. So bear that in mind next time to you slag it... it is a song that serves a worthy purpose! ;-)
I second this, and had a similar experience. Thank you John Mayer.
Old 14th November 2009
  #55
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Sounds Great's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by headwerkn View Post
but in my mind, at the moment at least, Battle Studies is a very restrained, very safe John Mayer effort.

This is what I was getting at. Safe is NOT rock and roll. Ok, he is really pop, but good pop can still rock.


Quote:
Originally Posted by headwerkn View Post

As another side note... to all the people who hate "Your Body Is A Wonderland"... I used to hate it too, then I started going out with a girl who really likes John Mayer, so I looked up the tab, figured out how to play it (not very hard at all) and played and sang it for her. Then I got laid. So bear that in mind next time to you slag it... it is a song that serves a worthy purpose! ;-)

I think 'Wonderland' is a brilliant song, great playing, and very unique. I felt this about the whole record, of which I love every song. I have not felt this with any subsequent record he has made.
Old 16th November 2009
  #56
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Am i the only guy who thinks this dude sounds exactly like dave mathews ?
Old 16th November 2009
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toro View Post
Am i the only guy who thinks this dude sounds exactly like dave mathews ?
nope. You're not)))
Old 16th November 2009
  #58
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headwerkn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toro View Post
Am i the only guy who thinks this dude sounds exactly like dave mathews ?
Yes. Never understood the supposed similarity myself... I find DMB as boring as batshit. That said, Battle Studies laid back, restrained feel is probably more akin to DMB than Room For Squares.

Having spun Battle Studies round a few times now, I can say it is growing on me. I don't think it is better than either Room For Squares or Continuum but it isn't a step back either, just, well, a bit different.
Old 16th November 2009
  #59
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Blewgrass's Avatar
John Mayer is a huge and fantastic talent, but my initial impressions of this new material is uninspiring, next to his inpsiring material, of which there is plenty. These songs seemed forced and boring, although musically pleasing. The songs seem like John Mayer doing Jack Johnson, Mark Knopfler and Dave Mathews. I could be wrong, and time will prove me wrong, but this collection lacks inspiration. It's almost like he already hired all the guys to do the album and rented the house...

I also agree it's a "chick album" big time and many guys will score a happy ending to their night while spinning this disc...

Although this is his least inspiring work I've heard, I still give the guy tons of credit for being one of the great new talents working today. He is an "all arounder" that moves around different styles of music effortlessly, and has a fantastic voice.... this one just didn't do it for me...
Old 17th November 2009
  #60
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Assasin is one of the coolest f'in songs I've ever heard and well produced. Pino is the shit on it...

I agree though, for a three year effort I admit I was aniticipating at least a few more tracks that just killed me...

I think though he was writing for this 'theme' so maybe it pigeon holed him a bit...I know he's probably shelved some tunes that were "better" but didn't fit for the record.
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