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Have you heard John Mayer's Battle Studies yet?
Old 10th November 2009
  #1
Have you heard John Mayer's Battle Studies yet?

I have, it's already leaked (don't worry, i pre-ordered 3 copies). It's an incredible album! JM shows a completely different side of himself. His vocals are superb and the songs are world class. What I love the most is that the whole album sounds warm, pleasant and interesting. It's not damn loud, which is a good thing nowadays! I listened to it at a fairly loud level and when it was finished my ears weren't tired at all. Pretty nice!

So, what are your thoughts about it? Anybody who worked on it?
Old 10th November 2009
  #2
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

No but I would love to hear it, John by far is the best thing on the market in many many years, I great writer and guitarist.
Old 10th November 2009
  #3
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Tibbon's Avatar
When I heard his first single, for some reason (voice-wise) I assumed that he was a black pop vocalist. Something about his voice just reminded my of Seal or something like that. Too smooth and not whiney enough to be a 20-something year old white guy. I really liked that single.

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.
Old 10th November 2009
  #4
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Thanks for the heads up, I was at Sterling sound when it was being mastered and was really curious. I downloaded it (AND pre-ordered it...), it sounds amazing. But the guy has a great studio. Can't really go wrong. Nice mastering by Calbi as well.

Old 10th November 2009
  #5
Gear Head
 

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!!
Old 10th November 2009
  #6
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Heard the first single this morning.. solid stuff.

His last album was a sonic masterpiece - can't wait to hear the new one.
Old 10th November 2009
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggator6 View Post
His last album was a sonic masterpiece - can't wait to hear the new one.
I think this album sounds similar. No JJP this time around, as with Continuum
Old 10th November 2009
  #8
Continuum wasn't JJP..
Old 10th November 2009
  #9
Deleted bd1be4f
Guest
And once again mixed by Michael Brauer and Manny Marroquin, so you know the mixes are going to be outstanding.

Michael talked a little bit about the mixing process for JM's album on his Twitter page, talking about how on a couple tunes he had gone for more of the compressed, radio type of sound, and JM had him back off on the compression and make things more natural and less "hyped", and how well it ended up working for the material.

Looking forward to hearing the whole album...
Old 10th November 2009
  #10
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Sounds Great's Avatar
I hope it isn't a continuation of Continuum. No offense to those who like it, but it bored me to death. Yes it sounds quite good, but the songs fall flat for me, no excitement in the least.
Old 10th November 2009
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benonline View Post
Continuum wasn't JJP..
That's what I said. No JJP here, same as with Continuum. I'm Dutch, my English is not that good heh
Old 10th November 2009
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

The whole album is being streamed on Rhapsody starting from today. Upon first listen I really dig it; "Heartbreak Warfare" has been one of my favorites since I found videos of it on YouTube. I'm kinda bummed that "Taking On Water" didn't make the cut, but a fine album nevertheless, both in terms of songwriting and production.
Old 10th November 2009
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
I hope it isn't a continuation of Continuum. No offense to those who like it, but it bored me to death. Yes it sounds quite good, but the songs fall flat for me, no excitement in the least.
Nope he talked about this in an interview on youtube. He left Continuum where it was and started something new. I appreciate that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by benonline
Continuum wasn't JJP..
That's what I said. No JJP here, same as with Continuum. I'm Dutch, my English is not that good

This is probably where the confusion started. You see, I'm Dutch too
Old 10th November 2009
  #14
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chess999's Avatar
 

no havn't heard it yet but if it's as commercialized and "hypey" as his last couple releases I'm quite sure no matter what great sonic element it may have from a gearslutz point of view, I'd probably turn it off. Sorry to all the Mayer worshipers but I've seen enough of this guy on checkout counter magazine covers to last a lifetime. yeah he's super talented but the only thing I cared for was his first album before it became over-sensationalized. Great songwriting on that album, brilliant performing and for the most part not too over produced. Since big success has gotten over John "I've dated Jen Aniston and Jessica Simpson" Mayer, I have a hard time taking an Enquier's superstar celeb as a people's artist anymore. that being said, more power to him.
Old 11th November 2009
  #15
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Sounds Great's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by buddy View Post
The whole album is being streamed on Rhapsody starting from today. Upon first listen I really dig it; "Heartbreak Warfare" has been one of my favorites since I found videos of it on YouTube. I'm kinda bummed that "Taking On Water" didn't make the cut, but a fine album nevertheless, both in terms of songwriting and production.
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.
Old 11th November 2009
  #16
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Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Looking forward to his next record too. I heard him live right after his second record. My sister was a HUGE fan and got tix for a private party he did for about 150 people. At the time, I didn`t think anything of him and then when he got on stage by himself and started shredding on an acoustic, I was floored. I`ve been a fan ever since. He is a true talent and one of the best talents to come along in the last 25 years.
Old 11th November 2009
  #17
TRW
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New record sounds good. Vocals are some of his best yet and he has reached out and explored a lot of new guitar sounds and layering.

Not sure which are the Manny and Michael mixes yet (not bothered looking), but if I had to guess MBH may be using a Retro176 or something similar on the vocal as it is beautifully laid back with a lot of warmth and size on some of the tunes which sound like his mixes.

However like Continuum the record sounds a little bass heavy to me.

Assassin in a killer tune.

-T
Old 11th November 2009
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

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.
That's the one. Sure the guitar style is unoriginal, and the lyrics aren't exactly poignant, but for what it is--a chilled-out pop tune--it's great. The guitar is sonically pleasing to the average listener and the melody is great in my opinion. Also from an engineer's point of view I'm loving the sound of those drums; they sound similar to Continuum (which is arguably one of the best-sounding records of the decade, or at least in the last few years).
Old 11th November 2009
  #19
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Are the vocals still horrifically auto-tuned like Continuum? I really loved that album other than the AutoTune, which I find makes it almost impossible to listen to and hear the music without hearing the side-effects first...
Old 11th November 2009
  #20
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
I hope it isn't a continuation of Continuum. No offense to those who like it, but it bored me to death. Yes it sounds quite good, but the songs fall flat for me, no excitement in the least.
I did not like it for a long time but find myself listening to quite a bit.
Old 11th November 2009
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK View Post
Are the vocals still horrifically auto-tuned like Continuum? I really loved that album other than the AutoTune, which I find makes it almost impossible to listen to and hear the music without hearing the side-effects first...
I haven't critically listened to the whole album yet, but at least on the opening track the vocals sound out of tune slightly in the verses. Kinda cool.
Old 11th November 2009
  #22
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lovespirals's Avatar
 

as someone who likes what he does with the john mayer trio, everything i've heard so far from this new album really leaves me flat. the music kinda reminds me of a ball-less rock/pop song from mtv circa the late 80's: wimpy and stale.

it seems like he's taking a big step backwards from the bluesy musicality that approximately half of continuum had, returning back to his running through the halls of his high school earlier albums. that said, i'm sure millions of stoked girls are going to buy and love this album. it's too bad since john, is for the most part, the only huge pop artist of today who is essentially a world class musician (guitarist in his case) and doesn't depend on other nameless faceless people to write his songs for him.
Old 11th November 2009
  #23
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oceanblue's Avatar
 

Well I have to admit I am a fan and have said for a couple years that this guy (IMO) is one of the few hopes for rock/pop music in the industry. Being from Austin I have noticed the nods to SRV, and he's worked with Steve Jordan, Pino Palladino and local boys Jj Johnson as well as Charlie Sexton. Watching the Trio work it out on the Where The Light Is blu-ray was the moment I forgave him for the older stuff. The groove of Continuum is solid and constant through the whole disc. The last thing you want to do in this town (Austin) is attempt to be the next SRV, there are many who still try and go nowhere...though not from here I appreciate the nod to his (Mayer) idols and his ability to meld his influences into his maturing style. Continuum was him saying "hey, I did the pop, made some money and now I have the power to do MY thing".
Where The Light Is showcases all the incarnations and is interesting as he does solo acoustic set, trio set and then full band set....it's like "OK here's where I have been and where I am going". The supergroups of my youth have all grown old and there is nobody rising to the top currently moreso than Mr Mayer these days, I cannot imagine any of the other current lot having the potential long term staying power that this kid has...name one. I grew up watching Stevie Ray with Paul Ray and the Cobra's and so on, I have seen them rise and fall and feel fairly confident that this guy has "it". He oozes music, I recently saw an HD concert where he and Buddy Guy shared the stage and it was one of those shows that left me smiling and with a feeling of hope for real music, there was a mutual admiration that showed on both their faces and there was no doubt that Buddy "knew" the guy was the real deal. In an age of canned beats and mysogynistic blathering (not singing) it is refreshing to see a person who really has become a branch grown from his musical roots. To buck the current trends and do your own thing is not always easy but he has somehow managed to work it all out. People can hate if they want but I'd give my left leg to have such a career and do it my way as he has, the ladies and the money aint bad either. I look forward to giving the new stuff a listen cranked up on the old Polk-SDA's in my old school stereo set up. I have produced and managed a couple of young guitar slingers and told them they would do good to take a look at Mr Mayers work overall, a guy could do a lot worse and trust me the SRV wannabes are not in short supply down on 6th street...making 20 bucks a night for their efforts and going nowhere. I dig his sig model Martin too...and he ain't a bad picker either! Come on admit it...the guy is good.

Last edited by oceanblue; 11th November 2009 at 02:56 AM.. Reason: spellin'
Old 11th November 2009
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
lovespirals's Avatar
 

excellent post ocean blue; though i'm not from austin (but i am in spirit, having seen the arc angles live twice this year) you sum up much of how i feel about mayer as well. which is exactly why what i've heard of battle studies is such a letdown. i too thought continuum was an announcement of sorts that he's now doing his own thing. maybe he is, but his thing seems now to be more of a throwback to his making money/pop thing, rather than the evolution and maturation evident on try and continuum. in today's sad major label music world, i was really looking forward to great music in his future.

rather than being a serious musician, i'm guessing that he's more interested in forever remaining in the public eye as a pop star; hence his recent pursuits of tying to work with taylor swift and dating the most tabloid adorned actress of our time (no disrespect meant to jen).
Old 11th November 2009
  #25
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chess999's Avatar
 

"john, is for the most part, the only huge pop artist of today who is essentially a world class musician (guitarist in his case) and doesn't depend on other nameless faceless people to write his songs for him."

As much as his hype annoys me I can't argue with that....wish there were more true songwriters like him
Old 11th November 2009
  #26
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Regarding the 'switch' from bluesy Continuum-stuff to the more mainstream heartbreak pop stuff on this new one: this is what you get when you date women like Jennifer Aniston! Don't blame the guy... heh
Old 11th November 2009
  #27
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRW View Post
New record sounds good. Vocals are some of his best yet and he has reached out and explored a lot of new guitar sounds and layering.

Not sure which are the Manny and Michael mixes yet (not bothered looking), but if I had to guess MBH may be using a Retro176 or something similar on the vocal as it is beautifully laid back with a lot of warmth and size on some of the tunes which sound like his mixes.

However like Continuum the record sounds a little bass heavy to me.

Assassin in a killer tune.

-T
nope, in this particular instance, i couldn't get it laid back and natural enough with the 176. Over the course of the different songs I mixed, I used my modified La3a, EAR660 and the AWA. For the most part though it was the La3a on his voice. I was able to get a really silky natural non compressed sound from it as on"who Says"

michael brauer
Old 11th November 2009
  #28
TRW
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TRW's Avatar
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
Old 11th November 2009
  #29
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Thanks for jumping in mr. Brauer. Any more of that stuff you'd like to share? heh
Old 11th November 2009
  #30
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tamasdragon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRW View Post
However like Continuum the record sounds a little bass heavy to me.
-T
I love this. I hate today's no real lows mixing, so it is a pleasure everytime I'm listening the album.
So powerfull, and if you turn it up, still sounds very good, punchy, without hurting my ears. Of course ymmv.
TD
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