John Mayer's third studio album follows the multi-platinum "Room for Squares" (2001) and "Heavier Things" (2003), and marks his first turn as producer. It is his most soulful, cohesive collection yet and he says it's no accident that this project is where all of his efforts, his potential, and his disparate influences fully come together.
is about as apt a title as it gets for John Mayer's third studio disc. Every element, from the peerless guitar playing to the plainspoken poetry of the lyrics to the breathy-sincere singing, makes a return from previous efforts. But to weakly pronounce this another worthwhile effort from an artist the world has come to expect a whole lot from and then call it a day would be no minor misdeed, because it's also the best, boldest disc he's ever made. Taking maturity as a theme throughout, Mayer tackles a batch of adulthood's bogeymen: indifference on the uptempo chart-climber "Waiting for the World to Change," aging on the melancholy-sweet "Stop This Train," and emotional trainwreckage on the big-rocking "In Repair." That's not to suggest he's turned overly introspective--check the Jimi Hendrix cover "Bold As Love," where he hits one home for guitarists who've been living in the shadow of legend everywhere, and the hard-charging "Belief," which benefits from a mesmerizing, liquid groove. Continuum
may be the third in a series, but a creative cop-out this is not; Mayer is his generation's musical superman--powerful, unassailable, and magnetic. Hand that man a cape. --Tammy La Gorce