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Heavier Things

4.0 out of 5 stars 677 customer reviews

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John Mayer's big-label debut was a multiplatinum breakthrough success whose sensual anthem "Your Body Is a Wonderland" scored him an unlikely Grammy for Best Pop Vocal. That out-of-the-box succes--and more than a few critics grousing that Mayer's muse was cloned from Dave Matthews--primed him for the typical sophomore slump. Instead, Mayer delivers an album whose tone and title suggests a gentle, tongue-in-cheek rebuke to his naysayers. Propelled by the subtle ambitions of an expanded pop-jazz framework (largely courtesy of Sheryl Crow/No Doubt/Jellyfish producer Jack Joseph Puig), Mayer's breathy vocal tack now suggests a detached, conflicted, and significantly less precious incarnation of Michael Franks. But, the way he weds fluid pop hooks to lyrical concerns whose self-obsessions are undercut by telling dollops of self-deprecation from the my-spirit's-too-big/smart-for-my-body laments of "Clarity," the upbeat single "Bigger Than My Body," and the bluesy plea "Come Back to Bed" to the cautionary, melodically-rich "Daughters" and even the antimaterialist agitprop of "Something's Missing" should clearly draw in listeners. --Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 9, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: September 9, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • Run Time: 46 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000ALSDR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (677 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,990 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Manny Hernandez HALL OF FAME on January 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
John Mayer is bound to stir up discussion, it seems, no matter what he does. Whether he sounds too close to Dave Matthews or whether (like here) he distances himself a bit from that sound. Whether he works on the guitar more (as in his debut) or whether he puts in more electronic elements distorting the original sound. In any case, controversy drags attention to him and it is one thing he deserves.
His sound in this album is strengthened by a solid band (among others, to be found is Matt Chamberlain who's played drums for the likes of Tori Amos and Brad Meldhau) and though the lyrics might not be the deepest he's written, the album as a whole has a more original and mature feel than his debut album, which did happen to sound like a Dave Matthews ripoff more than once. Due to its variety of tempos and rhythms included in this work and the somewhat "heavier" electronic component (interestingly enough a little song tempo chart by sequence is included in the booklet!) it remindes of Clapton's 'Pilgrim' at times, such as the case with "Come Back to Bed". It is no coincidence, therefore, that he shared the Holiday Blues Revue ay NYC this past December alongside blues legends Buddy Guy and Double Trouble (the formed band of the late Stevie Ray Vaughn).
All in all, a step in the right direction, an evolution from his first album and most definitely a young artist to keep a close eye on: if he doesn't steer away from his current path, he's bound to becoming a musical legend of our times.
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Format: Audio CD
Heavier Things is my first John Mayer album. I bought this album because I loved the singles "Your Body Is A Wonderland," off his debut album, and the big recent hit off this release, "Bigger Than My Body."
Heavier Things seems to follow the melodic, sleek, catchy feel of these two hit singles. Mayer's breathy vocals are uniquely appealing but also deliver effectively in slower tempo tunes. More importantly, the depth of John Mayer's musical talent is evident on this album - he's a compelling songwriter with remarkably attuned pop sensibilities; he plays his own guitar; AND he can sing. Such a combination of talent gives Mayer the enduring appeal that will likely allow him to obtain and retain devoted fans for years to come. Yes, Mayer stormed the music scene with his debut album, but if he continues to write songs like these, he'll never be some Johnny-Come-Lately.
I find the hit "Bigger Than My Body" to be a spiraling, upward ascent that is impossible to resist. While that track is well-known from all its radio play, it is only the beginning of the great tunes on this album. "Clarity" is an enticing opening track, delivered poignantly mid-tempo with the wonderful backing of a trumpet. "Something's Missing" and "New Deep" are slower and introspective but sung in Mayer's typically earnest manner. "Come Back to Bed" bears a bluesy, jazzy feel, after which Mayer picks up the tempo and spirit with "Home Life," a smooth song laced with perfectly placed keyboards. "Split Screen Sadness" is another melancholy but magnetically delivered song. Next, "Daughters" is an acoustic, quaint tune with a straightforward, honest message revealing some of Mayer's obvious male sensitivities. "Only Heart" again picks up the pace and sounds like one of Mayer's big radio hits.
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Format: Audio CD
While I think this is a pretty good album in general, note that the DVD side of the disc is *not* DVD-Audio, but rather DVD-Video. In other words, the 5.1 mix is not the DVD-Audio 'advanced resolution' quality, but just as Dolby Digital compressed audio. While I'm sure some folks won't care about this, there are certainly audiophiles who will, and I would think those would pretty much be the only folks who would be interested in the DualDisc version of this album. Other DualDiscs have been released with DVD-Audio on the DVD side, and they don't do a good job of explaining what version is on the DVD side on the packaging.
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Format: Audio CD
...but that's how it goes with sophomore releases. You compare it to the freshman release(which in John's case, blew my mind. I loved it. Especially 3x5), and you're bound to be severely disappointed. It's definitely different from Room for Squares....but all in all, I like it. It took maybe....3 runs of the entire cd, but I ended up jumping the fence. But. One song on Heavier Things that stood out from the first listen(albeit sentimental)was....DAUGHTERS. This is my favorite song on the entire album. As I listened to it, my mouth fell open like it did when I heard the alternate take of Alanis Morrisette's "You Oughta Know". It pulls you in, and makes you listen.....Very surprising. I think John is developing well as a musician. But adolescent agnst-ridden teeny boppers won't like it (yay!).....except for maybe Bigger than My Body and Only Heart (the latter makes me nauseated, lyrically). Overall, this album displays John's ability, potential, and his inherent verve. I don't know if he reads his reviews, but in the event that he does: John, you've definitely earned some more cool points with me. Nice work.
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Format: Audio CD
John Mayer blazed into the hearts of teenage girls, and even twenty-somethings, and, well... ok, everyone's hearts with his debut album, and it was a great album. It still is. I can put it in everyday and listen to it and never get tired of it. It is edgy, fun, pop-driven at times, hook-laden, and relaxing even. When I heard he was releasing his second studio album so soon after his studio debut made such a splash, I thought surely it would not be able to match the pure gratification of his "Room for Squares." It came out. I was at the store waiting for the doors to open so I could listen to the new tunes on my way to one of my senior music classes in college. "Drumbeat." Alright. "Piano motif." Nice. "Drumbeat." Cool. "Piano Mo-!" What?! Piano? John Mayer? Huh? What a softer edge he went with on the opening track of "Heavier Things," as opposed to his opening on "Room for Squares" which brought out an edgier John. With this opening track, he has set a tone for his highly anticipated Sophomore Album, and I was not sure how I felt about it. However, the more I listened to the album, the more I realized that the title referred to what he was dealing with after having a multi-platinum grammy award winning debut album was. Following that presents... well... some heavier things. That is not to say that this album does not present some heavy subject. "New Deep" my be one of the most playful songs on here. The sarcasm he writes into the lyrics is palpable: "Numb is the New Deep/Tired of the old me/over the analyzing..." What a line! And in today's world? It speaks to anyone who knows anyone. We all know these kind of people, and we are subject to this numbness at times as well. Tender moments always have their place in Mayer's music.Read more ›
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