Showing posts with label john mayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label john mayer. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - april 20, 2019 (VIDEO)

Alright, this came off a tempestuous day behind the scenes (and I'm still fighting to get over something... GAH), but I'm on track now and hopefully I can have this billy woods review finished tomorrow. 

So yeah, stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - april 20, 2019

And here I was making the assumption that this was going to be a pretty mild week on the Hot 100... and maybe in comparison to a regular album bomb it is, but I'll admit I completely forgot that Khalid put out a project that did spark some significant shifts on the Hot 100 for his surprising number of charting singles. I'd still argue it doesn't quite move the needle that much and this still does feel like a post-album bomb week, but it's worth mentioning at least, even if the album will wind up being a perennial occupant of the Trailing Edge.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 9, 2019 (VIDEO)

And here we go - not nearly as many copyright complaints as I expected to battle through, but it's alright.

Next up... let's finally get to Marianas Trench, so stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 9, 2019

The only way to describe this week is a mess - and not an especially good one either. And some of this I could predict - I knew Gunna, Lil Pump and Offset would hit the charts with some force, but they honestly didn't seem to register the larger impact I was expecting, and we got a flood of other singles that hit the charts as well from other genres - whether any of it will last is an open question, we'll have to see.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - december 10, 2016 (VIDEO)

So this video was longer than usual... and actually really great, I dug the hell out of this! Two good weeks in a row... man, if only I had any hope we could keep this up, 2017 has some real potential to be a damn good year.

In the mean time, let's take care of old business next, shall we? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - december 10, 2016

So this week was a little weird. Not just because we started getting tracks from The Weeknd earlier than expected - I'm imagining next week to be just overloaded - but we got some big surprises all over the place, including a few artists I have not thought about or talked about in years. That, at the very least promised to make things interesting - note that I didn't precisely say good, although there really was some promise here.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

video review: 'paradise valley' by john mayer

Got to be honest, I'm pretty proud of this review, I think it came together well. In this review, I finally get my chance to take direct aim at John Mayer with his new album, and it's worth it. 

The album is pretty much crap, though.

album review: 'paradise valley' by john mayer

I don't like John Mayer.

I never really have, to be honest. Even since the beginning with a succession of critically acclaimed albums, I've never been a fan of the guy in any way, shape, or form. If I was being generous, I'd argue he's written maybe two songs that I like - three if I was pushing it. 

Now before the majority of you jump down my throat and call me just a troll who doesn't know what I'm talking about, let me explain this because, believe it or not, I do have a rationale for my dislike. For starters, John Mayer never really impressed me as a vocalist, particularly his range. He sounds very much like he's trying to imitate a softer post-grunge vocal technique, but the problem with singing in a hoarse, borderline rasp is that you do real damage to your vocal chords over time. And in comparison with most artists, he actually sounds better in his louder, higher range, when he's able to bring some energy to the table.

Unfortunately, this rarely happens, which leads to my second big problem with the guy: most of his music is mind-blowingly tedious. I've admitted a number of times that white guys with acoustic guitars aren't my thing, and John Mayer is one of the reasons why. While he's not a terrible guitarist, he's not exactly a virtuoso either and thus too often the melody lines of his songs sound very formulaic and similar to each other, which can make his albums get really boring really fast. This isn't helped by the fact that since he's limited his range thanks to his vocal delivery, his songs don't tend to modulate or grow or reach any sort of climax outside of a certain range of quiet reserve.

But on top of that, Mayer's hoarse delivery doesn't seem to lend itself well to truly emotional songs. Now I admit this might be a personal pet peeve (after all, I was informed that some people actually considered the emotions Luke Bryan conveyed were authentic), but to me there's a certain lack of 'closeness'. There always seems to be a certain guarded nature around Mayer's songs, that never really expose vulnerability, which immediately throws me off because it doesn't feel real. Place this in comparison with that sappy song from 2008 'Hey There Delilah' by The Plain White Ts. Now, I'll admit that song is clumsy, poorly written, and amateurishly performed, but it still manages to work for me better than the majority of John Mayer's discography because it feels genuine and sincere, emotions I have a hard time finding in Mayer's work.

Eventually, though, it all comes back to the songwriting, and I'll admit without shame that John Mayer is a much better songwriter than Jack Johnson or Jason Mraz. As I said, John Mayer has at least written songs I like ('Waiting On The World To Change' and 'Say'), but he's also written a whole ton of crap that doesn't hold up nearly as well. Part of the problem seems to be a serious lack of humour, as John Mayer delivers all of his songs with as much somber earnestness as his voice can allow. And I'll admit, at points it kind of works and I completely understand why so many people have fallen for this guy over the past decade - people respond well to that sort of thing.

But here's my sticking point: I don't buy John Mayer's sincerity in the slightest. Too often in his songs he paints himself as the sadsack loner who's just looking to serenade a girl with his guitar and oh-so-clever songwriting (most of which isn't nearly as clever as it likes to think it is). And really, that starts to come across as more than a little disingenuous when you discover that he's dated Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jessica Simpson, Minka Kelly, Jennifer Aniston, Taylor Swift, and now Katy Perry. And then coupled with that infamous Playboy interview in 2010 (which he attempted to brush off by saying he was just trying to be 'funny' before apologizing) and the scathing direct assault Taylor Swift launched with 'Dear John', it's hard to believe Mayer's attempts to sound romantic anymore. And yes, I will agree that Mayer is a better technical songwriter than Taylor Swift, but 'Dear John' at least sounds emotionally authentic and does a fairly apt job and describing who John Mayer really is behind the artifice. 

All of this comes together to paint an interesting, if unappealing, picture of John Mayer, reminiscent of that douchebag you meet in college who woos girls by strumming on his acoustic guitar (and is basically asking for a recreation of Animal House). And sure, I understand that's not the image he's trying to put forward of himself when he presents his material, but it's the same problem I have with Chris Brown: I can no longer separate the artist persona from the public persona in my mind, mostly because elements of said art only seem to reinforce that image!

But all of that being said, I do appreciate that John Mayer is at least trying to repair his image. I'll admit that his previous album Born And Raised was a little too self-aggrandizing, but maybe that was just a necessary transitory step. And hell, I've been surprised by acoustic acts earlier this year, maybe I'll get lucky twice. So how does John Mayer's new album Paradise Valley turn out?