With this Grammy-winning record John Mayer has produced a wonderful pop record that is now available in a high resolution multichannel format. The SACD sound was big but lacked the finesse of better recordings with the vocals sounding a little compressed and instruments not totally free of edginess and processing. Focus is up front with ambience and some instrumentation in the rear—nothing detracting from the music. Mayer’s guitar style is very upbeat and lyrical while his affected vocals blend especially nicely with the music. Calling him a male Norah Jones might offend some, but wouldn’t be too far from the mark. Not every song is great, but “Your Body is a Wonderland,” “No Such Thing,” and “St. Patrick’s Day” are just a few of the standout tracks. Mayer manages to successfully walk the line between hit radio and adult-oriented radio therefore expanding his appeal and increasing his audience. However, this doesn’t mean that the music is in any way watered down. As a singer-songwriter his skills are a cut above and the material never falls into the “sounds the same” category as some records can. It has roots loosely based in older popular music, but still sounds fresh and offers a good variety of styles. For instance, “Neon” is a bit jazzy while “83” has a folksier feel. The last track is one of my favorites—it puts the listener in a pleasant, peaceful mellow mood. This disc is most assuredly recommended!
Songs included are: No Such Thing; Why Georgia; My Stupid Mouth; Your Body Is A Wonderland; Neon; City Love; 83; 3X5; Love Song For No One; Back To You; Great Indoors; Not Myself; St. Patrick’s Day.