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‘The Search For Everything’: A Review of John Mayer’s Latest Songs

John Mayer songs never get old. Why? Well, because he is John Mayer. In all seriousness, the main reason I think John Mayer is so impactful, is because of his incredible lyrics. No matter what situation I am going through, or what stage I am in in my life, John Mayer’s lyrics speak to me in a new way, and I am able to understand them on a deeper level, because of their poetic nature.

 

Starting last month, John has been releasing batches, or “waves” of new songs, four at a time, for his upcoming album, “The Search For Everything.” John stated that the next month’s wave will be the entirety of the album. Without further ado, here is my analysis and review of the eight songs John has blessed us with thus far:

1. Moving On and Getting Over

“Moving on and getting over are not the friends they used to be.”

What I love most about this song is its groove. It is very laid back and chill, and becomes very groovy toward the end as John transitions into a guitar solo. The decision to have a chill groove while John is singing about not being able to get over someone is an interesting choice, but one that makes total sense. The lyrics above describe how “moving on” and “getting over” are often considered to be synonymous, which is not always the case. When John sings, “I still can’t seem to get you off my mind,” to the relaxed groove of the song (complete juxtaposition), it demonstrates how he is trying to move on, while fighting the reality that, just because he is going through the motions of moving forward, does not mean that he is completely “over” the situation. 

2. Changing 

“Friends behind their fences looking at me strange, wondering when I’m gonna come to my senses, but I’m still changing, and I can’t change my ways.”

This song is, without a doubt, the song I find most relatable in Wave One, which was released in the end of January. As a college student, life is constantly changing. CONSTANTLY. We are all growing at different (yet similiar) rates during this time in our lives, and we are still exploring our identities, which, I have found, makes it very difficult to feel understood. Everyone is holding on to whatever helps them stay sane, and sometimes people can be inconsistent as a result. The way I interpret the above lyric is this: When people look at you from the outside, you may feel judged for your actions, because everyone is just trying to manage their growth, in whatever way possible. Sometimes we may question the actions of others, because we forget that everyone is coping with life in the way they know how. The last two lines, to me, just represent that it is okay to surrender to change, because the truth is, we are young. We have learning to do. 

3. Love on the Weekend 

“I’ll be dreamin’ of the next time we can go into another serotonin overflow.”

I LOVE this song. It was the first single John Mayer released from this new album, and I remember being so happy when it came out, because new John Mayer music symbolizes a new chapter in my life (duuuuh). “Love on the Weekend” is just a feel-good love song, very happy-go-lucky and adorable (I know John wouldn’t like his music being referred to as “adorable” but…it is). I love the lyrics above. I think the reference to a seratonin overflow is a genius way to simply say, “You make me happy.” He’s a poet. 

4. You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me

“Life is full of sweet mistakes and love’s an honest one to make. Time leaves no fruit on the tree, but you’re gonna live forever in me.”

I’m not going to lie, I’m still waiting for this song to grow on me…which it will, because ALL John Mayer songs do eventually. (Maybe I just haven’t had a life experience that I can 100% connect this to? Who knows.) Anyway, for some reason, this song reminds me of Toy Story or something. I know, I’m sorry, John. I just find it very cheesy. I do love the lyrics though, of course. I’m just not feeling the whistling and lack of guitar. 

5. Still Feel Like Your Man

“I still keep your shampoo in my shower in case you wanna wash your hair, and I know that you probably found yourself someone somewhere, but I do not really care ’cause as long as it is there, I still feel like your man.”

I love the groove of this song too, the first of four on Wave Two, released at the end of February. I see that John’s strategy for each wave was to begin with a groovy, feel-good tune that somehow simultaneously connects to heartbreak. I love the harmonies in this song. The song is also reminiscent of a Michael Jackson song from the Off The Wall era. It has a definite Motown feel, which I love.

6. Emoji of a Wave  (ALL TIME FAVORITE SONG ON THIS ALBUM SO FAR!!!) 

“It takes all the love I have to say I know we’re gonna be ok. It breaks my heart…Oh honey, it’s just a wave, and I know, that when it comes I just hold on.”

This song is so sad, yet hopeful, and beautifully bittersweet. It perfectly connects to a situation in my own life right now, so when I first heard this, all I could say was “thank you.” This ballad is about the idea that time heals, and that everything is temporary — just a wave that will pass if we stay strong. The sequence of the lyrics is a big part of what makes the song so impactful. For instance, John sings, “I know we are going to be okay,” and then, “it breaks my heart.” The contrast between thse two lines portrays the feeling of being torn and not knowing what to think about a painful situation. The chorus, however, has such a hopeful melody that overpowers the heartbreaking elements of the song and leaves the listener feeling somehow optimistic — and yet understood. 

7. Helpless

“If I’m helpless, tell me now, and I’ll stop trying to figure it out.”

Don’t judge a song by its title is the lesson I learned from this song. I thought for sure with a title like “Helpless,” this song would be slow and sad. Although it does have a hint of desparation as you can see from the above lyrics, the song is quite groovy, upbeat and highlights John on the guitar, which is always a wonderful thing. The music and lyrics are very repetitive (helpless x100000), but it is more about the great groove of the song than anything else, so it is totally cool. This would be a fun song to dance to, in my opinion. You can tell that John was really jamming out when he was recording this song!

8. Roll it on Home 

Roll it on home. Tomorrow’s another chance you won’t go it alone.”

This song is very reminiscent of John’s most recently released albums, Paradise Valley and Born and Raised, which are very folk-y, as opposed to his classic soft rock feel. I could picture this song being played in a Western saloon or sung by a Bluegrass band, to be honest.  Although I prefer when his music is more on the pop-rock side, I appreciate his versatility in style.   

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