The Search for Everything. An album review.

Being a poor student I don’t often buy new CDs (how times have changed—in my previous middle class existence I would buy two albums a week). Being a guitar player I (sometimes) gravitate to guitar-oriented music. Such is the case with John Mayer’s newest album, The Search for Everything. (I’m going to refrain from commenting on Mr Mayer’s purportedly douchey private life. He’s a great guitarist and song writer and I admire him for those things, rather than his tabloid exploits.)

After a few country-tinged albums, Mayer has returned to his blues-funk roots. The twelve songs showcased here are sad and remorse-filled tales of heartbreak, love, drunkenness and loneliness (hmmmm, my four favourite things, it seems). The lyrics, like most of Mayer’s other work, reflect a deep personal melancholy that obviously strike a chord with me.

Still Feel Like Your Man is the funkiest and best cut, and had me grooving out and marvelling at Mayer’s tasty and ample riff work. Other faves included the punchy Helpless, the tasty instrumental title track, funk-filled Moving On and Getting Over and poignant piano strains of You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me.

Mayer’s singing and playing is top notch throughout, and as usual he surrounds himself with top musos to back him up, including regulars Steve Jordan on drums and Pino Palladino on bass.

I know Mayer is not the mega-selling artist he used to be, but The Search for Everything demonstrates aptly that he is still an amazing song writer and musician, who struggles with his personal demons. Just like the rest of us.

Heartily recommended.

Adele – 25. Sing ‘em loud! A Review.

I’m a big fan of Adele. She has an amazing range to her voice and the tone has an earthy, time worn quality to it. She also revels in songs about lost love, which, being the sad sack that I am, I’m particularly fond of. So if you’re not a fan, you may as well click away now, as this will not be an unbiased review. Just saying.

I guess almost everyone in the world has 21, Adele’s sophomore album that blew minds with its dark and swaggering vocals and 60’s aesthetic. 25 is the follow up (all of her album titles reflect her age when the album was produced – I guess she’s not going to change that in a hurry). As usual, she has surrounded herself with great musicians and co-writes all of the songs. Adele has a capacity to take a fairly simple song and turn it into an emotive tale of longing and pathos that manages to take hold of your brain and not let go.

There are 11 songs on the album, all soaring ballads and torch songs. Hello is the big hit that everybody has probably heard way too many times by now. Send My Love, Water Under The Bridge and River Lea get a bit funky. I Miss You and Sweetest Devotion are boldly percussive. Melancholic piano strains fire up When We Were Young, Remedy, Love In The Dark and All I Ask, and the sensitive acoustic filigree of Million Years Ago is hauntingly sweet. This album never really steers a foot wrong.

Let me be clear: this is not an adventurous experiment that takes Adele out of her comfort zone. Adele has a formula that works and fans love it. We’ll be singing out loud accompanying these songs until the next album rolls around.

Chris. A poem.

He shined
On every stage
A voice that made you
Take notice
A guitar
Burning and churning
Changing lives
Through music

But inside
Thoughts and pain
Burning and churning
Shadows and rain
Low
Black hole sun
Dragging down
Crushing him

Who could see
What would come
To be
To take a life
So unexpectedly
Into the superunknown
Exit stage left
Now rest

House Sitter – epilogue

My friends got back from the cruise, unfortunately two of the five were sick for most of it (doh!).

Following are a couple of things I learnt while housesitting in the center of town:

  • I love living in the center of town (everything is sooooooo convenient)
  • I don’t cook when I’m living in the center of town (restaurants are sooooooo convenient)
  • Dogs are very therapeutic (dogs give unconditional love. Why can’t humans be like that?)
  • I love walking the dog for miles and miles and miles and… (l lost a bit of fat and put on a bit of muscle – all balanced out weight-wise as muscle is heavier than fat. And I don’t have much fat anyway, so I’m trimmer now :p )
  • I’m very productive when I’m on my own (ten songs completed in eight days – yeah!)
  • The counter to that is I get depressed more (story of my life…)
  • You never do everything you wanted to do (CBD shopping? Nix. Meet women? Nada. Party on the town? Hah!)

Now: uni assignment due this Friday. Time to get my arse into gear.

Have a great day 🙂

House Sitter #8 – productive week

I’m house sitting for one more day, recording songs I’ve written over the last year.

Wow! It’s been a great run. I’ve finished recording nine of my songs, and I’ll work on another this afternoon. 

Addendum: Finished ten songs! Woo hoo! 🙂

My friends return from their cruise tomorrow. The house is in good order, the dog has been walked excessively (hope this hasn’t raised her expectations lol), and I’m feeling pretty positive (when I’m not dwelling on crap).

I’ve got some uni assignments due over the next few weeks, but once they’re done I’m going to mix and master these babies and get the album published (I’ll post about it as it happens).

Productive week!

Have a great day 🙂

House Sitter #6 – arranging awesomeness

I’m house sitting for the next three days, recording songs I’ve written over the last year.

Worked on ‘Light the Way’ last night and this morning (walked the dog, rang Mum and wished her a happy Mother’s Day – hey, I already got her a card and present). The song has turned out great. I added some distorted guitar and layered vocals to the chorus and it now kicks ass. 

Next, a stripped back folky acoustic number called ‘Believe’. I haven’t played this one much. I think I’ll add some piano and maybe orchestrate some strings for it. 

I often change the arrangement for a song when I record. I’m happy to say that most of the time the song ends up the better for it.

Have a great day 🙂

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