John Mayer may have titled his sophomore disc Heavier Things, but don’t expect the album to rock you like a hurricane. Though it’s more electric than acoustic (and even finds Mayer expanding his repertoire with the hip-hop-infused “Clarity,” which features ?uestLove of the Roots), this follow-up to his triple-platinum debut,
Room for Squares, is filled with the singer’s familiar mellow melodies, soft jazz and signature obsession with love lost (and found) and subsequent self-discoveries. Rather than signaling an overall change of sound, Heavier Things instead showcases Mayer’s growing maturity as a pop songwriter. “Something’s Missing,” “Bigger Than My Body,” and the plaintively articulated “Home Life,” in which Mayer pines for a normal existence, suggest he’s contemplating his place in the world with more weight and perception while simultaneously easing up on himself. Most telling is the track “New Deep,” wherein Mayer reveals: “I’m gonna find out/Just how boring I am/And have a good time/Cause ever since I tried/Trying not to find/Every little meaning in my life/It’s been fine/I’ve been cool.” Mayer may still be wrestling with the Big Questions, but at least this time around he’s having a little more fun.