At a time where artists are constantly searching (for everything) and experimenting with new methods of releasing and teasing new music, John Mayer’s seventh LP The Search for Everything is no different. Preceded by two EPs each featuring four new tracks from the album, the full LP is laced with the familiar signature Mayer has uniquely crafted and sewn into The Search for Everything’s predecessors.
Bouncing opener Still Feel Like Your Man has faint echoes of Mayer’s sophomore 2003 album opener Clarity, and like many of his songs, it rotates around the theme of love, despite a more mature, RnB edge and layered vocals. Perhaps coincidentally, Mayer even parallels a previous song of his as he feels like “I’ll never find another you”. It’s a theme which certainly drives the album. Lead single Love on the Weekend is a blues infused piece about a long-distance relationship and the waiting time between weekends together.
Change is another theme woven through the album, perhaps most evident in the rather obviously named track Changing, which marks the album’s halfway point and is interestingly placed there as Mayer sings about his constant evolution as a person. The track could also be seen to highlight his constantly developing sound, which has touched upon various genres in the six albums leading to The Search for Everything.
Four years after the album’s predecessor Paradise Valley, in addition to love, this piece also sees Mayer reflecting on his most recent break-up, this time with Katy Perry. Moving On and Getting Over is an example of Mayer closing the book on the last relationship and attempting to leave it behind and struggling to do so on top of funk-like instrumentals. Album closer You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me, with its whistled introduction, is another slice of Mayer dealing with a breakup, and seemingly more poignant. He contemplates the influence his previous partner had on him and the legacy of the relationship, with its short, touching lines such as “life is full of sweet mistakes / and love’s an honest one to make” layered on top of a simple piano melody.
It’s a thought-provoking and reflective release, yet it seems Mayer is showing no signs of running out of ideas. He manages to return with new tracks which all sound so familiar and fundamentally him.