Photo Courtesy of YouTube
Story by Kali Hammon / Contributing Writer
Is John Mayer actually searching for everything in his new album or just another chance with Katy Perry?
John Mayer released “The Search for Everything” last Friday, his first album since 2013 when he released “Paradise Valley.” After listening to the first two songs, it does not take long to realize that this album is very obviously about his recent breakup with pop star Katy Perry. This album is definitely a new approach for Mayer, who tends to have a bit of edge in his music. “The Search for Everything” contains mainly upbeat tracks, which is ironic considering how it is a breakup album. Nevertheless, Mayer has released another album that gives us some feel-good music to listen to just in time for summer break. Many of the tracks resemble some of his classic hits like “Your Body is a Wonderland” and “Waiting on the World to Change,” but there a few tracks on “The Search for Everything” to watch out for.
The album starts off with “Still Feel Like Your Man.” Listening to this track, you quickly figure out that Mayer is still not over Katy Perry. Some of the lyrics on this track include: “Still think I’m never gonna find another you,” and “I’d rather sit here on my own and be alone, babe, ‘cause I still feel like your man.” Recently, Mayer was interviewed by the New York Times.
When he was asked about if this song and the album are in reference to Perry, Mayer said, “Who else would I be thinking about? And by the way, it’s a testament to the fact that I have not dated a lot of people in the last five, six years. That was my only relationship. So it’s like, give me this, people.”
Next up is “Emoji of a Wave.” This song takes a slower approach and feels like it is more personal. One lyric reads, “Oh honey, it’s just a wave and I know that when it comes I just hold on until it’s gone.” This song seems to be referring to the ups and downs of a relationship.
When Mayer was discussing this track with Rolling Stone, he said, “It’s about sitting in a feeling. There are two levels to the song: one of them is the beautiful destination I go to whenever I hear it, which is Santa Barbara on a rainy, cold day. The other level is just about this part of life and love that my brain doesn’t understand — wanting to act to resolve a situation but knowing there’s no resolution.”
“Helpless” is the third song on the album. It returns to the upbeat feel and refers to drinking and getting courage to talk to that special someone. Directly after “Helpless,” is one of his more popular songs on the album, “Love on the Weekend,” which was released ahead of the album.
In his Rolling Stone interview, Mayer described it as “a sunny pop-rock tune reminiscent of his early chart-toppers.” The two songs being placed together work out great, since they are both fun tracks.
The fifth track, “In the Blood,” discusses sharing traits with your parents, good and bad. This song may not be one of the more popular tracks, however, the lyrics are very relatable. It took listening to this song a couple of times before I actually started enjoying it. I believe this may not start out as one of the stronger tracks on the album, but will be one that definitely grows on people.
We hit a slower part of the album when getting to tracks six and seven. “Changing” has very strong, personal lyrics, and Mayer demonstrates his piano skills. But if you’re looking for a song that’s upbeat, you may want to skip over this one. “Theme from ‘The Search for Everything,’” in my opinion, is very boring. It is simply an instrumental. These songs are placed very well, considering how they are in the middle and not very enjoyable.
“Moving on and Getting Over,” saves us from the previous tracks. It is one of the more popular tracks on the album, and is again very obviously inspired by a breakup. You can tell this is a breakup song by some of the lyrics being, “It’s been so long since I got to hold you, But I still can’t seem to get you off of my mind, and I do believe I feel you all the time.” One thing that definitely stands out on this track is Mayer pausing after nearly every word.
While discussing this track with Rolling Stone, Mayer said, “I had this idea to get your attention through repetition that almost sounds like a CD skip. It was a really novel sort of hook.”
The ninth track on the album is “Never on the Day You Leave.”
In an interview with My Stupid Mouth, Mayer said, “There’s a song called ‘Never on the Day You Leave’ that is the saddest song I ever wrote. It’s about guys and how guys work in regret, and it’s never on the day you leave (and) you can figure out the rest from the title.” The lyrics read, “She’ll cut her hair and move somewhere, she don’t owe you anything.” This could be another reference to Katy Perry, who ironically cut her hair off. This track is definitely one of the more personal ones on this album.
“Rosie” is one of the tracks that will probably be overlooked, because it isn’t very personal nor does it seem to have much of a story. However, after listening to this song a couple of times, I find it to be pretty catchy. It’s definitely one that grows on you, such as “In The Blood.”
“Roll It Home” definitely gives off mixed vibes. I believe this track will be another one that will ultimately be skipped over, however, I enjoyed hearing the visual aspects of the song. This song really allows you to visualize because of references in the lyrics, such as “Journey on the jukebox singin,” “The bar is getting brighter and the walls are closin’ in,” and “the one that you had eyes for, had their eyes for your best friend.”
Mayer said, “We have this bar in Livingston, Montana, called The Murray Bar, and that’s the room I’ve always pictured this playing in.”
Lastly, “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me.” It feels like a powerful track to end on. After listening to the entire album, you definitely get the idea that John Mayer is far from over Katy Perry. When you listen to the lyrics of this song, it is essentially saying that everything he has experienced with Perry has changed the person he is today. The lyrics read, “But you’re gonna live forever in me, I’ll guarantee just wait and see” and “Parts of me were made by you.”
In his Rolling Stone interview, he said, “It’s the only song that comes on and I get physically anxious. It’s so open and revealing,” when asked about this song.
Overall, John Mayer’s “The Search for Everything” takes a more personal approach compared to the albums he has released in the past. Although these songs are personal and deep, for the most part, they still keep the traditional sound from his previous albums.