After the promising The Search for Everything: Wave One and the lackluster The Search for Everything: Wave Two, John Mayer returns with The Search for Everything, his seventh studio album.
Wave One and Wave Two consisted of four songs each. Those, plus "In the Blood," "Theme from 'The Search for Everything,'" "Never on the Day You Leave" and "Rosie" — the four new tracks — make up this album.
I saw a lot of potential in this album after Wave One came out in January, but after a less-than-promising Wave Two and listening to the full album, it is clear that Mayer has fallen short with his latest project.
Aside from a few standout songs such as "In the Blood," "Changing" and "You're Gonna Live Forever in Me," the rest of the album falls flat. While much of the music sounds like traditional Mayer — him doing what he does best — the album feels almost too clean, too pure. There is no edge to the music, nothing that makes it stand out among Mayer's other music like many of the songs on 2013's Paradise Valley did.
The Search for Everything is, at its core, a breakup album. It touches primarily on Mayer's struggles with lost love and letting go of past relationships, making it one of his most personal albums to date.
One of the biggest issues with The Search for Everything is the lack of growth that Mayer shows as a performer. If anything, the album showcases Mayer's skills as a songwriter — he is credited with writing every track on the album — rather than as a performer.
While the project does prove that Mayer is still a gifted artist, able to sing his heart out and riff on a guitar as well as — if not better than — the next person, it doesn't feel like enough anymore. The Search for Everything is just too much of the same, and the lack of growth and change in Mayer's style of music causes listeners to tire of the sound quickly.
There are a few songs that capture a different sound and stick in the listener's head. "Changing," one of the songs from the Wave One EP, is a strong track that looks at how each of us continues to grow throughout our lives in different ways.
The Search for Everything contains a lot of songs that work better as background music, but there are a few songs on the album that prove that John Mayer still has what it takes to make good tunes.