It's the 10th anniversary of John Mayer's Album 'Continuum'. Although I wasn't listening to it a decade ago, it's probably had the most significant impact on my life of any album. I think it may be slightly better than his live album "Where the Light Is.", which includes most of the same songs.
This album has gotten me through quite a bit in the past few years. It's a consistent emotional catalyst, both for good and bad. I find myself listening to the album when emotions are high, so there really isn't a positive or negative connotation, other than it brings the feels. I book two weddings in one day? Listen to Continuum and feel happy. Heartbreak over a woman? Listen to Continuum, and feel sad. Waking up at 3:00am to arrive at my Delta Airlines shift and need something to make me excited about life? Listen to Continuum. My playlist when meeting with a bride at my studio? Continuum. The nuances in each song will never get old.
Most think that because I'm a musician, I'll have a very eclectic taste in music. I don't. "You haven't heard of so-and-so, I thought you were a musician?" It's not really diverse at all, but I think what I do listen to is purely good music (all three artists:) This album has been on repeat for a week, and I could really keep it that way for the rest of my life and I wouldn't even care.
Mayer has a way of bringing out emotions in simple melodies. His lyrics are moving, yes, but he also knows how chord progressions and solos affect others. In an interview he describes "cracking the code of music". Music has the power to change mindsets, and Mayer has established a goal to figure out the formula to make people feel things. Although a fairly egotistical person, his music is focused on the effect it has on others.
I love how memories can so clearly coincide with songs. Each song of the album has specific memories attached to it that probably won't go away. I can listen to "Something Like Olivia" and think a number of things. I can vividly remember getting off the train and strutting through Amsterdam with my earphones in. I can remember tirelessly learning the tune on the acoustic and recording crappy covers of it a couple of years ago. I can remember changing 'Olivia' to the name of my buddy's wife in the audience when I sang, "Something like xxxxx is what I need to find." So many little joys within these songs.
Waiting on the World to Change
The first Mayer song I learned on the guitar. This was when I was first starting to branch out to more difficult guitar music. My previous boss at the music store taught me and we busked downtown on the weekend and would jam with this tune.
Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
This has been my consistent sad song over the years. The chord progression is pretty repetitive, but it's just perfect. The solo is simple, but oh-so-difficult to play well. The more of his music I attempt, the more I realize the little intricacies of his playing. He has it down to a science where every little bend of a string, or crescendo of a pentatonic scale breeds this cloud of contentedness.
Bold as Love
I grew up with a rather strict music policy from my parents back in the day, so I didn't listen to any Jimi Hendrix. Mayer's cover of this tune was the first time I heard it. This is probably the happiest of the album for me. Consistent good vibes. The type of solo where I'll be squirming while driving because the blues has overtaken me. 'Squirming' is sort-of a stupid word, but if you've ever felt the blues, it's the only word to adequately describe the air-guitar riff you busted out in front of the bathroom mirror to make you feel better after a rough night.
Dreaming with a Broken Heart
Probably the second or third song I learned on the guitar. I remember there being a point where his line clicked for me. I generally don't listen to lyrics too hard, but when I heard,
"When you're dreaming with a broken heart,
The waking up is the hardest part."