CONTINUUM

-- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:29 PM ET


John Mayer
Continuum
(Columbia/Sony BMG)

"I'm not the man I used to be lately," says John Mayer. No kidding. Once written off as a troubadourish Dave Matthews wannabe, the singer-guitarist turned heads with last year's Try!, a live album that found him transformed into a blistering bluesman fronting a potent power trio.

The 28-year-old Mayer takes the next step in his musical evolution with the aptly titled Continuum, his least forced and most soulful set to date. Retaining his A1 rhythm section of drummer Steve Jordan and bassist Pino Palladino -- and making room for guests like bluesman Ben Harper, jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove and eight-string guitarist Charlie Hunter -- Mayer takes it down a gear with a low-key set of supple slow-grooves and subtle melodies that draw on the classic vibes of Memphis and Philly.

That is, when he isn't unspooling a slinky cover of Hendrix's Bold as Love or pulling out the acoustic guitar for some rootsy folk-blues.

Granted, the laid-back tone gets a bit samey after a while, and it can be too Stingish for its own good.

Still, as far as we're concerned, the new Mayer beats the old one by a mile.

Track Listing:

1. Waiting On The World To Change
2. I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)
3. Belief
4. Gravity
5. The Heart Of Life
6. Vultures
7. Stop This Train
8. Slow Dancing In A Burning Room
9. Bold As Love
10. Dreaming With A Broken Heart
11. In Repair
12. I'm Gonna Find Another You


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