Tuesday, March 02, 2004

New single that has no right to be as good as it is: John Mayer, "Clarity." Just when I was starting to really hate this guy he whips out a graceful groove (no staid jam-band fonk'n'honk), a memorable guitar riff, cutely youthful yet unembarassing lyrics and - here's the stunner - THE BEST TRUMPET CHARTS I'VE HEARD IN AGES. This isn't just a "Crazy In Love" loop or a "When You're Gone" swell, these horns dance (though judging by my reference points he hasn't had much competition). If John's falsetto cries at the end are less than perfection, it reaffirms that his musical ambition still reaches beyond his gifts (which, judging by the evolution heard here, isn't really a bad thing). I know Roots drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson worked on a few tracks on Heavier Things and this song is so confident I have to assume this is one of them. Mayer allegedly wanted to make the whole album with Thompson, and if this is one of their collaborations, I'm impressed by his good taste. If this ISN'T one of them, he evidently doesn't even need the tutelage. Who'd a thunk it.

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