I really really didn’t know what to think about this album when I first got it. Fair enough John Mayer is a superb guitarist, but I had got into him through listening to Continuum and not his earlier more Pop orientated works. In truth, I had got round to buying Heavier Things and Room For Squares, but I got them at the same time as this album so didn’t really give just one my attention. I also find listening to a live album when you don’t really know the artist’s music not great, especially so in this case, as the amount of long intros and extended solo parts, while very good, would not be of much interest to someone just getting into the artist.
Eventually though, I did start to quite like Heavier Things, especially the first few songs, but primarily the last three – ‘Daughters’, ‘Wheel’ and ‘Only Heart’. The songs in between were good too, but they just didn’t stand out like the end of the album. Moving onto ‘Room For Squares’, at first I thought it was a bit mediocre, a bit average, know what I mean. After a few listens though you start to like it, getting into such songs as ‘Neon’, ‘Your Body Is A Wonderland’ and the Daughters-like track, ‘St. Patrick’s Day’. Having listened to these albums now, and ultimately realising that John Mayer wasn’t just some Blues aficionado, I thought I’d give a ‘Any Given Thursday’ a listen (eventually).
As with listening to most albums (live ones espesh) the first few times, you do recognise some songs, and think, ‘Yeah, they’re pretty good.’ But with the rest, you don’t really get into them and think they’re a bit self indulgent. Yeah, at the end of the day they probably are pretty self indulgent, but you know what, I love it! He’s a great guitarist, so why not show it off? Anyhoo, getting round to the actual point of this paragraph, the songs which I haven’t heard before on the album, primarily ‘Lenny/Man On The Side’ and ‘Comfortable’ are some of the best, in fact they’re just brilliant. Fair enough ‘Comfortable’ is on the ‘Inside Wants Out EP’, which I should really have, but ‘Lenny/Man On The Side’, half of which is a Stevie Ray Vaughn song, is awesome!
The only criticism that I have with Any Given Thursday is that it doesn’t contain many of his newer songs. In essence it is primarily ‘Room For Squares’ that is featured, and one song from ‘Heavier Things’. There are no Continuum songs, but I guess at that point, the majority hadn’t been written, so why should I expect there to be any? Overall though, with what is there is, it’s brilliant and definitely due a listen if you’re any sort of John Mayer fan!