a realistic dose of cynicism

Icon

battle studies

above: JM’s “modest” songwriting rig.

been listening to the new John Mayer album, Battle Studies, for almost three days straight now.

the good:

  • 1. Heartbreak Warfare (presumably the inspiration for the album title. Reminiscent of U2. Standout vocals and accompaniment; single material.)
  • 2. All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye (Returning to a bit of a jazzier sound. Continuum fans: right here.)
  • 3. Half Of My Heart feat. Taylor Swift (pure lyrical genius…but needs more tay-sway. might get a little repetitive, but the lyrics make up for it.)
  • 4. Who Says (maybe a little irreverent. but that’s okay. Incredible guitar skill showcase though.)
  • 7. Crossroads (it’s a cover, but I really enjoy it. It’s a completely different side of Mayer. but to be honest my favorite part of the song is the extended bridge. pure love.)
  • 9. Edge of Desire (pretty classic-sounding Mayer.)
  • 11. Friends, Lovers, or Nothing (okay this is pretty reminiscent of Continuum—it’s a song that can remain true throughout the ages. Do like.)

the mediocre:

  • 6. Assassin (it’s okay. it’s got this mysterious feel to it, which probably indicates that the lyrics go very well with the instrumentation.)
  • 8. War Of My Life (it sounds very chill. but also kinda monotonous.)
  • 10. Do You Know Me (doesn’t sound like anything special to me.)

the bad:

  • 5. Perfectly Lonely (it really sounds like he tried way too hard; to make it sound carefree, to convince us that he’s perfectly lonely. the whole thing comes off as kind of pompous.)

So make no mistake, Mayer sounds a lot poppier here. None of the jazz/bluesy sound that propelled Continuum to great heights.

so it’s no Continuum. you won’t find it here (although you’ll find what you’re looking for in All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye, Edge of Desire, and Friends, Lovers, or Nothing. but it’s still a good album in its own right, showing conceptual growth, increasing musical depth, and progression.

Each Mayer album seems to be slightly, if not strikingly, different from its predecessor. Much like Heavier Things changed the game from Room For Squares, and Continuum for Heavier Things, Mayer takes it in a new direction…

and to be honest I kinda like it.

Advertisements

Filed under: uncategorized

initial thoughts on A Grief Observed

“I had yet to learn that all human relationships end in pain–it is the price that our imperfection has allowed Satan to exact from us for the privilege of love.” -Douglas S. Gresham, the introduction to A Grief Observed

All human relationships end in pain, whether it’s through bitterness, neglect, estrangement, or worse.

But at the same time, we humans seem to start and deepen such relationships, knowing full well that they all invariably end in pain. And it seems to be true that the deeper and more intimate the relationship, the deeper the anguish and sorrow when we are inevitably seemingly robbed of it. So why do we do it? Why do we bother?

It’s not because we think that all the joy we can discover in the company of another person could ever displace the eventual crushing sadness of grief when we lose them. It’s not because we figure it’s a zero-sum game. It’s not even sufficient to say that we do it for the joy of the moment, regardless of whether that moment lasts for mere minutes or sustains through many seasons.

But it’s not a zero-sum game. Of course you could say, ‘let’s just average out all the joy and pain and call it a straight line; a constant, monotonous, average value.’ But still, we don’t. There *is* something to be gained through the pursuit of deep human relationships.

If that constant average value is the state completely devoid of relational sentiment, then any deviation from that value, either positive or negative, constitutes an emotion that we feel. And if we believe that any joyful deviation must always be accompanied by a corresponding dose of sorrow, then nudging that line upwards will invariably cause a downward dip later.

But in our minds, somewhere, we must think that it’s all worth it; that we would rather experience both effervescent joy and love in the splendor of God’s creation and then the anguish that later accompanies it.

Much like finding the average value of a sinusoid, life cannot simply be approximated by taking the emotional average. A life with its relational emotional peaks and valleys derives infinitely more meaning than a life without any of the above.

The ability to feel both joy and sorrow versus the inability to feel anything makes us more than just a constant value.

We’re more than just a swatch of 18% gray.

As Switchfoot put it, we’re more than “just okay”.

 

Filed under: uncategorized

I Need Words – David Crowder Band (guitar tab)

I’ve been playing / meditating on this song recently. I hate to sound passé… but what these older, mellower DC*B songs lack in energy and intensity, they make up for in honest, heart-wrenching vocals and pure acoustic accompaniment.

And also, no one out there has tabbed it correctly so I thought I’d take a stab at it. Ultimate-Guitar link here.

I Need Words
David Crowder Band
tabbed by jerry (remmeh@gmail.com)
Tuning: EAEEBe
Intro
e------------------------------0-------------------------------------------
B--------0--------0--------------0------------0--------0-------------------
E------0--------0------------------0--------0--------0---------------------
E----5--------7--------7/9-/7-------------5--------7--------7/9-/7--5/4-0--
A--4-------/6--------0------------------4-------/6--------0----------------
E--------------------------------------------------------------------------
e------------------------------0----------------------------------------0--
B--------0--------0--------------0------------0--------0------------0------
E------0--------0------------------0--------0--------0----------------0----
E----5--------7--------7/9-/7-------------5--------7----------0h2/4--------
A--4-------/6--------0------------------4-------/6----------2--------------
E---------------------------------------------------------0----------------
Verse
e-----------------------------0------------------------------------0-------
B--------0--------0-------------0-------------0--------0--------0----0-----
E------0--------0-----------------0---------0--------0--------0--------0---
E----5--------7--------7/9-/7-------------5--------7--------7--------------
A--4-------/6--------0------------------4-------/6--------0----------------
E--------------------------------------------------------------------------
I need words                         as wide as sky
I need language large as             this longing inside
I need a voice                       bigger than mine
I need a song to sing You            that I've yet to find
Chorus
e-------------0----------------0-----------------0-------------0h2--0------
B---------------0-----------0----0------------0----0------------------0----
E-----------------0-------0--------0--------0--------0-------0----------0--
E------0-0h2------------0-----------------5----------------2---------------
A----2----------------0-----------------4----------------2-----------------
E--4-----------------------------------------------------------------------
I need You                          oh I need You
e-------------0----------------0-----------------0------------------0------
B---------------0-----------0----0------------0----0-----------0------0----
E-----------------0-------0--------0--------0--------0-------0----------0--
E------0-0h2------------0-----------------5----------------2---------------
A----2----------------0-----------------4----------------2-----------------
E--4-----------------------------------------------------------------------
I need You                          oh I need You
Outro
e----------------0----
B------------0-----0--
E----------0---0------
E----0h2/4------------
A--0------------------
E---------------------
to be here now
e------------------------------0-------------------------------------------
B--------0--------0--------------0------------0--------0-------------------
E------0--------0------------------0--------0--------0---------------------
E----5--------7--------7/9-/7-------------5--------7--------7/9-/7--5/4-0--
A--4-------/6--------0------------------4-------/6--------0----------------
E--------------------------------------------------------------------------
to be here now                       to hear me now
e------------------------------0----------------------------------------0--
B--------0--------0--------------0------------0--------0------------0------
E------0--------0------------------0--------0--------0----------------0----
E----5--------7--------7/9-/7-------------5--------7----------0h2/4--------
A--4-------/6--------0------------------4-------/6----------2--------------
E---------------------------------------------------------0----------------
to hear me now

 

Also… emacs rules for editing guitar tablature.

Filed under: music,

the best of the best

November 2009
S M T W T F S
« Oct    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

Archives