John Mayer – Where The Light Is: Live In Los Angeles (CD)

John Mayer has slowly grown on me in the years since debuting on radio stations all across the country. “Say” was the track that really clinched that, being a perfect blend of soulful rock and honest vocals. Now, “Where The Light Is” gives me an idea of the live allure that Mayer has, placing listeners in three different positions – seeing Mayer acoustically-based, as a trio, or as a full band. The 27 tracks on this CD act as a greatest hits and more, placing “Waiting On The World To Change”, “Neon”, “Who Did You Think I Was”, and “Gravity” among lesser-known (but still solid tracks) like “Vultures”, “Come When I Call”, and “I’m Going To Find Another You”.

Despite the fact that these recordings are live, the quality of the performance’s recording is simply stellar, ensuring that every nuance, every idiosyncrasy in Mayer’s music is showcased as clear as day. Sony provides individuals with the opportunity to buy a DVD (or Blu-Ray) version of these tracks, which further immerses individuals in the mystique that is Mayer’s style. Of particular note during these performances would have to be the covers that Mayer creates. This means that Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” is modified, and in my opinion, is made stronger than the original. While I would not be as apt to say that Mayer’s cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold As Love” surpasses the original, the modification of the track is significant enough to make the song stand on its own merits.

I know that there would be more than enough in the way of individuals that would buy them, but whether Sony would actually want to go the Phish route and re-release a number of Mayer’s performances is up in the air. The amount of variation that is present from the studio to the live performance of a track like “Daughters” shows that Mayer has the ability and capacity to drastically modify and expand on certain phrases, influences, and genres that were only briefly (if at all) touched upon on the original source material. My opinion to you: buy “Where The Light Is”, find the contact name and email for the executive in charge of greenlighting projects, and see if further releases of Mayer’s live shows would be a possibility. I know that I would bite, given the tremendous effort put forth during “Where The Light Is”. Oh, and sad to say, but “Say” isn’t present here.

Top Tracks: Belief, Stop This Train

Rating: 8.1/10

John Mayer – Where The Light Is: Live In Los Angeles / 2008 Sony BMG / 27 Tracks / http://www.johnmayer.com / http://www.sonybmg.com /

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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