Heavier Things is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter John Mayer, released on September 9, 2003 by Aware and Columbia Records. It debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200, selling over 317,000 copies in its first week.[3] Despite some criticism towards Mayer's songwriting, Heavier Things received generally positive reviews.

Heavier Things
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 9, 2003
RecordedApril–June 2003
Studio
Genre
Length45:33
Label
ProducerJack Joseph Puig
John Mayer chronology
Room for Squares
(2001)
Heavier Things
(2003)
Continuum
(2006)
Singles from Heavier Things
  1. "Bigger Than My Body"
    Released: August 25, 2003
  2. "Clarity"
    Released: April 12, 2004
  3. "Daughters"
    Released: September 28, 2004

Background

edit

There's a certain swing-for-the-fences feel and a hurried nature that I think you have when you're making your first record and have much to prove. Now that I'm in a higher gear, I don't have to press so hard on the gas, and I'm loving it.

John Mayer, Billboard, 2003[4]

Mayer felt he could be more relaxed focused on his art while making Heavier Things. With Jack Joseph Puig as producer, loops and horns were more prominently featured.[4] Mayer took greater control of the creative side with this album; much of it was recorded in his New York City apartment.[5] He also got final approval on all radio edits.[4] Mayer explained that he did not want a "big and bold" title for the record and expressed that the name Heavier Things is "what it is" due to its "insignificance".[6] He further said that he likes the word "things" due to finding it "nondescript and dumb, [...] kind of blunt".[6]

Columbia Records used a conservative marketing campaign to promote the album. Columbia Records Group president Will Botwin says, "We think we're being smart. It's a long-term project. We understand what we're creating is a career. Effectively, that's the message: Keep the hype at bay."[4] In keeping with that gameplan, the album's first single, "Bigger Than My Body", only went to radio a few weeks before the album's release; promotional broadcasts of the album were limited to MTV.com and Mayer's official site, both of whom began streaming the complete album the September 2 before its release. Scheduled television appearances included Saturday Night Live on October 4 and several late shows.[4] Columbia Records thought it was important to put Mayer in talk show-type scenarios before the album release to help bring focus to his art and to his singer/songwriter career, and to steer away from the fame and celebrity hype.[7]

Singles

edit

Despite being "delayed" on the radio, the lead single "Bigger Than My Body" gained commercial and critical success. "Clarity" was the second single released from Heavier Things. Although the song receives rare airplay, it is one of Mayer's fan favorites, and is normally performed at Mayer's concerts. The song received very positive reviews from critics, mostly being praised for its relaxing style and beat.[citation needed]

"Daughters" was the last single released from Heavier Things. The song has become a huge commercial success, and has received largely positive reviews: several critics called the song as Mayer's best yet.[who?]

Critical reception

edit
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [8]
Blender     [9]
Entertainment WeeklyC+[10]
Los Angeles Times    [11]
PopMatters6/10[12][13]
Robert Christgau [14]
Rolling Stone     [15]
Slant Magazine     [16]
Spin5/10[13]
USA Today    [17]

Upon its release, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics; it holds an aggregate score of 67/100 at Metacritic.[13] Billboard magazine stated that it "firmly establishes him as a legitimate--albeit still puppy-eyed--singer/songwriter."[18] Chicago Tribune writer Allison Stewart gave the album a favorable review and wrote that Mayer "[has] crafted a sturdy, soulful pop album that credibly expands upon — but never abandons — his core sound".[2] Despite writing that "his self-conscious lyrics can get in the way", Russell Baillie of The New Zealand Herald praised Mayer's musicianship and gave the album 4 out of 5 stars.[19] Rolling Stone magazine's James Hunter called Heavier Things an "equally available yet more sophisticated album" than Room for Squares.[15] In his own review for Esquire, Mayer gave the album a "B minus", adding, "Am I the only one who finds this record creepy to make out to?"[20] Spin said, "Sadly, Mayer's idea of a good time involves hiring jazz musicians to make himself sound like '80s James Taylor."[13]

Accolades

edit

Mayer earned his first number-one single with "Daughters" as well as a 2005 Grammy for Song of the Year, beating out fellow contenders Hoobastank, Alicia Keys, Tim McGraw, and Kanye West. He dedicated the award to his grandmother, Annie Hoffman, who died in May 2004. He also won Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, beating Elvis Costello, Josh Groban, Prince, and Seal for the award. At the 37th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 2006, Mayer was honored with the Hal David Starlight Award.[21]

Track listing

edit

All tracks are written by John Mayer except where noted

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Clarity" 4:28
2."Bigger Than My Body" 4:26
3."Something's Missing" 5:04
4."New Deep" 4:07
5."Come Back to Bed" 5:23
6."Home Life"Mayer, David LaBruyere4:14
7."Split Screen Sadness" 5:06
8."Daughters" 3:58
9."Only Heart" 3:52
10."Wheel" 5:33
Promotional bonus disc
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Clarity" (acoustic; recorded live in the Star Lounge on 12/9/03) 4:23
2."Neon" (recorded live at Allstate Arena, Chicago IL on 11/28/03) 6:14
3."Come Back to Bed" (recorded live at The Palace, Detroit MI on 11/29/03) 10:47
4."Kid A"Colin Greenwood, Jonathan Greenwood, Ed O'Brien, Phil Selway, Thomas Yorke2:53
5."Clarity" (single remix) 4:15

Personnel

edit

Main musicians

Charts

edit

Certifications

edit
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[35] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[36] Platinum 100,000^
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[37] 2× Platinum 40,000
Netherlands (NVPI)[38] Gold 40,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[39] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[40] Silver 60,000
United States (RIAA)[41] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See also

edit

References

edit
  1. ^ Hilburn, Robert (September 18, 2003). "'Heavier Things' rises to the top". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Stewart, Allison. "RECORDINGS". Chicago Tribune: 3. September 15, 2003.
  3. ^ Caulfield, Keith. "John Mayer Snares No. 1 on Busy Billboard 200". billboard.com. November 25, 2009
  4. ^ a b c d e Newman, Melinda; Whitmire, Margo. (2003-09-13), "John Mayer Gets Heavy". Billboard. 115 (37):1-14
  5. ^ Eliscu, Jenny (2003-11-27), "Songs in the Key of Mayer". Rolling Stone. (936):52-56
  6. ^ a b "John Mayer at ease with 'Heavier Things'". edition.cnn.com. 3 October 2003. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  7. ^ Newman, Melinda (13 September 2003). "John Mayer Gets Heavy: Columbia Plans Long-Term Push for New Set". Billboard. Vol. 115, no. 37. pp. 3, 14. ProQuest 992608.
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Heavier Things - John Mayer". AllMusic. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  9. ^ Powers, Ann. "John Mayer: Heavier Things". Blender. Retrieved on 2009-12-29. Archived December 13, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Sinclair, Tom (2003-09-12). "Heavier Things Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  11. ^ Hilburn, Robert (2003-09-07). "Mayer's 'Heavier Things' not quite weighty enough". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  12. ^ MacNeil, Jason (2003-12-02). "John Mayer: Heavier Things". PopMatters. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  13. ^ a b c d "Critic Reviews for Heavier Things". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: John Mayer". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  15. ^ a b Hunter, James (2003-09-09). "Heavier Things". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  16. ^ Blanford, Roxanne (2003-09-10). "John Mayer: Heavier Things". Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  17. ^ Gardner, Elysa (2003-09-08). "Mayer's 'Heavier Things' has artistic heft". USA Today. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  18. ^ Ault, Susanne; Paoletta, Michael (2003-09-13), "Heavier Things". Billboard. 115 (37):33
  19. ^ Baillie, Russell. "John Mayer: Heavier Things". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  20. ^ Mayer, John (June 2004), "THE RESIDENT ROCK STAR". Esquire. 141 (6):48
  21. ^ (2006). John Mayer Archived 2006-10-01 at the Wayback Machine SongWritersHallofFame.org. Retrieved on September 29, 2006.
  22. ^ "Australiancharts.com – John Mayer – Heavier Things". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  23. ^ "John Mayer Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  24. ^ "Danishcharts.dk – John Mayer – Heavier Things". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  25. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – John Mayer – Heavier Things" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  26. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – John Mayer – Heavier Things" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  27. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography John Mayer". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  28. ^ "Charts.nz – John Mayer – Heavier Things". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  29. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  30. ^ "John Mayer Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  31. ^ "ARIA End of Year Albums Chart 2003". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
  32. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2003". Billboard. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  33. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2004". Billboard. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  34. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2005". Billboard. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  35. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2003 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association.
  36. ^ "Canadian album certifications – John Mayer – Heavier Things". Music Canada.
  37. ^ "Danish album certifications – John Mayer – Heavier Things". IFPI Danmark.
  38. ^ "Dutch album certifications – John Mayer – Heavier Things" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter Heavier Things in the "Artiest of titel" box. Select 2010 in the drop-down menu saying "Alle jaargangen".
  39. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – John Mayer – Heavier Things". Recorded Music NZ.
  40. ^ "British album certifications – John Mayer – Heavier Things". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 12, 2022.
  41. ^ "American album certifications – John Mayer – Heavier Things". Recording Industry Association of America.
edit