Continuum Songs Ranked

Continuum is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter John Mayer, released on September 12, 2006, by Aware and Columbia Records. Recording sessions took place from November 2005 to September 2006 at The Village Recorder in Los Angeles, Avatar Studios and Right Track/Sound on Sound in New York City, and Royal Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. Produced by singer and drummer Steve Jordan, it marked a change in Mayer’s musical style, incorporating elements of blues and soul more heavily than in his previous work with pop-rock. Bassist Pino Palladino also performs on the album; Mayer, Jordan, and Palladino had toured the previous year under the name John Mayer Trio and had released a live album, Try!. Studio versions of two of the songs from that album appear on Continuum. Here are all of Continuum’s songs ranked.

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12. I’m Gonna Find Another You

“The album closes with a real soul-ballad, “I’m Gonna Find Another You,” which comes full-circle to finish with the true-to-R&B feel that the album started with, and give a final cadence on this most-cohesive work.”

11. Bold As Love

“To open the final 1/3rd of the album, John covers Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold as Love.” Because he can. And if any of you saw his sick Trio rendition on the Tsunami-Relief Telethon, you know why. The guitar work is naturally fantastic, but he really brings it home with the key change and closing chorus – overall very well done.”

10. In Repair

“In Repair” is the barn-burner of this very, very mellow album. It keeps the emotions and candidness of the album to this point firmly in the forefront, and he saved the best guitar solo for last on this one.”

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9. The Heart of Life

“The Heart of Life” is one of the simpler tunes on the album, providing a nice break between “Gravity” and “Vultures,” while giving an emotional optimism that seems so honest as to convert even the biggest cynics. He sings “Pain throws your heart to the ground/Love turns the whole thing around/No it won’t all go the way it should/But I know the heart of life is good.”

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8. Dreaming With a Broken Heart

“He returns to Earth but not quite consciousness on “Dreaming With A Broken Heart,” which has a simple, longing musical quality that matches the lyrics, and (like just about every other track) has a solid guitar solo and build of intensity that keeps the listener wishing there were more than two tracks left.”

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7. Waiting on the World to Change

“Opening with “Waiting on the World to Change,” which generates the albums funkiness right off the bat while simultaneously setting the psychosocial tone that pervades much of the album. And there’s a real guitar solo – good sign of things to come.”

6. Belief

“Belief” reenters the political tone, criticizing all blind faith and describing its role in our war-ridden society – he even asks “What puts a hundred-thousand children in the sand? … What puts the folded flag inside his mother’s hand?” and answers, “Belief can. Belief can.”

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5. Vultures

“Vultures” is another revisited tune, very similar to the live version but with keys added and a “don’t give up” fade-out that wraps the tune nicely in its studio package.”

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4. I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)

“I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You),” a sexy jam that replaces the cheesy `bubble-gum tongue’ metaphors with love’s confusing and merciless nature (and hopefully will replace them on the radio waves as well).”

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3. Stop This Train

“Stop This Train,” in my opinion, is one of the best-written songs on the entire album. It revisits some of the emotions discussed earlier in “Gravity” and “The Heart of Life,” which in itself makes the point that once we think we’ve tackled those big existential questions, they keep haunting us (as in the lyric “I just can’t sleep on this tonight”) in the ongoing aporia.”

2. Gravity

“Gravity” was given to us earlier on the Try! album, but this version is even more glorious. The clean electric guitar sound on this track is about as good as I’ve ever heard, no exaggeration (the guys at Fender and K&M/Two-Rock amps should be proud). The tune ends with a real soulful harmonic vocal build that can be described only by goosebumps.”

1. Slow Dancing In a Burning Room

“From existence we return to relationships with the best metaphor-title of them all, “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room.” John paints a portrait of a couple fallen out of love having their last intimate moment, and does so perfectly. The guitar work is both beautiful and blistering (if you listen closely), and the vocal harmonies round it out in a sound so huge it’s hard to believe only John, Steve, and Pino played on it.”