Today marks the 10th birthday to my favorite album of all time. I still remember the first time I heard Continuum, streaming it a week early on Yahoo! Music in my dorm room my junior year of college. I had never listened to a John Mayer record before, he was not remotely my style of music back then, but for some reason checked this one out on a whim and was immediately blown away by his guitar work.
I picked up the album a short while later, after being inundated by the “Waiting on the World to Change” video where he’s walking around New York, and it was one of the best purchases of my life. It ended up serving as my gateway drug into blues music, which is now one of my favorite genres, and inspired me to get into many of Mayer’s older influences, like Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Eventually, John Mayer became my favorite artist, my favorite guitarist, my favorite live musician, and Continuum did what I never thought possible – replace Jimmy Eat World’s Futures as my new No. 1 album. There’s not a moment wasted or that I would change in its 50-minute runtime. It’s impeccably sequenced, the songwriting and production immaculate, and it’s what turned Mayer into an artist to be taken seriously that was in it for the long haul. It also contains what arguably could go down as the best song Mayer will ever write, “Stop This Train.”
His lyrics, especially contained there, have never rung truer, and Continuum’s central themes of wrestling with getting older, confronting an uncertain future and heartbreak have served a repeated refuge as I transition out of my 20s and into my 30s, uncoincidentally around the age Mayer was when he wrote these songs. It’s a timeless work that continues to resonate and move each time I listen, and one I will forever be grateful for discovering on that night 10 years ago.
“I’m in repair. I’m not together but I’m getting there.”