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The scoop on John Mayer's sophomore album

THE NEW ALBUM ”Heavier Things” (In stores now)

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John Mayer
John Mayer: Neal Preston/Corbis Outline

The scoop on John Mayer’s sophomore album

HIS STORY The acoustic popster became Gen-Y’s male singer/songwriter of choice with his 2001 major-label debut, ”Room for Squares,” and its sensitive tales of ”quarter-life crisis.” It sold nearly 3 million copies. Along the way, the 25-year-old’s choirboy good looks have made him a heartthrob (just ask former galpal Jennifer Love Hewitt).

HIS STATUS While maintaining the gentle melodies and female-friendly love lyrics typified by the MTV hit ”Your Body Is a Wonderland,” ”Heavier Things” often substitutes complex electric guitar parts for unplugged strumming (as on the first single, ”Bigger Than My Body”). The soul ballad ”Come Back to Bed” adds Clapton-esque leads and Stax-Volt horns.

HE SAYS ”Some artists are good for one record. [But] someday I?m really gonna kick some ass. I won a Grammy and I sold some records, but I?m only 25. Give me a chance to make another one and then another one and then another one.”

VERDICT Mayer’s newly intricate arrangements may scare off some unadventurous young fans, but most should continue to consider his body (of work) to be a wonderland.