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On his third album, Continuum, John Mayer streamlines the sweet talk and laid-back pop of his past records and slips a new dynamic into the mix: solid songwriting and general amiability. Working with drummer Steve Jordan and bassist Pino Palladino -- who both helped shape 2005’s left-field live blues outing Try! -- Mayer effortlessly weaves political pop (“Waiting on the World to Change”), sensitive singer-songwriter ballads (“Gravity”), and white-boy R&B (“Vultures”). Continuum rocks about as much as its predecessors (which means it doesn’t rock at all), but Mayer’s singing and guitar playing are significantly amped this time around. He even does a credible version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold as Love.”
Sun., July 1, 7 p.m.

Speaking of Highlights

More by Michael Gallucci

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