Mayer's heavy statements get buried beneath his perpetually laid-back sound, and, ultimately, "Continuum" falters in its production. Eight of the album's 12 tracks end by fading out, giving the songs a listless, rambling feel -- which is amplified by Mayer's murmured, repeating vocals. "I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)" begins as an earnest confession, but the final uninterested chant of the song's title sounds more dismissive than sincere. The soothing tune "The Heart of Life" disintegrates into a meandering guitar line, giving the otherwise standout track an unfinished feel.
That recurring incompleteness blurs "Continuum's" songs together, making his more adventurous sounds clash. The lively energy behind a cover of Hendrix's "Bold as Love" is tarnished by Mayer's Jimi-lite guitar solos, and the song's rock vigor sounds forced and out of place on an otherwise mellow album. Mayer may be striving for a more grown-up, adult-alternative sound but, ultimately, his bland songs fail to mature beyond lackluster college rock.
-Catherine P. Lewis