Heavier Things

Honest, vivid songwriting; excellent musicianship.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There are gently positive messages throughout this CD.


The artist's only conflicts seem to be with himself.


There is no explicit sexuality; there's one song of sweet post-argument longing, called "Come Back to Bed."


All poetry, all the time


No obvious commercial tie-ins or references.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are no references to drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that these songs are a "must" for aspiring young poets. John Mayer's visual storytelling and fine musicianship are well worth a second (and third, and fourth) listen.

Parents say

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What's the story?

John Mayer has the rare ability to freeze a moment in time and reveal its depth. He is a visual and emotional songwriter who lets us see the pillows on the bed -- or the sulking sweetheart -- with deft strokes of his clever pen. HEAVIER THINGS makes his poetic skills apparent, offering lines like \"You know you're not a quick forgive -- And I won't sleep through this -- I survive on the breath you are finished with\" (from \"Come Back to Bed\") or \"And you love like your hand's on the horn, baby -- I adore you but there's a hole in the cup that should hold your love -- if you let me leave I swear I never will\" (from \"Only Heart\"). If at times he gets the teensiest bit overwrought or preachy (as in \"Daughters\") -- well, he's allowed.

Is it any good?


As a whole, this CD all works: beautiful imagery, heartfelt emotion, deft storytelling, and exceptional musicianship. Mayer saves himself, more than once and with admirable skill, from over-the-top drippiness with a welcome edge of self-deprecation. Although there is no questionable or disturbing content at all, the emotional wallop will be felt most intensely by teenagers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how important words can be in songs. Consider how the poetry of this artist opens up both the visual and the emotional. Listeners might even try writing their own poetry or songs.

Music details

Artist:John Mayer
Release date:September 9, 2003
Label:Sony Music
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Heavier Things was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 10 years old June 12, 2011
age 10+

Nice album: hit and win!

I got the DualDisc edition and I was HOOKED on it! Mayer's vocals are beautiful and the album's awesome. There's no profanity besides a couple of "d*mn"s on "Bigger Than My Body". Otherwise it's gorgeous poetry.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byShelbyBubbles April 9, 2008
age 0+


Heavier Things is a pretty good album. It isn't, however, a kids album. There really isn't anything wrong with it, but I don't think the slow balads and vintage guitar solos could hold a kids attention for more than five minutes. But if you're a mellow, poem-writing teenager, this one is for you.


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