Continuum is about as apt a title as it gets for John Mayer's third studio disc. Every element, from the peerless guitar playing to the plainspoken poetry of the lyrics to the breathy-sincere singing, makes a return from previous efforts. But to weakly pronounce this another worthwhile effort from an artist the world has come to expect a whole lot from and then call it a day would be no minor misdeed, because it's also the best, boldest disc he's ever made. Taking maturity as a theme throughout, Mayer tackles a batch of adulthood's bogeymen: indifference on the uptempo chart-climber 'Waiting for the World to Change,' aging on the melancholy-sweet 'Stop This Train,' and emotional trainwreckage on the big-rocking 'In Repair.' That's not to suggest he's turned overly introspective--check the Jimi Hendrix cover 'Bold As Love,' where he hits one home for guitarists who've been living in the shadow of legend everywhere, and the hard-charging 'Belief,' which benefits from a mesmerizing, liquid groove. Continuum may be the third in a series, but a creative cop-out this is not; Mayer is his generation's musical superman--powerful, unassailable, and magnetic. Hand that man a cape.