Say what you will about John Mayer.
Well, you can’t, because he’s probably already said it. But the man makes good albums. And he’s put one out about every three years since I was in middle school. Meaning I can literally measure my life in Mayer albums. I bet you can too.
Room for Squares - 2001. I’m in middle school. I hear his radio stuff, and get strange sensations I don’t understand for the video to “Your Body is A Wonderland”. I’ll come back to this album in later years and appreciate it more.
Heavier Things - 2003. Good god this a great album. I would play this in my ‘95 Nissan Altima cruising around with my newly minted driver’s license and feel like I was cool. Staring at the cover art, I suddenly realize it’s Mayer holding his huge guitar boner, and I’m okay with it.
Any Given Thursday - this actually came out before Heavier Things, but this is when I discovered it and fell hard for the song spells of Mr. Mayer. This… is what I imagine the perfect concert sounds like. And this is when you realize he can play guitar better than he can sing. And that I’m not the only lady to think he sounds like a sweet and sensitive sexy mofo. I made my college decisions to this album… and almost went there with my almost boyfriend. I think Mayer would have liked me to do more to it, but I just wasn’t ready yet.
Continuum - 2006. I was a freshman in college. I can remember downloading this album and walking to breakfast. Palm trees swaying, my soul crying out, because I needed to hear someone sing these songs to me in this moment. I was terribly lonely. I felt so lost. And this is his best album. He can do no wrong for me after this. And he will try, publicly, to make almost everyone on the planet think he’s a D-bag. Jessica Simpson, John? *facepalm* Even so, I saw him in concert at the Gorge in George with my little sister. He played guitar, the sun set, and all was right and beautiful with the world. I returned sophomore year to meet a man who loved John Mayer just as much as I did, which turns out is not the best measurement in a mate. I was also heartbroken to this album.
As/Is/The Village Sessions/John Mayer Trio/Where the Light Is - live or early session albums. All superb. And played to death during my college years. His live, almost eleven minute, version of Gravity is nothing short of brilliant. It’s a song you could listen to for the rest of your life. I can remember driving through the hills explaining to my mom how I was totally over the asshole and putting my career on track to, “Three years brokenhearted, now the ghost is finally gone…” It would take a lot more than good music to get me there, but as John as my witness, I did.
Battle Studies - 2009. I was following his blog. I had a poster. I was ready for this album to be fantastic. And it’s fine. But it’s over saturated with his own idea of himself. Or his thoughts on the media. Or Jennifer Aniston. It’s just… not. He needed to see a therapist and talk this all out. I know, because I had been doing the same thing. Then again, there’s no way he was going to top Continuum. But again with the bad choices, John. Taylor Swift? *facepalm*
And here we are at Born and Raised - released May 18, 2012. I’m out of college. I’m making a living doing something I love. I’m actually in love with a good man who likes John Mayer music enough, but likes Gavin DeGraw’s albums better. And that’s good. It’s a new phrase for John and I. He’s wielding a new sound. It’s seriously more country. But I dig it. He sounds like he’s trying to be what he knows he can. For himself. And for us. The souls who want to listen to him sing. At this point, we’re his longest and most rewarding relationship and he wants to make it up to us.
I say we let him.