Song of the Day #1,628: ‘Speak For Me’ – John Mayer

mayer_born_raisedTop Songs of 2012 – #9

First things first… Merry Christmas, everyone! This post marks my fifth Christmas since starting the Song of the Day series, and I still haven’t missed a day.

Now, on to the matter at hand.

John Mayer returned to form this year with Born and Raised, his best album since 2006’s Continuum. The record has a laid-back 70s California vibe, complete with mentions of Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Bob Dylan and backing vocals by David Crosby and Graham Nash.

My favorite track, ‘Speak For Me,’ has a pretty acoustic sound that Mayer returns to from time to time and always with solid results. This finger-picking style is always a winner in my book.

In ‘Speak For Me,’ Mayer laments the lack of genuine musical icons on the current landscape, suggesting that the cover of Rolling Stone ain’t what it used to be and bemoaning the fact that all his “heroes are in black and white.”

I’m a bit more optimistic than Mayer about the people making music today. I feel there are still artists recording who “speak for me” in one way or another. I think he mostly misses the air of mystery that surrounded musical legends in the days before social media. Lord knows he probably regrets many of the things he’s posted on his own Twitter account.

Now the cover of a Rolling Stone
Ain’t the cover of a Rolling Stone
And the music on my radio
Ain’t supposed to make me feel alone

What a drag to know
I’ll have to learn to let it go

Show me something I can be
And play a song that I can sing
Make me feel as I am free
Someone come speak for me

Well they’re celebrating broken things
I don’t want a world of broken things
You can tell that something isn’t right
When all your heroes are in black and white

What a drag to say
At least I still have yesterday

Show me something I can be
And play a song that I can sing
Make me feel as I am free
Someone come speak for me

I’m not mad about it
But I’m not mad about it
I’m not mad about it
But I’m not that mad about it

Just show me something I can be
And play a song that I can sing
Make me feel as I am free
Someone come speak for me

Now the cover of a Rolling Stone
Ain’t the cover of a Rolling Stone

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9 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,628: ‘Speak For Me’ – John Mayer

  1. Dana says:

    And merry Christmas to you!

    Clearly, the random iPod fairy was not giving your most loyal blog commenter a gift by selecting John Mayer.😄 However, I find the pick nice enough. Still no idea why, though, this finger picking style is always a winner in your book except when done by the likes of the “boring” James Taylor.😀

  2. Clay says:

    This wasn’t a random selection… I’m back into my top ten countdown as of yesterday.

  3. Amy says:

    “I hate John Mayer” was my first thought as I finished your post. While I’d agree that the moment John Mayer graced the cover of Rolling Stone (in 2007, as one of the new Guitar Gods), the magazine may have lost some of its credibility. ;)

    Still, once I started playing the song, my hatred softened a bit. This song reminds me of some of Paul Simon’s early solo work. I find that I like his songs well enough; I just can never get past his monumental EGO.

    Oh, and Merry Christmas!! Five years of blogging songs of the day is quite amazing.

  4. Andrea Katz says:

    Somewhere during my formal education I agreed with a school of thought that separates artist from art so their foibles are screened out for me. Like when everyone turned against Polanski, Woody Allen, etc. it really didn’t impact my love of the work. So I like this fellow’s music well enough and don’t want to know more about him personally. Is this called formalism? As I move into my old age I am delighted to remeber anything at all. Merry Christmas Claymeister! I am enjoying your bolg alot.

  5. Andrea Katz says:

    , ahem…blog

  6. Clay says:

    Thanks, Andie!

    I agree with you about separating artists from art. So while I acknowledge that John Mayer is a major douchebag, it has never kept me from enjoying his music.

  7. Amy says:

    Just wrote – and lost :( – a long comment, so I’ll be a bit more terse the second time around. For me, it’s different to watch a film made by a director I might not admire as a person than it is to listen to a voice and lyrics that belong to a singer songwriter who I dislike. There’s something more intimate about keeping company with a voice (sometimes piping through headphones, for crying out loud) than there is sitting in a theater seeing a film that is clearly a product of multiple talented people.

    That said, i don’t actively avoid Mayer’s work because I dislike him. It’s just that every time I come across a new tidbit by or about him, I find my dislike of him increases even more!

  8. peg says:

    Just catching up to the blog (a little late) anyway, it’s too late to wish you a Merry Christmas, but not too late to say Congratulations on 5 years of blogging!!

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