Song of the Day #4,770: ‘Shouldn’t Matter But It Does’ – John Mayer

John Mayer released his eighth album, the cheekily titled Sob Rock, about a week ago. In both style and sound, it is a throwback to the sounds of 80s pop.

Mayer has yet to put out a bad album, and this one continues the streak. It’s a bit lean at ten tracks, especially given that three of them were released prior to this year. I had hoped for more material after a four-year wait. But what we’ve gotten is quite good, so I can’t complain too much.

This week I’ll count down my five favorite Sob Rock tracks.

#5. ‘Shouldn’t Matter But It Does’

Sob Rock is appropriately titled, as most of its tracks are low-key tearjerkers, finding Mayer in a somber and contemplative mood.

‘Shouldn’t Matter But It Does,’ the album’s second track, recalls a failed romance (the smart money says it’s about Katy Perry). The pair broke up in 2014 and Mayer seems to have now written two albums about the split (the prior being 2017’s The Search for Everything).

[Verse 1]
Shoulda been open
Shoulda done more
Shoulda learned a lesson from the year before
Shoulda been honest
Shoulda just cried
Shoulda told me there was nothing left inside

[Chorus]
Now the road keeps rolling on forever
And the years keep pulling us apart
We lost something, I still wonder where it was
It shouldn’t matter
Shouldn’t matter, but it does

[Verse 2]
You shoulda just broken
You shoulda come clean
You shoulda been sad instead of being so fucking mean
It shouldn’t be easy
But it shouldn’t be hard
You shouldn’t be a stranger in your own backyard

[Chorus]
Now the road keeps rolling on forever
And the years keep pulling us apart
I know it’s over, I’m just saying this because
It shouldn’t matter
Shouldn’t matter, but it does

[Verse 3]
I shouldn’t be angry
I shouldn’t hold on
I shouldn’t leave messages in every little song
It could have been always
It could have been me
We could have been busy naming baby number three

[Chorus]
Now the road keeps rolling on forever
And the years keep pulling us apart
If it’s on someone then I blame the both of us
It shouldn’t matter
Shouldn’t matter, but it
Shouldn’t matter
Shouldn’t matter, but it
Shouldn’t matter
Shouldn’t matter, but it does

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,770: ‘Shouldn’t Matter But It Does’ – John Mayer

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    After seven years, something tells me if Taylor Swift were mining this same subject matter, you would be criticizing rather than lauding her. I appreciate the homage to the 80s, but, come on dear John, evolve in your songwriting and move on!

    • Clay says:

      To be fair, I’m only speculating about the subject matter. It’s definitely a sad album (as the title suggests). The previous album was different in subject matter and tone, but it did have a couple of breakup songs that were rumored to be about Perry.

  2. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    Excited for the theme of this week! Since Kanye didn’t drop “Donda” as we could’ve guessed, I was very happy that my other favorite problematic artist dropped a pretty great album. When John released this album he said that he doesn’t typically listen to his music but this one he’s come back to. I have found myself listening to this album on repeat so I can see where he’s coming from. I’m eager to hear your thoughts on the top five tracks in your opinion! I’m sure they’ll align pretty closely with mine.

    This song works for all the reasons a Mayer song works. Intricate, effective guitar playing. Lyrics that capture the emotions just right. Overall, the 80s vibe serves Mayer well and this song with its almost Springsteen emulation is one of my faves!

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