With 24 albums over 30 years, an exhaustive deep dive would be quite an endeavor. But maybe a sampling of the five to ten albums considered their best is in order.
It’s been four years since I last featured a Spoon song on the blog, and back then I wrote that they are “one of those bands whose work I always love when I play it, but whose music I seldom play.”
I found myself thinking the very same thing when today’s random song popped into my headphones. This is a great track from a great album (2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, the band’s sixth), but one I haven’t listened to in years.
#1. ‘Wild Blue’
My favorite song on Sob Rock by a country mile, ‘Wild Blue’ is also one of the best tracks Mayer has ever recorded, period.
Mayer touches on a bunch of early 80s influences on this album, and on this song it’s Dire Straits’ turn. Somewhere Mark Knopfler is doffing his cap to acknowledge the fabulous groove and sublime guitar work on ‘Wild Blue.’
#2. ‘New Light’
‘New Light’ is the oldest song on Sob Rock, having been released as a single way back in 2018, so it feels a little weird to write about it as a favorite song from this album when it’s been a favorite on its own for three years.
But I don’t want to penalize such a stellar track because it’s not brand-new. And the song fits just beautifully on the album sonically, making me wonder if Mayer had this 80s-inspired project in mind for all these years.
#3. ‘Til the Right One Comes’
Few people deliver breezy pop as well as John Mayer, and this song is a great example of how he spins gold out of a very simple ditty.
‘Til the Right One Comes’ gives me definite Paul Simon vibes, and its keyboards hint at Talking Heads’ ‘This Must Be the Place.’ I don’t know if he was deliberately seeking to invoke 80s world music (minus the drums) but that’s the feeling I get.