I was very excited last week to hear from John Mayer, in the form of both a new single and details about his next album, Sob Rock, due in July. Mayer’s last full-length album, The Search for Everything, dropped in early 2017, making this the longest draught between releases in his career.
Mayer did trickle out a few singles over the past four years, and it turns out all of them will be on this album. That’s a bit disappointing, as I’d prefer a whole batch of new songs. But I’ll take what I can get.
‘Badge and Gun’ is the penultimate track on John Mayer’s sixth studio album, 2013’s Paradise Valley.
This album was recorded after Mayer underwent multiple surgeries to address a granuloma on his vocal cords. A year earlier, he had resigned himself to performing as a session musician on other artist’s recordings — a role that, with his guitar skills, he could have performed admirably.
This is the 20th John Mayer song I’ve featured on the blog, yet the first from his 2003 album Heavier Things (my #5 album from that year).
I’m actually surprised by both of those stats. Mayer has occupied a huge place in my personal listening time, in no small part because he is one of the very few artists beloved by multiple members of my family, and yet he has made up less than one half of one percent of my posts here. And among those 20 songs, I’m shocked that I didn’t find room for anything from the excellent Heavier Things.
Oh, how close we came to having a John Mayer song as the Random Weekend selection for frequent commenter Dana’s birthday! That would have been a fun twist given Dana’s Mayer bashing over the years.
But alas, Mr. Mayer arrives a day late. Maybe next year.
Today’s song is from the 2012 album Born and Raised, his fifth and one of his best. Influenced by Bob Dylan, Neil Young and the 70s Laurel Canyon scene, it’s a relaxed and lovely record.
I find it hard to believe that through almost 4,000 Songs of the Day I have yet to do a theme week or two on ‘Best Debut Albums.’ It seems like such an obvious and rewarding topic. I’ll put it on the list for later this year. Plus, it would lead nicely into ‘Best Sophomore Albums’ — I can get a whole month out of this.
At any rate, without question John Mayer’s Room For Squares would rank highly on that list of best debuts. Over 14 tracks and nearly an hour, he leaps out of the gate with a winning collection of pop-rock gems and doesn’t take a wrong step. That’s enough to make it #2 on my list of 2001 albums.