Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Guilty? Pleasure?"- #1: John Mayer


When I was but a teenager, I put together a cassette of my least favorite songs by my favorite artists. I never played it. I'm thinking this may happen to you if I move forward with this "guilty pleasures" mix. Too much at once is a risk. Readership is already down. But if I pass the songs along in small doses, you might just pay attention and enjoy the music.

I'd like to start with the colossal douchebag known as John Mayer. I've despised this trainwreck from the day "Your Body Is A Wonderland" sent me running to the bathroom to "sell Buicks" over the toiletbowl. Another one of his hits, "Daughters," is just as insipid. Then came his attempt to legitimize with his Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino trio, which was just boring R&B, played safe for the people who bought "Your Body Is A Wonderland." Some heavy duty musicians believe in this guy and his guitar playing. I'm happy for them. I think he's third rate.

Don't get me started on his painfully misguided answers spread across many an interview.

“Life is like a box of crayons. Most people are the 8-color boxes, but what you're really looking for are the 64-color boxes with the sharpeners on the back. I fancy myself to be a 64-color box, though I've got a few missing. It's ok though, because I've got some more vibrant colors like periwinkle at my disposal. I have a bit of a problem though in that I can only meet the 8-color boxes. Does anyone else have that problem? I mean there are so many different colors of life, of feeling, of articulation.. so when I meet someone who's an 8-color type.. I'm like, "hey girl, magenta!" and she's like, "oh, you mean purple!" and she goes off on her purple thing, and I'm like, "no - I want magenta!"

See? Do you really want to spare 4 minutes for this putz?

If you're still with me...

His most recent release, "Battle Studies," has not one, but five perfect pop songs. I resisted, and even now have very heavy hands as I try to peck this info out for you. But good music is good music, and I am a sucker for hooks and melodies.

Here is one of them.

PERFECTLY LONELY


18 comments:

JAYESSEMM said...

Okay Sal ... I'll bite.

What are the other four perfect pop songs on that album?

Sal Nunziato said...

Well Jayessemm, see if you like this first, before I put my head on the cutting block. ;)

JAYESSEMM said...

Chopping block be damned!

I figure I have so much real shit in my life to feel guilty about that I can't worry too much if some of the music I listen to wouldn't make someone else's approved playlist.

I always thought Mayer's Waiting For The World To End had a really cool sound. And the song on this album he sings with Taylor Swift -- I bet that gets a double slap from some camps -- is fun too.

Sal Nunziato said...

Well then while I've got you---

Heartbreak Warfare

Edge Of Desire

All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye


Maybe the three are a bit lacking in the lyric department, but damn, those melodies and harmonies are good.

JAYESSEMM said...

Off with your head!

As always I'm looking forward to the Friday Mix.

Thanks Sal!

cmealha said...

I would have agreed with you on John Mayer before Continuum. That album was full of great hooks and melodies and was one of my favorite albums of that year. I like it even more than Battle Studies. I went so see him in concert as my son was a fan and wanted to see him. I went in expecting nothing special and was greatly surprised at how well he performed.
Sure, based on some of his inane comments and that Playboy interview, he is a bit of a douche but he can play and write some pretty good tunes. I'm going to hang in there with him and see how it progresses. I think he's got something or at least he's really trying to get to point where he's got something.

big bad wolf said...

readership is down?! people must be spending too much time on facebook. they should be over here, finding good stuff.

i can't quite get all the way with you on this one sal. i don't much like his vocal, but i like the song as a whole a lot more than i would have expected, based on the terrible view of mayer i have from his photos and interviews.

steve simels said...

Are you absolutely sure that's him?

Because you're right...it's terrific.


I sense a disturbance in The Force...

Noam Sane said...

Meh.

Someone should tell him that he's the white Crayola.

steves said...

Trainwreck is the key word in describing Mayer. I stumbled on him several years before he morphed into The Ego That Devoured Boston. He had a couple of live solo acoustic numbers that I liked a lot--"Georgia Why" and "Complicated." But that feels like ancient history now.

Btw, I could have sworn that was Marc Anthony in those photos.

Sal Nunziato said...

Right! But what about the song?

steves said...

It's OK--not nearly as bad as the bulk of his crap. The guitar riff is nice, but it still reaks from those ersatz Mr. Soul vocal stylings that never fail to send me running to change the station.

Michael said...

white? I beg to differ. There's the groovy black, but there's also the soul-sucking black. the black hole black. Sucking all light into it. The black of hopelessness, of vacuousness.
And Meyer is the blackest. You may ask, who's blacker than Meyer? And the answer is none. None more black.

Where's the edge? the human imperfection? the scratches around which our bubbles of love can form? I don't see or hear any. Therefore, no love.

David Handelman said...

"Waiting for the world to end" is a funny misremember of the title (it's "change").

I liked "Who Says" when I heard it on the radio, I copied the CD from my brother, and I haven't listened to it once. Will go back now.

I have to say Mayer endeared himself to me a bit from his appearance on Dave Chappelle's show. Can be seen here: http://vimeo.com/8213736

He does seem like a douche in interviews, but, is that a criteria for liking music (or not)? Cf Don Henley and oh so many others.

David Handelman said...

PS your "down market" is probably due to nothing more mysterious than summertime. People don't tend to sit indoors and fake-surf as much when they can real-surf. Or read about music when they can go see it outdoors. Just a thought.

Sal Nunziato said...

"He does seem like a douche in interviews, but, is that a criteria for liking music (or not)?"

Absolutely not. But it seems like the easy way to go for so many.

That Sheryl/Facebook thread was mostly not about the music. She slept with Kid Rock so her record must be terrible.

John said...

Sal, Can't wait for your "Guilty Pleasures " Eagles selection. Great stuff as usual. Peden

John Mayer said...

This was my husbands and my third John Mayer concert. 1st at the Hollywood Bowl, 2nd at the Verizon in OC, CA. This was definitely the best, we were very happy. his choice of songs was greatI used to get John Mayer Tickets easily through Ticketwood.com. Whatever. I will always be a fan, believe me, there is nothing like a John Mayer show — mind blowing.