John Mayer. And here’s the disclaimer: I really like John Mayer. Beginning with the Summer of 2002, I thought that John Mayer was the best thing about music. In about two weeks of listening to Room for Squares, JM totally eclipsed the DMB and U2. How could a pasty boy from Connecticut topple two established bands whom I loved deeply? By working harder than anyone else in music, that’s how!
John Mayer walked a path that no one else even considered. He somehow meshed being a completely talented musician with being popular to the masses. John could write great pop hooks on top of complicated chord structures (see No Such Thing). And then, as if he hadn’t already proved his brilliance, on Heavier Things he showed off his solo ability. Think of another artist who had TeenBeat Popularity while maintaining Musician Credibility.
The wheels started coming off about a year ago when the John Mayer Trio was formed. JMT has all of the talent that JM-solo had, but they have lost a crucial element: the singable hook. John has dropped pop music for blues; that sounds admirable, but I think it’s a step backward. I’m not sayin anyone can play blues, but I think it’s easier to play 15 minute guitar solos as opposed to getting a 15 year old girl to sing your songs. The great thing about old John Mayer was that he could do both. The terrible thing about new John Mayer is that it’s like he’s trying to convince me his new role is tougher. He tries to plead with me "I’m getting back to my roots and my first love" and I say "You’re being lazy" and he says "You don’t understand me. I NEED to do this!"
The fact is, John can play whatever he wants. He doesn’t have to listen to me. He can play his Hendrix-ripoffs all the livelong day. But I’m done with him until he gets back to writing music that’s worth listening to.