February 02, 2023

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John Mayer Mellows Out on Sob Rock Album

John Mayer released his highly anticipated eighth studio album, Sob Rock, on July 16th. Its title a jab at critics of his heartbreak-laden songs, the album itself represents a divergence from his older music. Sob Rock shows us John’s mellow, bluesier side in his music.

John Mayer Does Things His Way

In a promotional interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Mr. Mayer stated that “there is no more reason to adhere to any given idea of cool… I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do”. He goes on to state that his record is supposed to be antagonizing, specifically in the difference between its title and its tracks. “Last Train Home”Sob Rock‘s lead track, is the first example of this contrast. The track, in all its bluesy and percussion-laden glory, is more of a hopeful confession than a  heartbreak track.

Many Sultry, Bluesy Tunes on Sob Rock

This theme continues with “New Light”, a sultry track about being more than friends with someone. Mayer croons, “What would it matter if your friends knew? / Who cares what other people say anyway?”. Here, we can see that John is done adhering to popular standards and instead wants to do things his way. The catchy, mellow track is written by Mayer himself and producer, No I.D. “Shot in the Dark” is another bluesy, warm track off the album. With painful lyrics like “I want you in the worst way”, Mayer gets philosophical. He turns heartbreak into a soulful, country-tinged track.

 

Mayer is Sweet, but Never Sappy

Perhaps the most poignant song off Sob Rock is “All I Want is to Be With You”. John writes a slowed-down, guitar driven love song for the ages. His soft vocals compliment cheesy, heartfelt lyrics. It seems the once sly, classy tones of Mayer’s heartbreak rock are no more. He admits his faults in the most delicate, vulnerable ways and over some eighties-reminiscent sounds. Still, such thoughtful lyrics do not create an overly dramatic narrative. The mellowed, bluesy tones of the album still shine through. Of this phenomenon, he states that “This is the whole Sob Rock game – get sweet, but never sappy.”

John Mayer has also revealed his “Sob Rock Tour ’22” for the United States. Tickets are available for pre-sale now.

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