While listening to an old iPod playlist and racking my brains to come up with a band or musician to be excited about for this blog post, I realised I was humming along with a contender the whole time.
This might get cheers from the ladies and a few yawns from the men, but I’m talking about… (drumroll please) John Mayer!
Now I’m going to be quite honest – he’s not that great of a guy from what I’ve read over the years. He isn’t very popular with the press, and often comes across as a misogynistic. He’s done the dating circuit of recently divorced/broken-up celebs, such as Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Aniston and most recently, Katy Perry.
Mayer often sings about his exes (‘Something about Olivia’ for actress Olivia Wilde) and has been known to be quite petty while revealing details about them. He does strange things like replying to press questions in Japanese (he’s fluent in the language) and has been in the spotlight for casually racist remarks (which he later apologised for).
To be honest, I’m not too charmed by the man. The singer however, is a different story.
His songs shine bright from behind the smokescreen he’s created for himself. Mayer’s been nominated 19 times for the Grammy Awards and has won seven times. Check out John Mayer on YouTube and you’ll quickly see that his skill with the guitar is no joke.
Inspired by legends like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, interviews with Mayer often have him geeking out about his love for the guitar and how he has always aspired to be a great guitarist.
Watch him explain how he uses his ‘cowboy guitar’.
What drew me to Mayer’s music though, back in 2005 when I was a brand new driver with a brand new car, lots of time and miles to go… was his simple, honest and surprisingly sensitive songwriting.
‘Why Georgia?’ is probably my favourite track of his, even a decade later. The questions he croons seem to still linger in my ears and make me think about them at unexpected moments (“Am I living it right?”).
When the album Continuum came out in 2006, it rocked my world. Every track on that album couldn’t be played often enough. With songs like ‘Gravity’, ‘Belief’ and a fabulous cover of Hendrix’s ‘Bold as Love’, I’m surprised my iPod didn’t fritz after the number of replays I subjected it to.
I still listen to Mayer, and look out for his new songs. While I can’t reconcile his virtuoso talent to the ‘man-boy’ personality he assumes, I know I can’t stop listening to his music.
It seems much more real than the rest of the show called John Mayer.