Thursday, January 22, 2009

Album of the Day #134: INSIDE WANTS OUT - John Mayer

Title: Inside Wants Out
Artist: John Mayer
Label: Independent Release (re-issued by Columbia)
Year: 1999
Songs: Back To You*/No Such Thing**/My Stupid Mouth*/Neon**/Victoria*/Love Soon**/Comfortable**/Quiet*
Written by: *John Mayer and **John Mayer & Clay Cook
Produced by: John Mayer & Glen Matullo. "Back To You" and "Quiet" produced by John Mayer, Glen Matullo & David Labruyere
Thoughts: I remember the first time I heard "No Such Thing" on the radio in 2001. I obviously had no idea who the hell this guy was singing, but I knew there was something to like. So, like everyone else, I bought Room For Squares right away. Of course, like most artists, John Mayer didn't get the big hit right away and the album that caught people's ears was actually his second.
He started out with an independent release in 1999 called Inside Wants Out. At eight songs, it's not a full album and lasts just over a half an hour, but it's certainly a nice sample of what would develop on Room For Squares. Considering that the first four songs would get an electrified treatment on that album, that isn't much of a stretch.
I think the version of "No Such Thing" here is incredible and more intimate. The second half, all the songs that didn't make it to Room, are pretty good, but the energy seems to be missing. He's not as devoted to these songs as he is to the first four, so you can tell why he failed to use them again. "Love Soon" might be the best of them, though and "Victoria" is clearly one that really doesn't work.
This is a good EP to get if you like Mayer's earlier work.

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