Monday, January 26, 2009

Album of the Day #135: ROOM FOR SQUARES - John Mayer

Title: Room For Squares
Artist: John Mayer
Label: Aware/Columbia
Year: 2001
Songs: No Such Thing*/Why Georgia/My Stupid Mouth/Your Body Is A Wonderland/Neon*/City Love/83/3X5/Love Song For No One*/Back To You/Great Indoors/Not Myself/[Untitled]/St. Patrick’s Day
Written by: John Mayer, except *John Mayer & Clay Cook
Produced by: John AlagĂ­a & John Mayer
Thoughts: This is a really nice, relaxing album, but there is one major problem: the second half needs a good (pardon my language) kick in the ass. After the first four tracks, all released as singles, the album takes a free-fall, starting from the ruined, electrified “Neon”. “City Love” tries to do something, but even if you can’t identify with whatever Mayer is trying to prove, you can obviously hear that it fails. “83” might be my favorite album track, but the rest of the album falls flat. “Love Song For No One” sounds like it should be the theme song for some awful nineties sitcom.
As for the singles, well, the first two are good. “No Such Thing” isn’t as powerful as the acoustic rendition on Inside Wants Out, but it’s still a good track. “Why Georgia” is a beautiful song and easily my favorite on the album. “My Stupid Mouth”, to me, anyway (but not to the people at Columbia, obviously), is not a single. It doesn’t have a powerful hook or an attention grabbing chorus.
Then there’s the wretched “Your Body Is A Wonderland”. I suppose if I was a teenage girl, I’d like it, but I’m a nineteen year old guy and I can’t stand the song. I mean really… “Your body is a wonderland/I’ll use my hands…” Yuck.
In the end, twenty years from now, if Mayer is still killing guitars the way he is today, we’ll probably look back at his debut as slight and not up to his better work.

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