Looking Back at John Mayer’s Top Singles
Last week, John Mayer released “Love on the Weekend,” his first new single in two years. And while there have been few details revealed surrounding the subsequent album The Search for Everything that will follow in 2017, the singer/songwriter’s social media has hinted at the fact that it will be his “return to pop music” after a detour into folk/Americana/country territory. We can also confirm that the new album will be available for free download and offline listening on the Trebel Music app.
“Love on the Weekend” may not sound like some straight-up dancefloor radio smash, but it certainly leans more modern than the aforementioned stint the singer took in decidedly more organic-sounding territory. And if history has shown us anything, it’s that Mayer’s lead singles are usually pretty good indicators of the direction of the albums that follow them. Let’s revisit:
“No Such Thing” (2002)
Wide-eyed yet possessing a sense of bravery and insight well beyond its youthful aesthetic, the lead single from Mayer’s debut album Room for Squares set the tone perfectly, as the record would instantly resonate with a sizable fanbase that totally related to the songs of the Quarter Life Crisis.
“Bigger Than My Body” (2003)
Mayer’s sophomore effort Heavier Things sported much of the same aesthetic choices as its predecessor while also incorporating a more electric and produced sound. The opening bird-like guitar chimes on lead single “Bigger Than My Body” felt familiar but also indicated that this would be slightly more adventurous than anything on Room for Squares (and, if we’re being honest, as the siren for Mayer’s worst album in his catalog, it’s fitting that this is the weakest lead single of the bunch).
“Waiting on the World to Change” (2006)
“Waiting on the World to Change” immediately gives a nod to Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions’ “People Get Ready” from 1965, which is a pretty good indicator for the sound and tone of Continuum. A marked departure from the more singer/songwriter territory on which Mayer had built his empire, this record embraced a more classic-sounding sound that drew more influence from soul, jazz, and blues – from its musical homages to its personnel, which included legendary session drummer Steve Jordan and bassist-extraordinaire Pino Palladino.
“Who Says” (2009)
After successfully changing his career trajectory with Continuum and solidifying himself as a legitimate artist, fans eagerly anticipated Mayer’s follow-up record Battle Studies to continue down that path. Instead, he took a more pensive route, penning an album of more intimate songs that were also a bit more subversive than the rest of his catalog. Consider the lead single “Who Says,” a fuck-you-I-won’t-do-what-you-tell-me song disguised as a John Denver-esque campfire tune.
“Shadow Days” (2012)
After a two-year bender of controversial interviews and becoming a paparazzi fixture, Mayer retreated to Montana (both to flee from a bubbling PR nightmare and to recuperate from serious throat surgery from which he could have permanently lost his voice). He returned in a cowboy hat and a Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young musical aesthetic with Born and Raised and its lead single, “Shadow Days.”
“Paper Doll” (2013)
Released just one year after its predecessor (he couldn’t tour for Born and Raised because of the recovery from the aforementioned surgery), Paradise Valley continued with the mellow Americana format, but leaned just a tad more electric – as evidenced by “Paper Doll.”
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