Friday, December 15, 2006

These Are The Jo(h)ns I Know: Vol 2.

The man featured on today’s “…Jo(h)ns I Know” column is also one of the rare crossovers onto my celebrated Husband List.

I remember hearing John Mayer's “No Such Thing” in the summer of 2001 and really enjoying it. This song is from his second album, Room For Squares. Then “Your Body is a Wonderland” was released, and I was hooked. That line “I’ll never let your head hit the bed without my hand behind it” has got to be one of his most intimate and romantic lines in modern pop.

I bought Room For Squares, and then found Inside Wants Out for less than $10 at a Shopper’s Drug Mart. It was his first EP, which was independently released, and I think it’s his strongest album. I like all the songs on it, and I can still sing along to all of them. "Comfortable", "Love Soon", and "My Stupid Mouth" are among the best.

In 2003, I moved to Hamilton, Ontario, aka, the Armpit of Canada, and many other much worse nicknames, all perfectly apt. When I moved into my first apartment, I didn’t have the internet hooked up, I had no TV, and the radio reception was pretty bad because I was underground and there was probably a lot of interference from the toxic fumes which floated over the city.

I did have my CD player, though, and compilation CD of John Mayer’s music. I played it on a loop as I assembled my futon, desk, bookshelf, and mousetraps.

Heavier Things came out that same year, and while I didn’t like it as much as his first two albums, it was showing quite a bit of range, experimentation, and lack of fear of leaving that which is comfortable. It also contained the song "Daughters," which is heartbreakingly beautiful, and won Best Song at the Grammys in 2005.

John still got slagged off a little bit, however, for being to non-threatening and easy-listening fodder. I came to his defense here ("In Harmer's Way") in this music crit blog. (Read the comments.) At this point, I had started downloading live concerts and starting to appreciate how fantastic a musician and guitarist he is. He can easily flow from very poppy tongue-in-cheek covers of N*Sync and Guns ‘n’ Roses to deep, heavy blues riffs.
Soon after this, John started branching out even further from pop and rock to hip hop and blues. He recorded a song with Kanye West, and released a live album called Try! with the John Mayer Trio, which consisted of John, drummer Steve Jordan and the bassist with the coolest name on the planet, Pino Palladino. This is an amazing album, which, as I became an apologist for earlier, displays John’s mad blues guitar skillz.

Then, this year he also released Continuum, which, to me, sounds less experimental or progressive (for this artist) and more like a happy medium between so many of John’s successes. At first, I thought "Waiting on the World to Change," Continuum’s first release, was a little preachy and political, but I’ve warmed to it considerably, and find it frustrating because some one the vocals in it are difficult to sing along with (although they sound simple, there are complex little turns that sneak up on me).

So, besides me liking John Mayer’s music, there’s John himself. John is that kind of sensitive man that I don’t think I really know in real life. He’s funny, and creative, and obviously sweet, and tall! Not that that matters.

Now, I of course I have to address the disturbing and disheartening rumours that my Johnny is dating that vapid wasteoid Jessica Simpson. I know that this can’t true, but it’s simply part of some sort elaborate practical joke. It’s just gotten out of hand, that’s all. Besides, I’m pretty sure that John likes taller girls with a little meat on their bones. And more than a 90 IQ. He just hasn’t met =cough= her yet.

Thanks for reading this second volume of These are the Jo(h)ns I Know. Note a new Linque du Jour to the left. This is also my last day at the Art Gallery, which is really sad, and I know there’s so much more work that I could do, but the money just ran out and their hands are tied for the time being. Bah humbug! I’ve had a lot of fun, though, and I’ve learned so much more than I ever expected. And, tomorrow, Jackie is off to Florida for Christmas. Bon voyage, moufette!


Laura said...

Thanks to this post, this week I've had Room for Squares, a live album, and Heavier Things playing while I write. It brings me right back to grade 12 and my first year of university. After that, I too relegated John to the easy-listening pile as I delved into more obscure stuff (read: jazz and classical voice). However, I'm going to have to check out Continuum now to see what he was doing in the meantime.

Oh, and while 'Your Body is a Wonderland' is one of the best *melt* songs, what about the little intro to his live, slow version of 'Love Song for No One'? It almost makes me want to add him to my husband list.

Catherine said...

I lurve that live intro to "Love Song For No One." You mean the "he's out there; she's out there..." bit? Ugh. I love that. It renews my faith that men have hearts. (I know, a little unfair, but I had a nasty run-in with a Tin Man last year, so I cut myself some slack.)

Laura said...

That's the one! *sigh* And they wonder why girls go for guys with guitars...

Catherine said...

John said something about that guitar affect in an old Rolling Stone interview (which I can never seem to find). He said that people call him sexy is proof positive that guitars make men sexy. I understand this. Lately, he's been looking gaunt, and although I like the long hair, he looks drawn nonetheless.