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John Mayer|Sob Rock

Sob Rock

John Mayer

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John Mayer sang on his 2001 debut Room for Squares, released when he was 22, about his "quarter-life crisis." Now he's 43 and his latest, Sob Rock, is right on time for the mid-life one. There's a whole lot of taking stock on songs like the what-if ballad "Shouldn't Matter But It Does," which finds him thinking of a former love: "It could've been always, it could've been me/ We could've been busy naming baby number three." The incredibly catchy "New Light" (produced by Kanye West collaborator No ID, it's all upbeat yacht rock and blue-eyed soul), actually feels like a throwback to the lonely-boy longings of Mayer’s debut, only now he's "pushing 40 in the friend zone." Meanwhile, "I Guess I Just Feel Like" is pure existentialism: "I guess I just feel like nobody's honest, nobody's true ... I guess I just feel like I'm the same way too," he sings along with slow-burn blues guitar. Mayer has said that pandemic stress pushed him to reach for the "security-blanket" '80s soft rock of his childhood, and the record is at once FM-radio familiar but not a punchline. Credit producer Don Was, who knows from delicious processed cheese, having steered Glenn Frey, Michael McDonald and Paul Young, among others. On the terrific "Last Train Home," Mayer enlists a seen-it-all veteran in the form of Toto percussionist Lenny Castro, but also brings in contemporary country-pop heroine Maren Morris to stand up to the sizzle tone of his PRS Silver Sky guitar. "Til the Right One Comes" bounces like a Christine McVie cut, and the delightful "Wild Blue" never lets you forget that he's a touring guitarist with the Grateful Dead. Mayer's warm rasp—always walking the line of sultry and sad—shines on "Shot in the Dark" and the gently pulsing "Carry Me Away." His offbeat sense of humor, which was entertainingly on display during his lockdown Instagram TV series, doesn't usually make its way into songs. But one of the catchiest on Sob Rock is also one of the most confounding: The music is smooth as silk, the delivery sounds sincere, yet there's Mayer singing Yoda-like lyrics for "Why You No Love Me": "Why you no even care?..." © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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Sob Rock

John Mayer

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1
Last Train Home
00:03:07

Greg Phillinganes, Keyboards - Don Was, Producer - Sean Hurley, Bass - Curt Schneider, Engineer - Lenny Castro, Percussion - Mark 'Spike' Stent, Mixing Engineer - Aaron Sterling, Drums - John Mayer, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Keyboards, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Martin Pradler, Editor - Maren Morris, Vocal - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer - Ryan Del Vecchio, Assistant Engineer - Matt Wolach, Assistant Engineer - Chenao Wang, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2021 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
Shouldn't Matter but It Does Explicit
00:03:56

Greg Phillinganes, Synthesizer - Don Was, Producer - Sean Hurley, Bass - Curt Schneider, Engineer - Mark 'Spike' Stent, Mixing Engineer - Aaron Sterling, Drums - John Mayer, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Martin Pradler, Editor - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer - Ryan Del Vecchio, Assistant Engineer - Matt Wolach, Assistant Engineer - Chenao Wang, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2021 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
New Light
00:03:37

Ernest Wilson, Composer, Lyricist - No ID, Producer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Aaron Sterling, Drums - John Mayer, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Spike Stent, Mixing Engineer - Martin Pradler, Editor - Chad Franscoviak, Engineer - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2018 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Why You No Love Me
00:04:15

Greg Phillinganes, Keyboards - Don Was, Producer - Curt Schneider, Engineer - Lenny Castro, Percussion - Mark 'Spike' Stent, Mixing Engineer - Greg Leisz, Steel Guitar - Aaron Sterling, Drums - John Mayer, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Keyboards, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Goldings, Keyboards - Martin Pradler, Editor - Maren Morris, Vocal - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer - Ryan Del Vecchio, Assistant Engineer - Matt Wolach, Assistant Engineer - Chenao Wang, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2021 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
Wild Blue
00:04:12

Don Was, Producer - Sean Hurley, Bass - Curt Schneider, Engineer - Lenny Castro, Percussion - Mark 'Spike' Stent, Mixing Engineer - Aaron Sterling, Drums - John Mayer, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Martin Pradler, Editor - Jeff Babko, Keyboards - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer - Ryan Del Vecchio, Assistant Engineer - Matt Wolach, Assistant Engineer - Chenao Wang, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2021 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
Shot in the Dark
00:04:09

Greg Phillinganes, Synthesizer - Don Was, Producer - Curt Schneider, Engineer - Lenny Castro, Percussion - Mark 'Spike' Stent, Mixing Engineer - Aaron Sterling, Drums - John Mayer, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Piano, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Martin Pradler, Editor - Maren Morris, Vocal - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer - Ryan Del Vecchio, Assistant Engineer - Matt Wolach, Assistant Engineer - Chenao Wang, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2021 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
I Guess I Just Feel Like
00:04:46

Sean Hurley, Bass - Aaron Sterling, Drums, Percussion - John Mayer, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Spike Stent, Mixing Engineer - Martin Pradler, Editor - Chad Franscoviak, Recording Engineer - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer - Matt Tuggle, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2019 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

8
Til the Right One Comes
00:03:39

Don Was, Producer - Curt Schneider, Engineer - Mark 'Spike' Stent, Mixing Engineer - Aaron Sterling, Drums - John Mayer, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Keyboards, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Martin Pradler, Editor - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer - Ryan Del Vecchio, Assistant Engineer - Matt Wolach, Assistant Engineer - Chenao Wang, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2021 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
Carry Me Away
00:02:39

Greg Phillinganes, Keyboards - Curt Schneider, Engineer - Jamie Muhoberac, Keyboards - Mark 'Spike' Stent, Mixing Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Aaron Sterling, Drums - John Mayer, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Keyboards, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Martin Pradler, Editor - Michael Freeman, Assistant Engineer - Chad Franscoviak, Engineer, Co-Producer - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer - Matt Tuggle, Assistant Engineer - Cautious Clay, Vocal - Ryan Del Vecchio, Assistant Engineer - Ryan Lytle, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2021 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
All I Want Is to Be With You
00:04:04

Don Was, Producer - Sean Hurley, Bass - Curt Schneider, Engineer - Mark 'Spike' Stent, Mixing Engineer - Aaron Sterling, Drums, Percussion - John Mayer, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Keyboards, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Martin Pradler, Editor - Jeff Babko, Keyboards - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer - Ryan Del Vecchio, Assistant Engineer - Matt Wolach, Assistant Engineer - Chenao Wang, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2021 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

John Mayer sang on his 2001 debut Room for Squares, released when he was 22, about his "quarter-life crisis." Now he's 43 and his latest, Sob Rock, is right on time for the mid-life one. There's a whole lot of taking stock on songs like the what-if ballad "Shouldn't Matter But It Does," which finds him thinking of a former love: "It could've been always, it could've been me/ We could've been busy naming baby number three." The incredibly catchy "New Light" (produced by Kanye West collaborator No ID, it's all upbeat yacht rock and blue-eyed soul), actually feels like a throwback to the lonely-boy longings of Mayer’s debut, only now he's "pushing 40 in the friend zone." Meanwhile, "I Guess I Just Feel Like" is pure existentialism: "I guess I just feel like nobody's honest, nobody's true ... I guess I just feel like I'm the same way too," he sings along with slow-burn blues guitar. Mayer has said that pandemic stress pushed him to reach for the "security-blanket" '80s soft rock of his childhood, and the record is at once FM-radio familiar but not a punchline. Credit producer Don Was, who knows from delicious processed cheese, having steered Glenn Frey, Michael McDonald and Paul Young, among others. On the terrific "Last Train Home," Mayer enlists a seen-it-all veteran in the form of Toto percussionist Lenny Castro, but also brings in contemporary country-pop heroine Maren Morris to stand up to the sizzle tone of his PRS Silver Sky guitar. "Til the Right One Comes" bounces like a Christine McVie cut, and the delightful "Wild Blue" never lets you forget that he's a touring guitarist with the Grateful Dead. Mayer's warm rasp—always walking the line of sultry and sad—shines on "Shot in the Dark" and the gently pulsing "Carry Me Away." His offbeat sense of humor, which was entertainingly on display during his lockdown Instagram TV series, doesn't usually make its way into songs. But one of the catchiest on Sob Rock is also one of the most confounding: The music is smooth as silk, the delivery sounds sincere, yet there's Mayer singing Yoda-like lyrics for "Why You No Love Me": "Why you no even care?..." © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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