John Mayer said in a recent interview with Time.com, “I’m not worried anymore, period. I’m not worried about pop hits, I’m not worried about sales, relevance,[etc.].” When one examines Mayer’s career as a musician, the thing that stands out the most is what celebrity he has dated and which Blues legend he shared the stage with. But John Mayer is no more “Blues” than Nicki Minaj is decent. In fact, it isn’t clear what Mayer is other than his off stage persona as a “bad boy.” So well, now he is apparently seriously involved with Katy Perry, which probably suits him well. What better “marriage made in Heaven” can there be than two pretentious attention whores parading themselves as the new super couple?
Perhaps it is only fair to say John Mayer’s greatest asset is his ability to wow pop media with his personal shenanigans because his music and breathy voice-laden songs seem to lay in the shadows of scandal and gossip. His poppy song-writing and exceptional musicianship has carried him far in the treacherous landscape of the music industry. And though his music appeals to a wide range of music lovers, his insistence to occasionally “play the Blues” leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth, especially outside the U.S. Americans embrace John Mayer because his music resonates with so many people (selling millions is a testament to that), but across the pond in England, there he’s not so well received. Perhaps the British expect something more than humorous punch lines in between songs during a performance. After all, England has produced some of the greatest international hit bands in the world. So, it is safe to say they have musical high standards (at least it appears so).
No, Mayer doesn’t please all the critics, and to be fair to the man, no one ever does. When it comes to the Blues, it is well understood his affinity for the greats is at his core. But as Ian Gittins of The Guardian once wrote of Mayer, “He is the blues equivalent of Jon Bon Jovi – a slick, glossy distillation of a musical genre with all its rough edges scrubbed away.” John Mayer is essentially pop music with Americana and Blues influences. Some of his tunes are pretty, some very personal, and some get deep. But overall, it must be stated John Mayer is not Blues. It is the most common error even the top critics make when John Mayer is placed on the mantle of a music genre.
John Mayer has a new album being released, which is what sparked this whole spiel. It’s titled “Paradise Alley,” and what can be expected is a more mature dynamic with evidently personal thoughts spoken out loud, giving his fans glimpses of his new grown-up self. Legions of John Mayer followers will likely find this new release to be a fine collection of karmic songs that proliferate past romances and current epiphanies. One can suppose from his well documented personal life there certainly is no shortage of material to write about.