Friday, January 1, 2010
As you may know, I'm a stickler for individuality. I'm not one to readily admit my more commercial interests (i.e.: I'm a music snob). This is not to say I haven't shelled out an embarrassing amount for tickets to Britney's Circus, or sung along to my fair share of cities 97 sampler cds; in fact, some of my favorite music is widely known and played. There's nothing wrong with pop music, there's nothing wrong with liking something everyone else likes. There's probably a good reason it's become so acclaimed. And to be honest, I think Lady Gaga is probably the best thing to happen to music this decade. (Indie kids everywhere are crying and re-cutting their bangs at the thought of that statement.) But you've got me, John Mayer, and I think I'm ready to own up to it. Hell, go grab me my Northface and a Range Rover, because my obsession with Mayer couldn't be more white-suburban-kid if it tried. But before you judge, I challenge you to buy Battle Studies and let the music speak for itself. I mean come on, not that many well-known musicians these days actually pen their own tracks, let alone speak about universal themes in such an intimate, sexy way. (What is JM if not the hopeless-romantic, acoustic-guitar toting sex symbol of our decade? Nothing, that's what).
Mayer's allegory for the trouble with love is one that would do Benatar's "Love Is A Battlefield" plenty of justice. It trumps any of his contemporaries in that it tells a complete story, yet each separate track is perfectly made and produced on its own. Still the same bluesy, soulful Mayer many of us know and love, but definitely a more honest. What he's made here with Battle Studies is a tribute to the after-effects of romance, the intricacies and complications and all the messy in-betweens that so many sing about but few with such direct poignancy. Who else would admit that they were an "Assassin, with a job to do" instead of just saying it didn't work out? When I listen to Battle Studies, Mayer wraps around me like a warm, comfortable blanket. (Plus, it comes with its own insta-game: Guess which tracks were written about Jen Aniston?).
Maybe this album came at just the right time for me or something, which I think it often does, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I relate whole-heartedly to its message. It's ok, don't worry about us, because me and JM are perfectly lonely at the moment. Nothing to do, nowhere to be, a simple little kind of free. Cause I don't belong to anyone, and nobody belongs to me. Finally a break from every shitty replay on B96 that tells me I've gotta pop bottles and get low. Me and Mayer are gonna curl up next to the fire with our golden labs and JCrew sweaters, ok?