Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye…

21 Nov


John Mayer’s latest blog is titled “Pop Rocks” and extols how there is some really good Pop music out there. Now, I know not all Pop music is bad, but the ones he’s listed has got me questioning John’s “tool” factor. I understand John’s need to conform to the industry early on in his career so that he could get a foothold into the industry — which he did.

I admired his dedication to becoming a top notch guitarist with a blues funk, reeling in friends like B.B. King and Eric Clapton. I thought Continuum was a brilliant piece of work that truly showed his range and talent and didn’t compromise in trying to throw out the sappy bubblegum that Pop fans are doled on a daily basis from terrestrial radio.

Then the list. I have to scratch my head as the guy who paints himself as the music biz rebel, obviously is throwing a bone to the record companies in endorsing these (with the exception of Sara Bareilles, where he evidently made an indie stand). You tell me:

1. Misery Business and When it Rains by Paramore

While a cheap Joan Jett imitation…makes me yawn.

When it Rains is a bit more compelling but I prefer Sara or FEIST!

2. Lovestoned/I Think She Knows – Justin Timberlake

Seriously? What a poser. He is the 21st Century Vanilla Ice. Is Mayer trying to be sarcastic? God, I hope so.

3. Tattoo – Jordin Sparks

This has to be an obvious payback to the record label gods. Can you listen to Mary J. Blige and Beyonce’ and really feel awed by Jordin? She’s not terrible by any means but there’s hundreds of Jordins and those kind of songs out there…cookie cutter.

4. Love Song – Sara Bareilles

Mayer picks the “poppiest” of Sara’s repetoire, when Gravity is clearly superior and shows Sara’s obvious talent. This is the only one I agree with, however for this kind of sound, I’d have chosen Bubbly by Colbie Caillat.

…..and the piece de resistance….

5. Over You – Daughtry

And, exactly how do Daughtry and John Mayer even fit in the same sentence? Has Mayer started wearing a wallet chain?

For good measure JM throws in his new BFF, Alicia Keys with Like You’ll Never See Me Again. Oh, the drama. While the girl has pipes, this certainly doesn’t show off her talent. Again, **yawn**.

I just don’t get it….other than this is John’s professional butt-kissing to take some chances on his next CD. Sort of an ace up his sleeve. It’s quite interesting that all of these artists, except for Paramore are signed to a Sony-BMG label, which just happens to be John Mayer’s label.

Jus’ sayin’.

That’s the only way I can rationalize the guy’s choices of “good” Pop music noted here. His own new song, Say (see Mayer’s November 16th blog for a preview), is really quite good and perhaps he’s trying to SAY something?

Take out of your wasted honor
Every little best frustration
Take out all your so called problems
Better put them in quotations
Say what you need to say (8x)

Walkin like a one man army
Fightin with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you’d be better off instead
If you could only
Say what you need to say (8x)
[Say lyrics on

Have no fear for giving in
Have no fear for getting older
You better know that in the end its better to say to much
Than to never to say what you need to say again

Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open
Say what you need to say (20ishx)


Posted by on November 21, 2007 in John Mayer, music biz, Music Today


5 responses to “Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye…

  1. brc

    November 21, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Kind of diminishes my overall respect for JM. I mean I really wouldn’t expect someone like him to risk his credibility to satisfy some suits at his label.

    I’ve never understood the appeal of JT, but then again, I’m not 20 years old either. And as far as Daughtry is concerned, it was all I could do not to throw up watching the American Music Awards the other day.

  2. Colette

    November 21, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Well, why am I not surprised? I just can’t get a fix on young Mr. Mayer. I hear how bright and educated he is, how enlightened about music — and then I listen to this (mostly) junk. And witness his tabloid canoodling with various starlets (so much about trying to keep your life private).

    But I have to say, as much as I admire his musical skill and his mentors (which also include Paul Simon, by the way), I’ve not been bowled over by some of his material. “Waitin’ on the World to Change,” for instance — I can’t tell if he’s excusing his generation for not being politically active regarding their own future, or criticizing his peers for that.

    This is the guy who turned me on to Brett Dennen and some other truly worthy young talents. But it sounds like he’s getting sucked into the machine…..

    cheers & happy thanksgiving to all! despite some sadness in my family (my uncle died this a.m., after a very long battle with Alzheimer’s), I’m grateful for a lot — including great friends, and great music! — “BOy in the Bubble,” John Mayer & Paul Simon

  3. Shrewspeaks

    November 22, 2007 at 12:42 am

    I just can’t figure it all out with young Johnny. One moment pure brilliance the next I am doing a V8 slap to my head. I have always kinda admired how he was willing to put out there his thoughts…whether the public in general approved. I harken to one post he did over the summer about listening to Hendrix on the way to some where in LA. That post was deeply personal and had no other aim then, Mayer felt he wanted to say it. I think that is why this post in particular I find disapointing; it on the face of it seems to be nothing more than a memo from Uncle Clive’s desk through a hipster cool boy. Thanks John, but I have 900 million top 40 stations (Satellite and terrestrial) preaching this sort of hymn to me. If your current rotation had any classic or gold hits mixed in…it might have been more plausible…but then again who needs to see more Paul Simon, not when Jordin Sparks new cd drops on Tuesday.

    Happy T Day to you all…

    And Colette…so sorry to hear of your family’s journey and loss. May the memories of good times and laughter be not far behind those tears.

  4. Colette

    November 22, 2007 at 4:37 am

    Thank you Shrew! I appreciate the kind words, it’s been a very difficult year in terms of family stuff.

    And ha ha right on, about the “hipster cool boy.” Maybe he should start hanging out with some good female musicians, instead of those starlets!

  5. Colette

    November 24, 2007 at 12:22 am

    BTW — was just at a music party (my spouse plays keyboards, and his friends often get together to jam) and the very delightful rock musician teenage son of the host said that Justin Timberlake’s latest music is “Awesome!”. I tried not to be totally uncool and let my inner cringe show, but what is it about JT that make smart young musicians like this kid (whose own indie neo-punk band, by the way, just landed a recording contract) so admiring of him? I don’t get it! Somebody please explain it!


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