Let’s frame the scene…
The date: August, 2001.
The city: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
The place in the city: A Catholic Nun’s retreat center.
The reason: Lights out after a day of working in the slums.
The scene: I’m 15. I sit on my bed. It’s a cheap bed. Old mattress. It seems smaller than a single bed. To this day, I truthfully don’t think I have had a better night’s sleep than I did on that bed, and I have no idea how that could be, but it’s the truth. Across the room from me sits my roommate for the week on his own bed. He’s tall and tan. He plays basketball. He has the short spiked hair with blonde tips that makes him look like the ladies man he is after the turn of the millennium. He has on no shirt, and he’s holding an acoustic guitar. I remember thinking that if any of the teenage girls on the trip with us would have walked in the room at that moment, they probably would have fainted, as they would have been stricken with a lustful desire that they wouldn’t have been able to control, and it would’ve just knocked them flat out.
Anyway. He’s holding a guitar, as I previously stated. We’re talking music. He starts to play the intro of this song, and I think, “This sounds familiar…what in the world is that?” Then, he starts singing:
“Welcome to the real world, she said to me, condescendingly….”
I wouldn’t call myself a John Mayer fan. All I have are Room For Squares and Heavier Things. As you’re about to see, I’m a huge Room For Squares fan, but Heavier Things kinda fell flat for me, and with all the music that I buy, it simply crossed out my desire to seek out the newer records.
We all know Room For Squares. It didn’t matter if you were big into music or not; you owned this CD. I don’t have to describe the songs for you, because you already know them, that is unless you’ve been living under a frigging rock somewhere. When I think of top-40 records that were actually good all the way through, this is certainly one of the ones I think of, and the thing has fourteen tracks on it! It’s impressive that in a sea of major label releases where we have 3 good songs and 7 or 8 boring ones, we have a major label release here that really is good, and quality, all the way through – and it only spawned 3 singles, when there are tons more! I’ve never understood why Love Song For No One wasn’t released as one – it’s perfect. Neon? Back To You? These are killer!
Your Body Is A Wonderland is singly-handedly responsible for any surge of guitars that may have been sold in 2001, because, let’s just be honest with ourselves here. You wanted to own a guitar, because if you did, you may have been able to write a song like Your Body Is A Wonderland (or realistically, you just wanted to learn to play it), because if you did, the girls were going to flock to you like flies on honey. If you walked around saying that you hated this song, you’re a moron, because you didn’t hate this song; you just hated John Mayer because he was swimming in a deep sea of blankets with a girl’s “candy lips” and “bubblegum tongue”. You were just at home playing Wave Race on your Nintendo 64. If you had a penis, you wanted to be John Mayer – plain and simple.
Not a huge fan of his later work. Like I said, Heavier Things had some decent tracks, but overall, a letdown. I’ve heard other singles. Waiting On The World To Change? Eh. Half Of My Heart? It doesn’t stand up to anything on this record. Queen Of California? It’s not bad. It’s just, ya know, average. Give me Room For Squares anyday.
Oh, by the way – the shirtless wonder back in Brazil?
He screwed some jock’s girlfriend his senior year of high school and got the absolute tar beat out of him.
If you had to listen to two tracks besides Your Body Is A Wonderland: Love Song For No One / Neon