In the Queue Maybe give Mayer a chance

Carson Eckert

A couple of summers ago at a
sleepaway camp, my bunkmates
and I were sitting around a
welcoming fire we had brought to
life in the woods of Maine. As we
relaxed and enjoyed each other’s
company, our counselor wanted to
play some music on his speaker to
match the mood.
As the mellow guitar intro
to “Rosie,” John Mayer’s song,
reverberated through the forest,
our initial skepticism transformed
into unanticipated enjoyment, and
we immediately requested the song
again, this time singing along as
best we could. I’ll
always remember
the 10 of us singing
that song
as we sat
around the
surging fire
surrounded
by the
beautiful
M a i n e
wilderness.

A 43-year-
old singer-
songwriter

and master guitarist from
Bridgeport, Connecticut, John
Mayer became a breakout star
during the early 2000s, thanks to
the widespread success of his first
album, “Room For Squares.” It was
released in 2001 and is a pop-rock
album filled with mainly acoustic
guitar. But since then, John Mayer

has expanded his artistic depth by
exploring new genres such as blues
and country-rock. John Mayer has
seven incredible studio albums and
seven more live albums released
throughout his career. He is one
of those rare musicians with an
almost flawless discography. Of his
81 released songs, only three don’t
interest me as much as his others—
an incredible ratio achieved by few
other artists I’ve ever heard.
But now, the important part:
what you should listen to. John
Mayer’s large collection of music
featuring different styles mixed
into different albums can make
his musical landscape daunting to
explore. The best place to start for
any aspiring John Mayer fan is his
third studio album, “Continuum,”
which also happens to be my
favorite album of all time. With
49 minutes of consistently great
music, “Continuum” is absolute
perfection that everyone can

enjoy. This album is very blues-
rock inspired, with songs that

contain intricate chords on electric
guitar over steady drum rhythms.
Whoever reads this should think of
it as a personal favor to me to listen
to “Stop This Train” at least once.
It’s the only song on the album that
strictly features acoustic guitar and
is a heartwarming message to his
parents about not wanting to get
older.
And John Mayer is so much more
than just that album. His fourth

studio album, “Battle Studies,” is a
great next step in your exploration
of his musical inventory. This
album is soft rock, which is an
approachable genre if the blues
music of “Continuum” isn’t for you.
My personal favorite song from the
album, and one generally well-liked
among other John Mayer fans, is
“Who Says.”
For those interested in country
music, John Mayer began
experimenting more with that
genre and folk music from 2012
to 2013, when he recorded and
released his fifth and sixth albums.
Many people like to stay away from
country music these days, but I
assure you, these are great albums.
I do not consider myself a fan of
country music whatsoever, but I
still find these albums really easy
to listen to because of their songs’
meaningful lyrics and beautiful
melodies. They showcase John’s
incredible songwriting talent with
new ideas and sounds in his unique
style. From his fifth album, “Born
and Raised,” you should at least
listen to “The Age of Worry,” a
fun song accompanied by upbeat
lyrics you can sing along with. John
Mayer’s sixth album, “Paradise
Valley,” is my second favorite of
his and definitely one you should
check out. This album was inspired
by John Mayer’s move to Montana,
and songs like “On The Way Home”
emphasize the album’s outdoorsy
themes.

Finally, if you prefer more
traditional rock and find “Battle
Studies” too soft, listen to his
second album, “Heavier Things.”
This album doesn’t have any
acoustic guitar but instead provides
larger instrumental arrangements
consisting of bass, piano, trumpet,
and more. The first song on the
album, “Clarity,” is a good example
of what you’ll find.
What I love about John Mayer’s
music is how easily I connect to
it. Along with just appreciating its
goodness, I can understand what
he is feeling in each song and can
apply the songs’ contexts to my
own life. My wish is that by doing
the same and appreciating John
Mayer’s expansive music catalog,
you too won’t be deterred by his
generic title of pop artist. I know
not everybody can have as nice an
introduction to his music as I did,
but hopefully, this column inspires
you to give John Mayer’s music a
chance.