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Review: John Mayer, Room for Squares

This remarkable effort signifies Mayer as the genuine article.

4

John Mayer, Room for Squares

On his sincere major label debut, Room for Squares, John Mayer openly lays bare his self-admitted “quarter-life crisis” and “the stirrings in [his] soul” with a poet’s grace and innocent sensuality. It’s also the kind of recording that grows more and more alluring with each and every spin. The lyrical phrasing of “My Stupid Mouth” (“No filter in my head/So what’s a boy to do/I guess he better find one soon”) offers only a glimpse at Mayer’s songwriting talents. What you have here is a deceptively simple acoustic presentation (starting off with the lively hit single “No Such Thing”) that quickly becomes uncharacteristically thick and abundant in Mayer’s competent hands; a full band provides slick electric, keyboard and percussive flourishes. Room for Squares successfully blends the best aspects of a variety of genres: funk/jazz bass grooves in the vibrant “Neon” and the romantically sexy “Your Body Is a Wonderland”; sweeping, classical strings in “City Love”; and pure pop guitar lines in “Back to You” and “Why Georgia.” The end result is a complete package of infectious tunes ripe with moving vocals and nakedly honest sentiment. This remarkable effort signifies Mayer as the genuine article: a pop recording artist certain to achieve recording popularity.

Label: Columbia Release Date: September 18, 2001 Buy: Amazon

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