“Why You No Love Me?”- Should We or Should We Not Like John Mayer


First thing’s first, I’m going to have to admit one thing: I am a John Mayer fan. In today’s climate, I know that being a John Mayer fan is not typical of someone who is also a massive Swiftie. Is John Mayer one of Taylor Swift’s most controversial ex-boyfriends? Yes. But is he an amazing musician with incredible talent? Most definitely. I know this sounds radical, but my view is that not enough people appreciate John Mayer’s musical career as they should. Objectively, he produces good music, and he is one of the best guitarists of the modern era. If any one of my readers has seen his Tik Toks, or any kind of video of him playing the guitar, they would have to admit his instrumental talent. In a way, he is quite similar to Taylor Swift.

Each one of John Mayer’s albums has a different feel, and his style has evolved greatly over his longstanding career. For example, Mayer’s debut EP, Inside Wants Out, screams a similar kind of early 2000’s young millennial angst and wonderment as Taylor Swift’s self-titled debut album. All of the songs on Inside Wants Out are done acoustically, with Mayer playing the guitar himself. The songs are about new loves and finding your way in the world as a young adult, much like Taylor’s debut album.

Another striking similarity is in Mayer’s 2009 album Battle Studies and Swift’s 2012 album Red. Although they are stylistically different, with Mayer’s style being more soft contemporary rock and Swift’s being country-pop, they contain similar messages. Both are what are to be considered heartbreak albums, with the classic moving-on-and-getting-over-it motifs strewn throughout. Taylor is even featured on one of the songs on Battle Studies! “Half of My Heart” is a great song regardless, but Taylor Swift’s background vocals make it even better. If all of this isn’t convincing enough to convert my readers into John Mayer fans, here are a few of my favorite songs of his for you to try:

  1. Stop This Train

As a senior, soon to graduate, I can relate to this song pretty deeply. Here Mayer sings about the struggles he faces with the inevitable train of time. The whole song is representative of a conversation he’s having with his father, where he asks him how he can try to stop time because he is afraid of how fast his life is moving. His father just laughs and tells him there’s nothing one can do about a problem like this, and that you just have to appreciate every moment for what it is, because one day you’ll grow old and realize the beauty of life. I sometimes find myself having the same problem, where I feel things are moving too fast. When I listen to this song, it makes me realize that I need to live in the moment, and enjoy all of the exciting things I have going on right in front of me.

  1. Slow Dancing in a Burning Room

This song is a true John Mayer classic, right up there with others like “Gravity” and “Waiting on the World to Change”. Coincidentally, these songs are on the same album: Continuum. This song is about being in a doomed relationship but not caring about the inevitable downfall and taking the situation for what it is. Hence the name, Mayer says the relationship is like slow dancing in a room that is on fire around them. The tempo of the song is slow, and I honestly find it to be quite calming.

  1. Edge of Desire

“So young and full of running, tell me where is that taking me?” To me, this lyric is one of Mayer’s most striking. This song is about the internal struggle between doing what society says he should be doing and abandoning this to live the life he wants with the girl he loves. Mayer artfully describes life as “the great figure eight, a tiny infinity”, of going in circles and trying to find your way. He is constantly lying on the edge of his desires, but eventually gives in and goes to be with this mystery girl.

  1. Paper Doll

For starters, this song is about Taylor Swift. Mayer wrote this song in response to Swift’s hit song “Dear John” on her Speak Now album. He has said in interviews that he felt deeply hurt by how she portrayed him, and he wanted to tell the story from his perspective. I like this song so much because I find it interesting to hear a different side of a well-known story, and the ways in which he describes Swift are not nearly as scathing as in “Dear John”. He calls Swift “twenty-two girls in one”, in reference to her famously ever-changing musical eras.

I hope that this has been enough to recruit some new John Mayer fans, although I know that would be a likely insurmountable task. I highly recommend listening to his newest album, Sob Rock. The entire album has a very retro feel, with many of the songs mimicking the style of an 80’s era classic. This album is very different than any of his others, so for people who have always claimed to dislike his older music this could be a brand-new introduction to the wonderful artist that is John Mayer.