John, you’ve got a lot to answer for…

I’ve never hidden my appreciation for John Mayer’s musicianship. A mancrush was born from practically the second I heard Room For Squares in the fall of 2001, and it only intensified with Heavier Things and Continuum. The reason I developed such an affinity for him was simple-his best songs hit home in a very real way. I’ve said for a long time that if I knew how to write songs, they’d probably wind up sounding like John’s…maybe with a little Kanye thrown in. At any rate…

John’s not had the greatest couple of years. His most recent album, Battle Studies, despite hitting #1 and going platinum, was considered something of a disappointment. While a decent effort, it’s nowhere as good as the rest of his catalog and is now represented in my iTunes library by a mere four songs. In addition, John got in trouble for a few ill-conceived statements to the press and had to deal with vocal issues that interrupted the recording and release of his fifth album, Born & Raised. 

Good news, folks. John is back with a new single called “Shadow Days,” he announced a new string of tour dates today, and it looks like Born & Raised will be released in late May. John has performed “Shadow Days” in concert before, and a snippet of the track floated around the ‘net a couple of weeks ago. It’s fairly typical autobiographical John from a lyrical standpoint-even though the lyrics are about a relationship, once could certainly read the lyrics as an apology of sorts for appearing to be such a douchebag in general. Musically, there’s a little more twang going on than usual, but it’s a solid track overall. It doesn’t get my heart pumping the way his best work does, but that doesn’t mean that the album won’t be great. I’ve just realized that John (or his record company) is not the best at picking singles. The best songs on each of his previous albums (with a few notable exceptions) have all been album cuts.

Anyway, here’s the song, and you can find the recently announced tour dates below it.

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