What seemed like an earnest attempt at rebranding himself as a Gen-X yacht-rock prince turns out to be just a few choppy waves of deceit. John Mayer, days before the release of his newest album, Sob Rock, told Zane Lowe in a new interview that the inspiration behind it wasn’t to pay homage to the previous ’80s boys of summer but rather that he wanted to gravitate away from what he thought was “cool” in our post-pandemic world. “I went, Well, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. And in fact, I can make a record that’s in some way provocative, if not antagonizing. And then I did what I thought was going to be antagonizing, and this is the most important part of the conversation, I think, creatively,” Mayer explained. “For me, it was like, I want to get in trouble. I want someone to tell me this is shit. And I made a record that to me at the time, only in a way to coax something out of me that I wouldn’t have normally done: shitpost a record. It’s called Sob Rock because it’s a shitpost.” Inhale your doobie smoke and read the rest:
But more importantly, it’s what I thought was a shitpost, and this gets down to where artists sit in front of you and play you what they think is their garbage. And you go, “That’s the best thing I ever heard you play.” It makes a mockery of their interpretation of the experience. Which is just enough to break out of the mold and make something unique.
In hindsight, we should’ve known that Mayer’s “Last Train Home” was a red herring. A true believer would’ve called it “First Boat Out (Woman’s Name)”.