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REVIEW: Pushing 40 with John Mayer’s new single “New Light”

Pushing 40 in the friend zone:

John Mayer’s new single “New Light”, co-produced by hip-hop kingpin No I.D. and a quippy marketing campaign to boot, is another killer track under the 40-year-old musicians belt. We all know Mayer has a sense of humor. It’s the ying to his yang of twangy bluesy soulful, cry yourself to sleep ballads that have put him on the map. So we expected nothing less than a hysterical push for the new single that includes tracksuits and retro-imagery.

“New Light” has a very 80s jam-beat and playful Jimmy Buffett steel drum-sounding synth in the background, which we find out in an interview he did with Beats 1 – Apple Music  Zane Lowe- this afternoon — that on tour last year every night he’d plug in and learn MPC (MPC Studio Music Production Controller and MPC Software) for the tracks opening bleeps and plucked throughout, to the crescendo, and quick finale. He learned how to manipulate his guitar in a new way to freshen up his sound and keep above the curve. Studying his craft has bridged the gap from sappy, old John to melancholy closeted happy John growing-up. When speaking on the single, he was emphatic to say he’d learned a lot of new gadgets and music manipulation and was so excited he just had to put it to use, to not be stagnate as he’s hyper aware of the longevity a song/album can have.

 

Summer bop drop imminent ??

A post shared by John Mayer ?? (@johnmayer) on

The new merch that coupled the single release is like putting Miami Vice, Silk Stalkings, and Bobby Brown funk into a wearable platform on sweaters and t-shirts.

 

The song can be compared to slit shades, velvet two-pieces, thin gold chains, and long summer nights. One can wonder if the playboy life has left the artist a bit jaded when it comes to love.

“I’m the boy in your other phone” leans toward a young love and imagination and he follows this up with “lighting up inside your drawer at home all alone,” and being the stereotypical thing categorized as a “side piece.” His next line teeters between the confusion of his gripe of “Pushing 40 in the friend zone” and overcoming commitment issues. Is this the ‘melancholy John’ of yesteryears giving us his distaste in what is the norm today? He just wants love. The longing for love runs between the lines and we hear it – loud and muffled with the chorus being his temponic voice but never too loud. It’s the after affects of the note that slowly fades out each time.

Standing alone, “New Light” is a platonic ballad, with a pretty faced charmer trying to meet his match and overcome the regular ways of meet, drink, fuck, repeat — maybe…  He softly croons “I want to breakthrough, I want to know the real things about you.” On the real John – knocked it out of the park again, by the fifth spin to the track it sunk in. The feeling is confusion, the lyrics support this, and while it’s not another “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”, or “Your Body is a Wonderland”, it’s a nice track to nibble on while we sit on the edge of our seats anticipating his next full release. The single is currently not linked with a larger John Mayer project just yet. (Hurry the hell up already; though we realize it’s only been a year!)

You can see an interview he did this morning with with Beats 1 – Apple Music  Zane Lowe. The two hit off well, and listening in on was almost a push on music theory and a break down of the new single in an intelligent sometimes silly way.

Some cool quotes from the interview were:

Mayer, when talking about the song

“It’s military grade”

On himself and a possible hip-hop track

“I’m naturally hyperbolic, I’d never buy myself on a hiphop song”

And lastly on writing a song…

“An acoustic guitar is a calculator of sorts if it doesn’t translate to an acoustic it won’t work”

“New Light” is Mayer’s first solo treat since his 2017 release The Search for Everything. He’s about to go back on the road with members of the Grateful Dead in the supergroup band Dead & Company on an extensive summer tour, which kicks of May 30th in Massachusetts, and goes throughout the summer. Spin the track, soak in the new John, and hope he finds himself someone that won’t hide him in a top drawer.

You can stream the new song on iTunes, Spotify, or any major music platform.

http://www.johnmayer.com

Best lyric:

“Pushing 40 in the friend zone,”

****4/5    

(- 1 star as I’m a bit miffed I have to wear shoulder pads in a blazer again, can do the big hair and Neon.)

New Light by John Mayer on VEVO

“New Light”

Lyrics:

[Verse 1]

Ah, ah

I’m the boy in your other phone

Lighting up inside your drawer at home all alone

Pushing 40 in the friend zone

We talk and then you walk away every day

Oh, you don’t think twice ’bout me

And maybe you’re right to doubt me, but

 

[Chorus]

But if you give me just one night

You’re gonna see me in a new light

Yeah, if you give me just one night

To meet you underneath the moonlight

Oh, I want a take two, I want to breakthrough

I wanna know the real thing about you

So I can see you in a new light

 

[Verse 2]

Take a ride up to Malibu

I just wanna stay to look at you, look at you

What would it matter if your friends knew?

Who cares what other people say anyway

Oh, we can go far from the end

And make a new world together baby

 

[Chorus]

‘Cause if you give me just one night

You’re gonna see me in a new light

Yeah, if you give me just one night

To meet you underneath the moonlight

Oh, I want a take two, I want to breakthrough

I wanna know the real thing about you

So I can see you in a new light

 

[Bridge]

Ay, ay

Ay, ay

Ay, ay

Ay, ay

Ay, ay

 

[Chorus]

Ah

Yeah, if you give me just one night

You gonna see me in a new light

Yeah, if you give me just one night

To meet you underneath the moonlight

 

[Outro]

What do I do with all this?

What do I do with all this love that’s running through my veins for you

What do I do with all this?

What do I do with all this love that’s running through my veins for you

What do I do with all this?

What do I do with all this love that’s running through my veins for you

What do I do with all this?

What do I do with all this…

The leader of the pack, shutter16.fam, head photographer and brain schemer has been a Charlotte based concert photographer since early 2002. Her passion for photography was cultivated by her grandfather, a very well known and decorated war photographer who put the first camera in her very small hands at the age of three.

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