John Mayer’s ‘Stoned’ & I’m Confused

I know that alot of our commentary on SoulBounce is filled with snark, the place where hateration and witticism meet. I am writing this post, however, out of a sincere need to understand something I have grappled with for some time now: Why do so many of us like John Mayer, again? I know he's a guitar virtuoso, has been endorsed by the our Fredrick Douglass of music, Questlove, and is a very funny, self-depricating dude, but I have just never been able to get into his music. I figure that it's better to admit to this than to act like I'm down when the pained look in my face is a dead giveaway to my discontent. So please...I'm asking you: Can someone please explain what's so great about this song "Who Says" that has all the cool, hep cats breaking out their finest corduroy blazers, ascots, and pipes? The only part I can identify with is him asking "who says I can't get stoned". I would really appreciate it because I sincerely don't understand. Thanks in advance.

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16 Responses

  1. I'm a John Mayer fan and saw him live last summer. I've been a fan ever since "No Such Thing". To me, he's like this generation's Eric Clapton. Am I putting to much on it? Maybe, but that's how I view him. He's a pretty damn good storyteller, and he's got the right amount of pop, folk and soul Plus the dude is funny as all get out.
    Having said that, I'm not exactly wild about this song, but if I were in a bar/pool hall, this would probably be the sh*t to me. Some songs just have that kind of appeal when you're in those types of settings.

  2. I'm with illmami on this 100%.
    I've listened to quite a bit of his music, on the recommendation of friends and various sites, but I just don't get it. It dosn't appeal to me in any way, shape of form.
    No denying he's talented, but his talents just aint for me.

  3. If he's not for you then he's not for you. But he is talented, and he is scaled higher in the "singing" department than your average caucasian singer. It just seems like he fails the your box test...he just doesn't fit in it. He sings better than Clapton but isn't able to pull the amount of soul from himself that Eric is. To me this isn't a song for release, I actually saw it the first time this morning laying in bed stalling getting up from work...the only reason I didn't turn was because of the beautiful women in the video, and the lyrical contrarianism of the song itself.

  4. Great looking video and wonderful shots of NY. I find the song dull though. John Mayer is a talented dude. I just wish his music was on par with his gifts.

  5. I like some of John Mayer's music. No doubt he's talented. But I think he, like a lot of popular singers/musicians remind me of a term in business called 'value-added'.
    That's where you add certain 'enhancements' to product or service to justify the high price.
    John Mayer is:
    White (enhancement)
    Plays an instrument (enhancement)
    Writes & produces his own music (enhancement)
    Semi 'blue-eyed' soulish (extra enhancement)
    Endorsed by the black musical elite:Alicia Keys & Jay-Z (enhancement)
    AND he's DIFFERENT. That's and automatic triple enhancement feature right there.
    So, this should more than justify why you should like John Mayer, illMami.
    *forgive my heavy sarcasm. I'm still sleepy*

  6. A couple of things.
    If you just plain like music you probably like John Mayer. By "music" I mean in the most general and gentle way. Much like growing up you hear Sesame Street music and Saturday cartoons. Music that isn't supposed to be anything but "musical" ( know what I mean) Pretty chords, comforting grooves, nice little turns and flourishes. Dont get it twisted. It's adult music just not pretentious.
    Also he seems genuinely "cool". Not hipster billsh*t cool, but meet at a mixer, play some ball, drink a Heineken cool. He seems to occupy that same musical space with his vocals. He is the embodiment of all my "white" friends. Ha!! Don't we ALL have them?

  7. Not a fan of this song, but he's a dope artist. I don't think it's fair (or realistic) to not like someone because everyone else likes him. Cat can play and write good songs. If he was Black, cats on here would be all over it. Kid's White and folk are like "ehhh...he's ok." Step up team...

  8. HAHAHA!!!! I am a huge John Mayer fan and even I get what you mean. "Who Says" is just a-ight to me and I don't think I have ever liked the first song dropped from his albums. There are so many unreleased gems on his records. I love how he conveys the experiences of Gen Xers and Quarter Lifers. He is more honest than most.

  9. I only like live John Mayer. I am consistantly disappointed with his studio recordings.

  10. I loved his first album, back in 2001. The second one lost me. Any others since then, I've yet to hear them. But I like this song, 'Who Says'. Most of his music that I like reminds me of a time when music was implicit and appealing to all audiences. It's soulful at times, but he's labled a rock artist. I think he's a combination of both, and that's why people like his art.

  11. i had to stop that midway. that song kinda sucks. it would be a great instrumental but the lyrics are dumb. he has a couple songs that are sexy (and he is fine as hell) but i'm not a huge fan either. he has some serious skills on the guitar though.

  12. I've been a fan of his for a few years. I especially like his Continuum material. This song though...blah.

  13. I think the lyrics are stupid as well...but I'm a big fan of his live work. I think he has such street cred b/c he's a beast on the guitar and we've seen him on shows that make him "real" (insert Chappelle here...).
    I'm not really a fan of his studio work, but he gets down live...especially w/ the blues.

  14. Room for Squares stayed on repeat for nearly an entire summer back in 02. Apart from the no such thing and wonderland singles, I thought it was a perfect pop record. While I haven't been as interested in an entire Mayer album since, somethings missing, clarity, and i dont trust myself are songs I really enjoy from his last two releases.

  15. I think people like it because it sounds and feels like an honest song. Me personally, I like when songs it feels like the song was more for the artist than it was for the audience. Its like witnessing some sort of catharsis. Its not the greatest song of all time or even his best song, buts its definitely a good song.

  16. Avatar

    I've never listened to one of his albums before, but whenever I've heard him live I thought he was dope..hoodedmonk really summed up why I'd say I like the dude.


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