Room for Squares

Room for Squares

4.7 79
by John Mayer
     
 

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Producer John Alagia's fingerprints are all over this major-label debut for Atlanta-based singer/songwriter John Mayer. On songs like "Not Myself" Mayer seems almost to be parroting Dave Matthews, whom Alagia produced on several albums, including Crash and Before These Crowded Streets. The fault is not Mayer's — his songs are always heartfelt, occasionally poignant,… See more details below

Overview

Producer John Alagia's fingerprints are all over this major-label debut for Atlanta-based singer/songwriter John Mayer. On songs like "Not Myself" Mayer seems almost to be parroting Dave Matthews, whom Alagia produced on several albums, including Crash and Before These Crowded Streets. The fault is not Mayer's — his songs are always heartfelt, occasionally poignant, and sometimes even funny, but the jazzy hooks, echoed lyrics, and occasionally forced falsettos that adorn them sometimes seem to be a little much. Despite this, Room for Squares is an easy album to like. Mayer has a soulful voice and he opens himself up emotionally, showing a vulnerability that makes all of the slick production seem forgivable. From the contrite reflection of "My Stupid Mouth" to the sweetly sensual "Your Body Is a Wonderland" to the closing song, "St. Patrick's Day" (which, ironically, is about not wanting to end things), on this album, it's the thoughts that count. ~ Stacia Proefrock

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
After making a small buzz with the Inside Wants Out EP, John Mayer hired veteran producer John Alagía (known for his work with the Dave Matthews Band) to beef up his full-length debut with commercial polish. Released in September 2001, Room for Squares proved to be a well-timed album, quietly heralding the end of teen pop's glory days with clever wordplay, savvy chord progressions, and mature songwriting. Songs like "No Such Thing" and "Neon" mixed jazz chords with digestible choruses, fashioning a sort of brainy, college-educated pop hybrid that appealed to discerning listeners and mainstream fans alike. Of course, it didn't hurt that Mayer also loaded the album with more straightforward numbers -- particularly "Your Body Is a Wonderland," a bubbling piece of bedroom pop that helped expand his female audience. Mayer's soon-to-be famous guitar solos and bluesy, Stevie Ray Vaughan-styled riffs were sorely absent from the mix, though, as he limited the bulk of his fretwork to the acoustic guitar. It would take a jam-friendly concert album -- 2003's Any Given Thursday -- to introduce the full range of Mayer's axeman skills to the public, but Room for Squares still provides a nice introduction to his catalog, highlighting his blend of collegiate pop
ock and sensitive acoustics while only hinting at the genre-hopping chameleon he'd later become.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/18/2001
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998529311
catalogNumber:
85293
Rank:
14385

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Mayer   Primary Artist
David Davidson   Violin
David LaBruyere   Bass
Jerry Marotta   Drums
John Alagia   Guitar,Percussion,Hammond Organ,Bells,Wurlitzer
Doug Derryberry   Background Vocals
Brandon Bush   Hammond Organ,Mellotron,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Chris Fischer   Conga
Nir Z.   Drums,Loops
Clay Cook   Background Vocals
John Catchings   Cello
Kris Wilkinson String Section   Viola
David Angell   Violin

Technical Credits

John Mark Painter   String Arrangements
John Alagia   Producer,Engineer
Jeff Juliano   Engineer
Jack Joseph Puig   Producer

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