John Mayer is simply a complicated soul. On a Monday he appears on Cazzie David’s internet show and goes down a cringe worthy rabbit hole about his romantic conquests — and more. It was another public bad look. A few days later at an iHeart event in Los Angeles he debuts a new song and reveals a vulnerability that is impossible to turn eyes and ears from. It may be the most honest performance of his career. It surely is the most personal.
Mayer has long been capable of holding court by himself on a stage with nothing but guitar, a microphone, and an engaged audience. His performance skills are right up there with the best thespians and sit at par with your favorite troubadour. Mayer is a showman and he thrills at pulling levers and turning knobs. That applies to his contributions on stage, in studio, and on TMZ. It leads one to ask what’s real and what is just an act? That’s usually a fair question. In this case that doesn’t seem so important.
“I Guess I Just Feel Like” is a song that leverages a common conversation opener into a song that is very much just that – a conversation. Against hypnotic strumming Mayer turns this song into a bit of an experiential shrug, the kind that you witness in the company of a friend who is struggling with something very real. Marrying personal challenges with socio/political issues of the day Mayer cleverly creates a thematic blend that doesn’t provide much clarity to what’s really at hand. But the delivery live (as you’ll see here in his latest video) suggests that this offering is more personal, something he wrestles with from the day’s first buzzer until it all ends. In that regard the song becomes something that may later be considered one of his most important and moving contributions. Something we have all been waiting for and a hopeful indication of what’s next.