Here’s the thing, folks. John Mayer, Tweeter, Jennifer Aniston dater, paparazzi-chased funnyman, and today, journalist-ass-rape-threatener — should probably stop trying to convince America that he’s as sensitive as, say, his pal Taylor Swift. His public persona is completely at odds with the music he makes, which is ostensibly heartfelt singer-songwriter AAA radio fodder. To be successful as an artist (key word) in this genre, you need to create at least a veneer of realism; John doesn’t need to be Joni Mitchell here, but if you’re playing acoustic guitar and singing a sad song, you have to make us feel something.
“Who Says,” his most abhorrent effort yet, attempts to garner sympathy for a lifestyle which he clearly, flagrantly, enjoys in real life. When he sings, “Who says I can’t get stoned,” he might as well say, “Who says I can’t get young women to pay me money to pretend I’m sensitive for three minutes?” Or, “Who says I can’t have sex with Jennifer Aniston?” Nobody, John! Nobody is telling you this — except probably Jen. At least Adam Duritz seemed seriously depressed about dating her back in the day. Which brings us to this: Does John Mayer, self-satisfied smart-ass, honestly believe he’s making art here? Or is it all an elaborate, extremely profitable ruse? I wonder if he even knows anymore.