John Mayer's new album Sob Rock has the '80s written all over it

Los Angeles, California – John Mayer's new album Sob Rock shines a light on the '80s, as the singer-songwriter continues his lyrical quest for love.

John Mayer released his eighth studio album, Sob Rock, on Friday.
John Mayer released his eighth studio album, Sob Rock, on Friday.  © Collage: Screenshot / Instagram / johnmayer

If fans of Mayer have learned anything from his new single Last Train Home, it's that the man is currently crushing on the 1980s.

The theme has held for the entirety of his latest 10-track album Sob Rock, with each song including its own subtle twist on the '80s soft-rock sound.

But underneath the synth rock vibes is Mayer's heartfelt and longing lyricism, with a steady focal point throughout the album: a woman's love.

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Released on Friday, the album starts with his Last Train Home single, which sets up the storyline and tone for the nine tracks to come.

In the following song, Shouldn't Matter but it Does, a country music feel is undeniable with the twang of an acoustic guitar and the strumming of its electric counterpart.

Here, Mayer expresses his regret over love lost, and the pain in moving on from something you still so desperately want. In the second verse, the 43-year-old sings, "I shouldn't be angry, I shouldn't hold on, I shouldn't leave you messages in every little song."

The album's storyline takes a twist in its third track, New Light. It's a single many fans did not expect to even be on the album, given its random stand alone release in May 2018 and follow-up of radio silence for years.

Mayer taps into what he knows best

John Mayer's eight full-length album in a tribute to an '80s soft-rock vibe.
John Mayer's eight full-length album in a tribute to an '80s soft-rock vibe.  © IMAGO / Gonzales Photo

Pining for a woman's love remains the focus throughout the album, as the woman Mayer is addressing seems to shift to a friend he hopes will "give [him] just one night" to prove he's the one for her.

The album's sixth track, Wild Blue, starts off with a beach-gone-country feel, similar to that of the great Jimmy Buffett. As Mayer's vocals emerge, the sound shifts to that of your favorite indie rock band. Halfway through the song, Mayer showcases his guitar-shredding ways, if only for a moment.

The songwriter teases the idea of finding his person while throwing low-key shade at naysayers in Til The Right One Comes, crooning, "Some people say I'll never love someone. That's alright, give it time, and maybe I'll prove you wrong when the right one comes."

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In the second-to-last song, Carry Me Away, Mayer seems as if he's found the one for him, singing, "You're just the kind of crazy I've been looking for."

The album closes with a track titled All I Want Is to Be With You, a solemn and simple way to cap off the musician's eighth full-length studio album. The lyrics are straightforward, reiterating that all he wants "is to be with you."

It's been four years since Mayer's last album, The Search for Everything, was released. Tickets to his Sob Rock tour are now on sale.

Cover photo: Collage: Screenshot / Instagram / johnmayer

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