John Mayer releases new ’80s-tinged album’ Sob Rock ‘in tandem with 2022 tour plans
During the darkest days of the pandemic, John Mayer retreated to the heartwarming sounds of the 1980s. At 43, the guitar virtuoso who grew up on radio and MTV leaned into the music that shaped his art from an early age. Today (July 16) via Columbia Records, Mayer shares sob rock. His eighth studio album captures the sound signature of the era, marrying soft rock with shimmering synthetics.
Under the direction of iconic producer Don Was, Mayer masterfully crafted the desired melancholy retro vibe the album cover would capture so perfectly.
Almost 20 years after his first album Room for squares, its new version, sob rock, is Mayer’s first album in four years. While returning to his solo art, he remains determined to tour with Dead & Company. Following his LP existential crisis, The search for everything, in 2017, and his surprisingly American album, Born and raised in 2012, sob rock suggests a continuation of Mayer’s unlimited musical exploration.
sob rock opens with a well-suited synth-rock single, “Last Train Home”, featuring Maren Morris in backing vocals. Nostalgia permeates songs like “New Light”. As he has done several times before, the song is poetically about unrequited love with lines like Push 40 in the friend zone. But this time around, he’s doing it while channeling his subconscious influences from Santana.
Mayer told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe in an interview that he never wanted to become an artist “who runs out of paint colors and starts doing the same songs over and over again.”
He added: “I’m only interested if I can put new paintings on the canvas,” he said. “And my way of doing it then was: literally no one is looking. This one is called sob rock because you never would have imagined that was the name of the disc.
On release day, Mayer also confirmed dates for a 2022 North American tour in support of the LP. The extensive excursion will begin at the Times Union Center in Albany on February 17. The guitarist will then make stops in Philadelphia on February 18, New York on February 20, Washington DC on February 23, Pittsburgh on February 25 and Toronto on February 27. March dates for Mayer’s sob rock The tour includes stops in Belmont Park (New York), Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Denver.
Then the tour continues to Sunrise, Florida on April 2 and Tampa on April 5. From there, Mayer will hit Atlanta on April 8, Charlotte on April 11, Nashville on April 13, Austin on April 20, Houston on April 23, and Dallas on April 24. The Sob Rock tour is scheduled to end at the United Center in Chicago on April 28.
Fans will soon be able to register to access pre-sales through its website until Tuesday, July 20. Listen to John Mayer’s new album, sob rock, here.