Album Review: John Mayer, “Inside Wants Out” (1999)

Before his videos were on constant rotation on MTV, John Mayer was just another talented musician with big dreams and a guitar. This is pretty evident with John’s debut EP, Inside Wants Out.

Though the EP was released to major markets after John’s initial success of Room For Squares, it includes stripped down versions of some of the songs on that album, as well as previously unreleased material. Most of the tracks are comprised of just his vocals and guitar- which gives us nice, raw look at John’s amazing talent.

Back To You kicks off the EP, and it actually doesn’t sound much different than then Room For Squares version. No Such Thing also sounds quite similar to the album version, though the acoustic guitar gives it a nice touch. My Stupid Mouth happens to be one of my favorites on Room, and it’s just as wonderful here. The funny thing about the song is that sometimes John sings so quietly that his voice fades away- which shows us just how low budget this EP was. Neon is a nice change, however. With just John’s vocals and the guitar, the song has a nice relaxing feeling to it.

The four original songs include, Victoria, Love Soon, Comfortable and Quiet. Victoria is rather sad lyrically, but beautiful musically. John sounds amazing as he quietly describes a woman who’d rather leave than stay with the person she’s with. The quiet strumming is lovely, and there’s a flawless guitar solo towards the end of the song that adds to it’s appeal.

Love Soon is a more upbeat track, and though it’s a decent track, I can see why it wasn’t included on Room. It’s not exactly my favorite song on Inside, and it’s not as good as the other original songs that are included. The lyrics are about someone on the verge of falling in love, but it’s mostly a forgettable track in my mind. In fact, my favorite part of the song is when John curses, and that’s only because I find it a bit funny to hear him lay the BS-bomb.

Comfortable was quickly included on my list of favorite John Mayer songs. It starts off with some slow strumming, until John comes in with hushed vocals. Everything about this song is simply beautiful; from the humble and earnest lyrics about wanting back a former lover(“I loved you/Grey sweat pants/No makeup/So perfect”), to the swell of the orchestra in the background (yes, there is what appears to be a string quartet in this song- so I guess the budget wasn’t that small).

The EP ends with Quiet, another one of my favorites. The song is very smooth and subdued and it’s easy to overlook the beauty of it within the first few listens. Again, composed of just John’s vocals and guitar, the song is very relaxing and fits perfectly with the lyrics, which are about trying to find “the quiet inside [your] mind”. It’s a perfect end to the EP.

Inside Wants Out has a very personal touch to it, and it almost seems as if you’re just sitting in the living room with John as he fiddles around on his guitar. Once again, you’ll have another reason to fall utterly, completely in love with John Mayer.

Rating: 5_stars.svg

Track Listing
1. Back To You
2. No Such Thing
3. My Stupid Mouth
4. Neon
5. Victoria
6. Love Soon
7. Comfortable
8. Quiet


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