Room for Squares

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Room for Squares
Studio album by John Mayer
Released June 5, 2001
Recorded 2000
Loho Studios
(New York City, New York)
Sunny Acre
(Easton, Maryland)
33 & 1/3 Studios
(Brooklyn, New York)
Applehead Studios
(Woodstock, New York)
Media Mix Studios
(Nashville, Tennessee)
Genre Pop rock, acoustic[1]
Length 54:14
Label Columbia, Aware
Producer John Alagia
John Mayer chronology
Inside Wants Out
(1999)
Room for Squares
(2001)
Heavier Things
(2003)
Singles from Room for Squares
  1. "No Such Thing"
    Released: February 18, 2002
  2. "Your Body Is a Wonderland"
    Released: October 14, 2002
  3. "Why Georgia"
    Released: April 29, 2003

Room for Squares is the debut studio album of American musician John Mayer, released through Aware Records and Columbia Records on June 5, 2001, the album peaked at number 9 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. Upon its release, Room for Squares received generally positive reviews from most music critics and earned Mayer a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for the single "Your Body Is a Wonderland". It remains as his best-selling album to date, with sales of over 4,484,000 copies in the U.S. as of July 2014.[2]

Background[edit]

The album's title is a reference to Hank Mobley's No Room for Squares album. All songs from the album are written by Mayer; three songs, "No Such Thing", "Neon", and "Love Song for No One", were co-written with Clay Cook. The first two of these, along with "My Stupid Mouth" and "Back to You," originally appeared on Mayer's 1999 EP Inside Wants Out.

Through constant shows, including in the Atlanta-area Eddie's Attic, Mayer's reputation began to build, and a March 2000 appearance at the South by Southwest Music Festival[3] brought him to the attention of "launch" label, Aware Records.[4] After including him in the Aware Festival concerts and having his songs included on Aware compilations, in early 2001, Aware released Room for Squares as an internet-only album. During that time, Aware inked a deal with Columbia Records that gave Columbia first pick in signing Aware artists, and so in September 2001, Columbia remixed and re-released Room for Squares.[5] As part of the major label "debut", the album's artwork was updated, and the track "3x5" was added, which didn't appear on the original as the recording wasn't yet complete at the time. The re-release included reworked studio versions of the first four songs from his indie album, Inside Wants Out.[6] The cover art for the most recent release of Room for Squares features a periodic table design beginning from the back cover which continues to the front cover, ending at the right-side.

The album was relatively unknown at its time of release, but it became more well-known through word of mouth and John's touring. By the end of 2002, Room for Squares had spawned several radio hits, including "No Such Thing", "Your Body Is a Wonderland", and ultimately, "Why Georgia" (a radio-only single).

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Blender 3/5 stars[7]
The Boston Phoenix 3/4 stars[8]
Michigan Daily B+[9]
PopMatters (unfavorable)[10]
Robert Christgau (1-star Honorable Mention)[11]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[13]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[14]
Stylus Magazine B[15]

Anthony DeCurtis (with Rolling Stone) gave the album four out of five stars, calling it "irresistible".[12] PopMatters gave an unfavorable review, saying "It doesn't offend, nor does it attempt to make itself too exciting for the most part."[10] Robert Christgau said that composition lyrics like "She keeps a toothbrush at my place/As if I had the extra space" on "City Love" are an improvement over Norah Jones.[11]

By the end of 2002, Room for Squares had spawned several radio hits, including, "No Such Thing", "Your Body Is a Wonderland", and, ultimately, "Why Georgia", which was released as a CD single six weeks before the follow-up album, Heavier Things, was released in 2003.

In 2003, Mayer won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Your Body Is a Wonderland." In his acceptance speech he remarked, “This is very, very fast, and I promise to catch up.”[16] He referred to himself as being sixteen, a remark that many mistook to mean that he was only sixteen years old at the time.[17]

Track listings[edit]

All songs written and composed by John Mayer, except where noted. 

Original version
No. Title Length
1. "No Such Thing" (Mayer, Clay Cook) 3:51
2. "Why Georgia"   4:30
3. "My Stupid Mouth"   3:47
4. "Your Body Is a Wonderland"   4:08
5. "Neon" (Mayer, Cook) 4:23
6. "City Love"   4:03
7. "83"   4:55
8. "Love Song for No One" (Mayer, Cook) 3:24
9. "Back to You"   4:04
10. "Great Indoors"   3:36
11. "Not Myself"   3:39
12. "St. Patrick's Day"   5:20
Total length:
49:45
Columbia re-release
No. Title Length
1. "No Such Thing" (Mayer, Cook) 3:51
2. "Why Georgia"   4:28
3. "My Stupid Mouth"   3:45
4. "Your Body Is a Wonderland"   4:09
5. "Neon" (Mayer, Cook) 4:22
6. "City Love"   4:00
7. "83"   4:50
8. "3x5"   4:50
9. "Love Song for No One" (Mayer, Cook) 3:21
10. "Back to You"   4:01
11. "Great Indoors"   3:36
12. "Not Myself"   3:40
13. "St. Patrick's Day"   5:21
Total length:
54:19

Note: On the Columbia release, "St. Patrick's Day" is consistently listed as track 14; track 13 is an unlisted song with a duration of 0:04, and sometimes even 0:00.

Alternative covers[edit]

The album's cover for its initially planned June 2001 release in the United States and its Japan release had alternative covers.

Personnel[edit]

All track numbers correlate with those on the Columbia re-release of the album.

Musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Leahey, Andrew. "Room for Squares - John Mayer". Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  2. ^ Grein, Paul (July 8, 2014). "USA: Top 20 New Acts Since 2000". Yahoo! Music. 
  3. ^ South by Southwest Music Festival (Adobe Engagement Platform). Blender. March 2000. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  4. ^ Proefrock, Stacia (2005). "Biography" AllMusicGuide.com. Retrieved on April 23, 2007.
  5. ^ No byline. "A Brief History" AwareRecords.com. Retrieved on June 12, 2007.
  6. ^ Back, Alan (2001). "John Mayer carves out his own niche with national debut album" Nique.net. Retrieved on June 22, 2007.
  7. ^ Powers, Ann. "John Mayer: Room for Squares". Blender. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.[dead link]
  8. ^ Wood, Mikael (February 21-28, 2002). "John Mayer: Room for Squares". The Boston Phoenix. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  9. ^ Melamed, Robyn (2001-12-04). "Room for Squares, John Mayer Aware/Columbia". Michigan Daily. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  10. ^ a b Thompson, Jason (2001-09-17). "John Mayer: Room for Squares". PopMatters. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  11. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "CG: John Mayer". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved 2013-03-24. 
  12. ^ a b DeCurtis, Anthony (2001-11-13). "Room For Squares". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  13. ^ Hoard, Christian. "John Mayer: Album Guide". Rolling Stone: 522–523. November 2, 2004. Archived from the original on 2010-09-28.
  14. ^ Blanford, Roxanne (2001-09-18). "John Mayer: Room for Squares". Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  15. ^ Blanford, Roxanne (2003-09-01). "John Mayer - Room for Squares - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-12-29
  16. ^ Bream, Jon (2007). "Win or lose, John Mayer says his work keeps him happy" Star-Ecentral.com. Retrieved on April 23, 2007.
  17. ^ Serpick, Evan (February 2007), "Grammy Preview: John Mayer", Rolling Stone Volume unknown: 32

External links[edit]