Room for Squares

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Room for Squares
JohnMayer RoomForSquares.jpg
Studio album by John Mayer
Released June 5, 2001
Genre
Length 54:14
Label
Producer John Alagia
John Mayer chronology
Inside Wants Out
(1999)Inside Wants Out1999
Room for Squares
(2001)
Heavier Things
(2003)Heavier Things2003
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 by American recording artist John Mayer, released on June 5, 2001 by Aware and Columbia Records. Upon its release, it peaked at number 9 on the US Billboard 200 and received generally positive reviews from critics. It earned Mayer a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for the single "Your Body Is a Wonderland".

Room for Squares is Mayer's best-selling album to date, having sold over 4,484,000 copies in the United States as of July 2014.[2]

Background[edit]

The album's title is a reference to Hank Mobley's No Room for Squares album.[3] 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. The songs are largely based on Mayer's personal experiences.[4]

Through constant shows, including in the Atlanta-area Eddie's Attic, Mayer's reputation began to build. In March, an acquaintance of Mayer's, a lawyer, sent an EP to Gregg Latterman at Aware Records.[5][6] 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.[7] As part of the major label "debut", the album's artwork was updated, and the track "3x5" was added, which did not appear on the original as the recording was not yet complete at the time. The re-release included reworked studio versions of the first four songs from his indie album, Inside Wants Out.[8] 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,[4] and reached number one Billboard's Heatseekers chart by March 2002.[9] By the end of that year, 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
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Blender3/5 stars[10]
The Boston Phoenix3/4 stars[11]
Michigan DailyB+[12]
PopMatters(unfavorable)[13]
Robert Christgau(1-star Honorable Mention)[14]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[15]
Slant Magazine4/5 stars[16]
Stylus MagazineB[17]

By April 2002, Room for Squares had seen increases in eight of the previous nine weeks, earning the Billboard 200's Greatest Gainer (from number 82 to 56)—a 36 percent surge.[18] The increase was attributed to combination of a March performance of The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and the radio-and-retail campaign launched in more than 10 markets where Mayer was receiving airplay.[18] It reached number seven on Billboard's Top Pop Catalog.[19] A steady seller, the album was certified platinum despite never being a top-ten hit.[20]

Anthony DeCurtis (with Rolling Stone) gave the album four out of five stars, calling it "irresistible".[3] PopMatters gave an unfavorable review, saying "It doesn't offend, nor does it attempt to make itself too exciting for the most part."[13] 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.[14]

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.”[21] He referred to himself as being sixteen, a remark that many mistook to mean that he was only sixteen years old at the time.[22]

Track listings[edit]

All tracks written by John Mayer, except where noted.

Original version (AWA110)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."No Such Thing"Mayer, Clay Cook3:51
2."Why Georgia" 4:30
3."My Stupid Mouth" 3:47
4."Your Body Is a Wonderland" 4:08
5."Neon"Mayer, Cook4:23
6."City Love" 4:03
7."83" 4:55
8."Love Song for No One"Mayer, Cook3:24
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 (CK 85293)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."No Such Thing" 3:51
2."Why Georgia" 4:28
3."My Stupid Mouth" 3:45
4."Your Body Is a Wonderland" 4:09
5."Neon"Mayer, Cook4:22
6."City Love" 4:00
7."83" 4:50
8."3×5" 4:50
9."Love Song for No One"Mayer, Cook3:21
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 re-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.

United States Columbia bonus disc with VCD bonus video (An Intimate Session With John Mayer)
No.TitleLength
1."EPK An Intimate Session with John Mayer (video)"6:15
2."Back to You" (acoustic) 
3."No Such Thing" (acoustic) 
4."Lenny" (live) 
5."The Wind Cries Mary" (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover live at the X Lounge) 

Other covers[edit]

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

Personnel[edit]

All track numbers correlate with those on the Columbia 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. ^ a b c Decurtis, Anthony (December 6, 2001), "John Mayer". Rolling Stone. (883/884):152
  4. ^ a b Newman, Melinda (November 24, 2001), "Mayer Proves He's No 'Square' With Release Of Aware/Columbia Disc". Billboard. 113 (47):14
  5. ^ Wood, Mikael (March 28, 2002). "Room at the Top". The Dallas Observer. Retrieved 22 December 2017. I met a great lawyer who was willing to promote me. He sent out my records to labels, and Aware was one of his first ideas. He knew my music well enough to know it was gonna take a smaller label to do it, and he was right. Aware was the label. 
  6. ^ Proefrock, Stacia (2005). "Biography" AllMusicGuide.com. Retrieved on April 23, 2007.
  7. ^ No byline. "A Brief History" AwareRecords.com. Retrieved on June 12, 2007.
  8. ^ Back, Alan (2001). "John Mayer carves out his own niche with national debut album" Archived 2005-10-27 at the Wayback Machine. Nique.net. Retrieved on June 22, 2007.
  9. ^ Hay, Carla (April 6, 2002), "Aware/Columbia's John Mayer Makes 'Room For Squares' A Hit". Billboard. 114 (14):22
  10. ^ Powers, Ann. "John Mayer: Room for Squares". Blender. Retrieved on 2009-12-29. Archived December 13, 2004, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Wood, Mikael (February 21-28, 2002). "John Mayer: Room for Squares" Archived 2010-02-02 at the Wayback Machine.. The Boston Phoenix. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  12. ^ Melamed, Robyn (2001-12-04). "Room for Squares, John Mayer Aware/Columbia". Michigan Daily. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  13. ^ a b Thompson, Jason (2001-09-17). "John Mayer: Room for Squares". PopMatters. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  14. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "CG: John Mayer". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved 2013-03-24. 
  15. ^ Hoard, Christian. "John Mayer: Album Guide". Rolling Stone: 522–523. November 2, 2004. Archived from the original on 2010-09-28.
  16. ^ Blanford, Roxanne (2001-09-18). "John Mayer: Room for Squares". Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  17. ^ Blanford, Roxanne (2003-09-01). "John Mayer - Room for Squares - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-12-29
  18. ^ a b Mayfield, Geoff (April 6, 2002), "Over the Country". Billboard. 114 (14):71
  19. ^ (April 3, 2004), "TOP POP CATALOG". Billboard. 116 (14):79
  20. ^ Willman, Chris (August 9, 2002), "Meet John Dough". Entertainment Weekly. (666):36
  21. ^ Bream, Jon (2007). "Win or lose, John Mayer says his work keeps him happy" Star-Ecentral.com. Retrieved on April 23, 2007.
  22. ^ Serpick, Evan (February 2007), "Grammy Preview: John Mayer", Rolling Stone Volume unknown: 32

External links[edit]