Top 10 Underrated John Mayer Songs
Trivia Top 10 Underrated John Mayer Songs



Top 10 Underrated John Mayer Songs

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton
Script written by Tiffany Ezuma

He's a master of songwriting! Having been in the industry for so long, John Mayer keeps blowing us away with masterful writing and artistry. For this list it's pretty simple: we're looking at songs written and performed by John Mayer that are lesser known, and aren't already cult favorites like “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room.”

Top 10 Underrated John Mayer Songs

With seven studio albums, and counting, singer-songwriter John Mayer has a deep bench of underappreciated gems. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down the Top Underrated John Mayer Songs. For this list, it’s pretty simple: we’re looking at songs written and performed by John Mayer that are lesser known, and aren’t already cult favorites like “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room.”

#10: “Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967”

Born and Raised (2012)

Written in the folk tradition of telling the story of a person’s life and memorializing it in song, John does so with the fictional character of Walt Grace, a man who decides to change his life after feeling trapped by the day-to-day monotony. The song is a full tale tracking Grace’s adventures as he goes on a journey to Tokyo in a homemade submarine. The lyrical song is a fun, but poignant, listen, a call to action to embrace action and wonder while you still can.

#9: “Belief”

Continuum (2006)

Even though he doesn’t specifically call out one set of beliefs over another, John makes a powerful point in this song about how standing firm in our views and opinions can blind us, and become a destructive force. He sings of how we’re never going to fix the world “if belief is what we’re fighting for.” It’s a reminder that no one wins in a one-sided conversation. He finds just the right balance of sending an important message without being preachy.

#8: “My Stupid Mouth”

Room for Squares (2001)

Written before his infamous interview with Playboy, “My Stupid Mouth” is one of those songs that perfectly encapsulates an experience we’ve all had: putting your foot in your mouth. Mayer’s ability to tell a strong story comes through in this song as he describes saying something offensive and ruining his romantic chances on a date. The whole situation is pretty cringe-worthy but the song is so cute, and ultimately a fun way to shake off the social faux pas. It also shares a line with his big hit, “Your Body Is a Wonderland.”

#7: “If I Ever Get Around to Living”

Born and Raised (2012)

Even though the album, “Born and Raised” performed well, the whole project was still criminally underrated. In particular “If I Ever Get Around to Living,” serves as the perfect track to encapsulate John’s new sound that was a departure from his earlier work. The California cool that permeated the rest of the songs was front and center with this track. On it, he takes a gently, chiding approach to self-reflection as he sings, “when are you going to wise up boy?” a line that’s as much as a critique of himself as it is an answer to the gossip about him.


Battle Studies (2009)

All’s fair in love and war . . . at least that’s the stance John takes on this track. Sometimes John’s dating life tends to overshadow his work, and for better or for worse, he’s known as a serious playboy. John owns that reputation in “Assassin” but also flips it on his head by singing about the time he met his match; the girl who stole his heart before he took hers. As the song goes on, the tempo builds and leads to a soaring guitar solo that really shows off his skills.

#5: “Wheel”

Heavier Things (2003)

Slower, and more blues-y than most of Mayer’s big hits, “Wheel” finds John at his most laid back. Lyrically, he paints a picture of the everyday: people saying goodbye at the airport; the seasons changing, a loved one coming home. He creates imagery of the wheel of life turning, with one thing transitioning into the next. As the closing entry on “Heavier Things,” it’s definitely not a throwaway, or one to skip. The song leaves the listener to ruminate on the nature of life and love, and it brings the album full circle.


Room for Squares (2001)

This song wasn’t included on the original Internet-only release of John’s debut album “Room for Squares” but we’re glad this song snuck its way on the re-release. The song perfectly captures his life on the road, sending letters and postcards to his loved one as his preferred way to communicate. Mayer’s clever wordplay comes through when he sings about not taking or sending physical pictures, instead wanting to experience the world through his own eyes. By the end of the track, he promises that next time, they’ll be on the road together.

#3: “In Your Atmosphere (LA Song)”

Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live in LA (2008)

Break-ups can be rough, and make you dread running into your ex. With “In Your Atmosphere” also known as the “LA Song,” Mayer details that feeling of wanting to avoid an entire city, just so he wouldn’t run into or be reminded of his former lover. Even though the sentiment is harsh, the delivery isn’t, which makes it feel more like a mournful goodbye than a scorched earth kiss-off. Featured on his live album, “Where the Light Is,” it’s one of the album’s standouts.

#2: “The Heart of Life”


As someone who’s had his fair share of criticism, both deserved and not, it’s heartening that John could produce such an uplifting song. With “The Heart of Life,” Mayer argues that despite all the crazy in this world, ultimately life is good. It’s such a simple message, but a necessary one, especially when times are tough. With lines like “love turns the whole thing around,” the acoustic track makes for a comforting listen and serves as a reminder that better times are around the corner.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“In The Blood”

The Search for Everything (2017)

“Waitin’ on the Day”

Paradise Valley (2013)

“Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey”

Born and Raised (2012)

#1: “Stop This Train”

Continuum (2006)

The passing of time and growing older are inevitable facts of life that Mayer expertly explores in this moving song. In it, he expresses his fears of getting older, as he sings, “I’m only good at being young.” That sentiment is one of his most relatable lyrics, and gently forces the listener to reflect on his or her own life. The soothing melody, and his gentle guitar strumming, are at odds with his lyrics that are a plea to go back to simpler times; but that juxtaposition is what makes the song so great.
Also an underrated artist!