Mayer Hawthorne has made no qualms about how his new record sounds nothing like his previous two, which is odd because it does. Sure the sonic angle has changed – thanks to the ubiquitous production of guys like Pharell and Jack Splash – but the lyrics have settled comfortably into familiar territory, a series of epic fails that present Hawthorne as the lovable loser type. He’s trying desperately to capitalize off the nice guy routine, but it does little as far as major label appeal goes. He’s relying too heavily on the sympathy card, which is okay for two, maybe three songs, but to extend it over the course of an album (bonus songs included) leaves him hopelessly characterized. It doesn’t even begin to touch upon his true talents. If Mayer Hawthorne wants to evolve it’s going to have to happen through his songwriting, and most importantly through his underrated sense of humor. What once started out as a joke for Andrew Mayer Cohen has now become his main shtick, and it’s a bit of a let down – at least for now – on how little he’s actually done with it.

Back Seat Lover

If Mayer Hawthorne was any softer he’d float away. Or melt into the ground like a stick of butter on a hot pan. After listening to him ride out the victim role yet again, it’s a wonder if he knows anything but. It’s a little gimmicky, which is all too familiar territory for longtime fans:

"Back Seat Lover"

The Innocent

While it’s got a jovial nature to it, “The Innocent” is merely another example of Mayer tucking his tail in between his legs and running for the woods like a frightened squirrel. He’s being cute, thinking that he’ll win fans with the sympathy vote, but it’s too emasculating to truly win fans over:

"The Innocent"

Allie Jones

Mayer stops sobbing just long enough to offer some sage advice. Whoever Allie Jones is, isn’t nearly as important as to why she’s seeking advice from a guy who got his moniker the same way porn stars do. Maybe that doesn’t bother her, if it means getting through one more day alive: [LISTEN]

"Allie Jones"

The Only One

When Mayer Hawthorne’s not busy drying his eyes, he’s coming up with cleverly written songs like this one – where his uncertainty becomes a reason to elevate as opposed to a grounding, and ultimately fleeting, source of inspiration. Few and far between as far as long time fans are concerned:

"The Only One"

Wine Glass Woman

Apparently it’s escaping the attention of millions or at least Mayer Hawthorne, that every Pharell beat basically sounds the same. As a result the accompanying artist tends to blend into obscurity – an all too familiar landscape that has Mayer trying to turn a ho into a housewife:

"Wine Glass Woman"

Her Favorite Song

Whatever her favorite song is let’s just assume it’s not this one. At least Mayer’s being forthright about that. He’s again dropping to his knees praising a girl that he can only seem to outline – a symptom that exposes some anemic writing: [LISTEN]

"Her Favorite Song"


Making a party jam about not being able to party is like crying at your own funeral – pointless and a bit of a downer. Can’t get to Kendrick fast enough who does his part in saving Mayer from sticking his foot even further into his mouth: [LISTEN]


Reach Out Richard

Another example of how with a little thoughtful reflection Mayer can hammer out a decent song – this one for the old man. The only catch is that the depth of the lyrics force him outside the familiar ballads, which in turn shows how average a singer he really is:

"Reach Out Richard"

Corsican Rose

There’s an old saying, that you can never lose someone to another. That if a person leaves, it is of their own volition. So if Mayer is beating his head against a wall for letting his lady find another he should take solace in knowing that she checked out long before she even left:

"Corsican Rose"

Where Does This Door Go

Just when you thought Mayer was going to break through and man up he takes a huge step back with another sob story. How great it would have been had he actually relayed his recovery as opposed to him hiding under a rock. It would have made the second half of the album much more engaging:

"Where Does This Door Go"

Robot Love

Apparently Mayer Hawthorne is way more sensitive than anyone could have ever imagined, which isn’t an altogether bad thing. But when he talks about wanting more than just sex it’s hard not to imagine him crying at the feet of some lady. It’s a revealing portrait that renders him one-dimensional:

"Robot Love"

The Star Are Ours

Mayer goes back in time to reminisce over a point in his life when he wasn’t nearly as defeated as he is now – a simple celebration of youth and vitality. He’s already working the nostalgic angle to death, but this works to his advantage as it loosens the restrictions he’s put on himself:

"The Stars Are Ours"

All Better

With tired analogies like this it’s hard not to compare Mayer Hawthorne to an old sock – the one without a match but you continue to wash anyways in hopes of finding its other. The repetitious ballads and falsetto seals the deal. He’s washed up before even getting started:

"All Better"