I ❤ The 80s
Total Guitar|September 2021
A track-by-track guide to the slick sounds and classy guitar playing on Mayer’s new album, Sob Rock...
Grant Moon

Last Train Home

This slick, catchy opener sets the album’s 80s MTV’ tone beautifully - with a synth sound reminiscent of Toto’s 1982 hit Africa. Mayer peppers the main, E-major riff(A/E/A/E/B/E/A) with both funky/ bluesy minor and major pentatonic licks, his processed tone – light chorus, tubey gain, gentle slapback – evoking that of Clapton in the late-80s.

Shouldn’t Matter But It Does

With one F-bomb spiking its reflective mood, this bittersweet ballad sees the troubadour squarely in his wheelhouse. The mild synth strings and sparse pianos are given movement by the bass, drums and acoustic guitar, which strums the verse’s main I/iii/ vi/IV progression (E/G#m/C#m/A), while laconic electric arpeggios enter on the song’s slow fade.

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