Sing at your own risk

Believe the critics when they name-drop Dave Matthews and David Gray when writing up John Mayer.

Mayer’s lightweight, adult-contemporary pop is definitely geared for the girlfriends-of-frat-boys sect. (Check out the lip-syncing, college-age women in the video for “No Such Thing”. Biff and Betsy, all the way, man.)

To his credit, Mayer does dash off some decent tunes, particularly “Why Georgia” and “Neon”.

There’s just one problem — his lyrics.

That falsetto bit in the chorus of “No Such Thing” is an all-right embellish, but damn is it painful to hear Mayer proclaim he’d like to “run through the halls of [his] high school” and “scream at the top of [his] lungs”.

All right — let’s cut Mayer some slack for being all of 23 years of age. In another seven years, that lyric will look mighty absurd.

The atrocities don’t stop there.

“One mile to every inch of your skin like porcelain/One pair of candy lips and your bubblegum tongue,” Mayer sings on “Your Body is a Wonderland”. Amazing to think he can get through that line with a straight face.

As for “83”, well — all the power to him. It’s great he’d love to be six again, but my Japanese teacher has him beat. She’d rather be two years old — that’s a time in a person’s life when nothing registered.

Musically, Mayer has an expert handle on writing the conventional pop song. He can nail a hook well enough to get the most closeted karaoke singing along.

But the only thing more excruciating than listening to Mayer prattle on about going back to high school is finding yourself mimicing those same lines.

Mayer’s so-called “quarter-life crisis” hasn’t provided enough material for him to spin very engaging tales around his melodies. As a result, his already lightweight pop comes across even blander than it ought to.

Maybe by the time Mayer sees 30 coming around the corner, the School of Hard Knocks might have shown him a thing or two.

His pictures are nice, though.