Personnel: John Mayer (vocals, guitar); Clay Cook (guitar, background vocals); Casey Driessen, Carrie Rodiguez, Daniel Cho (strings); David Labruyere (bass, loops); Matt Mangano (bass); Stephen Roberson, Sigurdur Birkis (drums).
Producers: John Mayer, Glenn Matullo, David La Bruyere.
Recorded in Atlanta, Georgia.
You can probably imagine the record-biz conversation going something like "Get me a younger, cuter Dave Matthews, and lose the jazzy crap!" Even though that might be the kind of strategy employed in marketing John Mayer to the masses, it seems unfair to accuse the young troubadour of cynically constructing his sound in such a manner. Sure, he's probably enamored of Matthews; he even sounds earnest enough to admit it. But he seems to come by his approach honestly. "Neon" showcases the kind of highly rhythmic acoustic guitar work that's become a Mayer trademark. On "My Stupid Mouth" he repeats "I'm never speaking up again," displaying the kind of smart-quiet-kid aura that lies not only at the heart of his aesthetic but of his appeal as well. The eight-song INSIDE WANTS YOU OUT was initially released as Mayer's debut in 1999. After the follow-up (which shares three songs with this album) became a smash, its quiet little brother was reissued, to show that Mayer didn't just drop down from the sky fully formed.