John Mayer — “Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967”
(from Born and Raised) — Walt Grace's Submarine Test, January 1967 - Born and Raised

Mayer’s fifth studio album might be a tad too pensive and persistently sleepy (particularly in its heavy second half, where his ponderous mea culpa confessionals tend to blur together), but Born is certainly not without its charms, and none more enjoyable than this story song — one of the first such constructions that Mayer has attempted in his decade-long career — with a deceptively basic limerick-like rhyme scheme (which, oddly enough, helps keep the tune from devolving into a hokey hunk of schmaltzy claptrap) and an ambiguous ending that allows the listener to decide for him or herself the protagonist’s ultimate fate. (Whether “Walt” is nothing more than a compellingly clever allegory for Mayer’s own life over the last couple of years — during which time he ducked out of the spotlight’s unforgiving glare and leapt upon the first bus to Montana following a series of staggeringly stupid and painfully public open-mouth-permanently-lodge-foot comments and quips about his sexual proclivities and preferences — I’ll leave for folks more curious than me about nailing down such details to discuss and debate. Nonetheless, it helps to be reminded (again and again and again and again), does it not, that we are ever but one resplendent triumph away from redemption, and that, sometimes, it is exclusively and only the craziest of our dreams to which we should pay any heed.)

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