Single Review: John Mayer’s “in the Blood”

Rating: 7/10

If you were hoping to read a piece about how John Mayer should promptly take his ass off country radio, you’ve come to the wrong place. If you were hoping I’d comment about how unfair it is that Mayer can waltz right in and get airplay while Isbell, Simpson, and the Turnpike Troubadours make more country-sounding songs than this and consistently get left out in the cold, I agree with the sentiment, but these are the times we live in in 2017, and the fact is Mayer is going to get country airplay no matter how much we harp on it. So let’s move on from that and talk about the music–because when it’s all said and done, this song is better than at least 80%, if not 90%, of the current Billboard Country Airplay chart, and if it has to be John Mayer bringing substance to country radio, so be it.

The song itself is fairly country with a simple arrangement, although I’d call it pop country. This is mainly due to the somewhat annoying hand-clapping that will probably add to its airplay and overall catchiness but brings the song down a little for me. The lyrics are reflective and relatable, discussing a family’s past and whether the traits of the parents and siblings will be passed down; “will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood.” It’s not anything earth-shattering lyrically, but this song has something to say, and it’s simple melodically; it’s the kind of nice pop country song that we would praise if a pop country singer released it to country radio. We’d say it’s improving the quality of the mainstream, and radio should make it a hit instead of mindless nonsense like “Body Like a Back Road” or forgettable, sleepy dreck like the entirety of Brett Young’s latest album. But because it’s John Mayer, we’re all hesitant to enjoy this, and that shouldn’t matter. Let’s judge the song, not the singer, and be glad music of substance that is somewhat country is making its way onto the country airwaves.

Written by: John Mayer

7 thoughts on “Single Review: John Mayer’s “in the Blood””

    1. Yeah, and it’s annoying most times, lol. Well, no, not on songs meant to be fun and upbeat, but on songs meant to be serious like this, it’s still obnoxious to me. But I enjoy this song quite a lot and welcome it to country radio with open arms.

  1. The fact that this song was released to country radio is an affront on many levels.

    First of all, it speaks to the desperation of country radio to remain relevant. Notice I didn’t say country music, but country radio. Country radio is so far gone that instead of playing a successful country artist, it will play John Mayer.

    Secondly, what the hell is John Mayer doing releasing this to country radio? You know why? The same reason Sam Hunt releases songs to country radio. Bad pop songs. But hell, even this piece of trash is better than anything Sam Hunt ever produced.

    Thirdly, this just goes to further the narrative that country radio has become a refuse bin. Bret Michaels, Steven Tyler, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, come on over.

    1. Actually, I agree with all three points. I just didn’t want to waste the time belaboring that point and figured I’d judge the song, which I do enjoy regardless of the artist. But you’re absolutely right on all three counts, although I do blame country radio more for allowing this to happen much more than John Mayer for taking advantage of country radio’s allowing him to do so.

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