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“Afternoon Delight,” served with a side of dorm-cafeteria sugar cereal.
Sure, he’s the tabloids’ top Twittering troubadour right now, but back in 2001, John Mayer was just a grin-happy kid who sang about fucking shit up in the halls of his high school, a rebel with the singular “cause” of letting his classmates know that the real world was nothing but a construct, man. Of course, as all rebellious kids are wont to do, Mayer mellowed after his freak-out; and like any smart dude his age, he became well aware that the girls in the dorms loved the boys with guitars, no matter how smarmy their come-ons. Enter “Your Body Is A Wonderland,” Mayer’s ode to getting it on in the middle of the day that to this day sends shivers down many a listener’s spine — but for all the wrong reasons.
“Your Body” starts off with Mayer engaging in a little bit of slap-and-strum, mining the adult-contemporary radio that he no doubt would suffer through because he’s sensitive enough to get his lady “into the mood” through the deployment of sweet tuneage. (Don’t forget, he’s a Serious Musician, you guys.) The specific “inspiration,” if you want to call it that, is Extreme’s “More Than Words,” the if-you-love-me-you’ll-do-me ballad that everyone mistook for a Serious Love Song 10 years prior; in addition to adding a curious wrinkle to the world’s creaky Catholic sex-and-guilt complex, it also laid the table for the unfortunate Cherone Era of Van Halen. Once the strumming’s been strapped into place, we’re taken on a quease-inducing monorail ride through Mayer’s Amusement Park Of Carnal Delights, with stops at the sweet shop (“One pair of candy lips and / your bubblegum tongue”), the water-sports pavilion (“swim in a deep sea / of blankets” — hope there’s a washer-dryer nearby), and even the first aid tent (“I’ll never let your head hit the bed / Without my hand behind it.” Sensitive!).
And then there’s the bridge, which sounds like an experiment that could only have been dreamed up by the mind of an overly hormonal, musically theoretical dude: “If I taped over this “More Than Words” cassingle with the jazz-guitar-and-muted-trumpet soundtrack of a Cinemax movie that I got a glimpse of while furtively flipping through the channels on a late-night boob hunt, would it drive the ladies wild? Let’s find out!” Thankfully, that bit of “experimentation” is short-lived, and before we can say “I have a headache” we’re back on the acoustic tip, with Mayer orgasmically scatting, and a… toy piano? Sure, why not. At least dude was merciful enough to save the Daddy-fantasy part of his romp for the fade-out.