Sob Rock is the eighth studio album by American singer-songwriter John Mayer, released on July 16, 2021, by Columbia Records. The single "New Light", released in May 2018, is included on the album, as are Mayer's two singles from 2019, "I Guess I Just Feel Like" and "Carry Me Away". The lead single[2] "Last Train Home" was released on June 4, 2021, and features guest vocals from Maren Morris.[3] Mayer toured the United States with Dead & Company from August through October 2021[4] and embarked on a solo tour in support of the album in 2022.

Sob Rock
In the album cover, John Mayer in a light blue colored room standing with his guitar. Two stickers appear, One reading "The Nice Price", and another in a form of a price tag reading Apple Music and the year of the album's release, 2021.
Apple Music digital cover[1]
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 16, 2021 (2021-07-16)
StudioHenson Recording Studios (Los Angeles)
John Mayer chronology
The Search for Everything
Sob Rock
Singles from Sob Rock
  1. "New Light"
    Released: May 10, 2018
  2. "I Guess I Just Feel Like"
    Released: February 22, 2019
  3. "Carry Me Away"
    Released: September 6, 2019
  4. "Last Train Home"
    Released: June 4, 2021
  5. "Shot In The Dark"
    Released: July 16, 2021
  6. "Wild Blue"
    Released: August 18, 2021



Mayer has stated that this album was mostly born out of the COVID-19 pandemic, with most of the songs on the album resulting from the time after March 2020 when touring was shut down for many artists. Mayer's goal was to work on a 10-track album that paid homage to the songs he heard in his childhood growing up in the 80s. Mayer said that the idea of this album was meant to "confuse the listeners" and "implant false memories."[5] He also stated in an interview with Zane Lowe that the record was meant to be a shitpost, trying to go against everything he had released up to that point.

Mayer also decided that three of his previous singles were also going to be on the album when it released. These singles ("New Light", "I Guess I Just Feel Like", and "Carry Me Away") had all been released in the time from mid-2018 to late 2019 and were not originally intended to be on an album.

Initially, Mayer claimed that the album was to be released in mid-April 2021. However he later announced the delay of the record to July 16. It was recorded between late 2017 and early 2021. Mayer released "Last Train Home" as a single on June 4, 2021. Before that, clips of the track were released onto Mayer's TikTok account in late March 2021.[6] It was also announced that the album was to be released on physical formats, adding different vinyl and cassette editions.



In addition to Mayer himself creating a TikTok account, Columbia Records also pushed a marketing campaign revolving around a 1980s advertising aesthetic. A couple months before the album released or was even formally announced, posters appeared in various locations in cities around the world. They all described the sound of Sob Rock but never explicitly confirmed ties with Mayer releasing an album. A site called went up around the same time, with a newsletter sign up and a copyright for "John Mayer Enterprises".

On June 1, 2021, Mayer finally confirmed that his new album was indeed called Sob Rock, and additionally gave the release date and cover. From there, Columbia went public and posted 1980s themed billboards and posters to promote the album and single, "Last Train Home". Those who had previously signed up for the website newsletter received a zine focused around the album in the mail.

After "Last Train Home" was released, Mayer released a music video for the single and then performed the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on June 7, 2021.

When the album was officially released, Mayer went on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and performed the songs "Shouldn't Matter but It Does" and "Last Train Home". The day after this he confirmed numerous tour dates across America for a Sob Rock Tour in 2022.

Mayer further went on to release "Wild Blue" as a single, which received an accompanying music video on August 18, 2021.[7]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [9]
The Independent     [10]
NME     [11]
Rolling Stone     [13]

Sob Rock received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 70 based on 9 reviews, indicating "generally favorable" reception.

It was elected by Guitar World's readers as the best guitar album of 2021.[14] Jon Caramanica of The New York Times derisively wrote that the record draws on 1980's nostalgia to sell new collectables from John Mayer, the brand.[15]

Track listing


All tracks are written by John Mayer, except where noted

1."Last Train Home"3:07
2."Shouldn't Matter but It Does"3:56
3."New Light" (John Mayer, Ernest Wilson)3:37
4."Why You No Love Me"4:15
5."Wild Blue"4:12
6."Shot in the Dark"4:09
7."I Guess I Just Feel Like"4:46
8."Til the Right One Comes"3:41
9."Carry Me Away"2:39
10."All I Want Is to Be with You"4:04
Total length:38:27



Adapted from album's liner notes.[16]




Certifications for Sob Rock
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[47] Gold 40,000
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[48] Gold 10,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


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  2. ^ Whitaker, Sterling (June 5, 2021). "Maren Morris Joins John Mayer on His New Single 'Last Train Home'". Taste of Country. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  3. ^ Holmes, Dave (June 2, 2021). "Decoding John Mayer's Sob Rock, And Its Potential to Lift the National Mood". Esquire. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  4. ^ Kaufman, Gil (June 2, 2021). "John Mayer Gives Off 'Miami Vice' Vibes in 'Sob Rock' Album Teaser". Billboard. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  5. ^ Atkinson, Katie (July 16, 2021). "Hear It & Weep: John Mayer's 'Sob Rock' Album Has Arrived". Billboard. Penske Media Corporation.
  6. ^ Clarke, Patrick (June 1, 2021). "John Mayer announces details of new album 'Sob Rock'". NME. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  7. ^ Lavin, Will (August 20, 2021). "John Mayer shares comically nostalgic video for new song "Wild Blue"". NME Australia. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  8. ^ "Sob Rock – John Mayer". Metacritic. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  9. ^ Wiesel, Andrea. "Sob Rock – John Mayer". AllMusic. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  10. ^ Brown, Helen (July 16, 2021). "John Mayer review, Sob Rock: His famous ex-girlfriends might want to reset their home security systems". The Independent. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  11. ^ Lavin, Will (July 16, 2021). "John Mayer – 'Sob Rock' review: guitar hero mines nostalgic gold". NME. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  12. ^ Sodomsky, Sam (July 16, 2021). "John Mayer: Sob Rock Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  13. ^ Harris, Keith (July 15, 2021). "John Mayer Makes Eighties Slickness Seem Weirdly Heartfelt on 'Sob Rock'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  14. ^ Horsley, Jonathan (December 22, 2021). "The 20 best guitar albums of 2021". Guitar World. Future plc. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  15. ^ Caramanica, Jon (July 21, 2021). "John Mayer's Empty 1980s Excess". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  16. ^ Sob Rock (booklet). Columbia. 2021.
  17. ^ " – John Mayer – Sob Rock". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
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  25. ^ " – John Mayer – Sob Rock". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  26. ^ " – John Mayer – Sob Rock" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  27. ^ "Official IFPI Charts – Top-75 Albums Sales Chart (Week: 2/2024)". IFPI Greece. Archived from the original on January 17, 2024. Retrieved January 17, 2024.
  28. ^ "Official Irish Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  29. ^ " – John Mayer – Sob Rock". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  30. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Albums: 2021/07/28 公開". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  31. ^ "Oricon Top 50 Albums: 2021–08-02" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  32. ^ "2021 29-os savaitės klausomiausi (Top 100)" (in Lithuanian). AGATA. July 23, 2021. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
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  34. ^ " – John Mayer – Sob Rock". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  35. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  36. ^ " – John Mayer – Sob Rock". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  37. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  38. ^ "Top 100 Albums: Week 29 (2021)". El portal de Música (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  39. ^ " – John Mayer – Sob Rock". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  40. ^ " – John Mayer – Sob Rock". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  41. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  42. ^ "John Mayer Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  43. ^ "John Mayer Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  44. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 2021". (in Dutch). Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  45. ^ "Top Rock Albums – Year-End 2021". Billboard. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  46. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 2022". (in Dutch). Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  47. ^ "Canadian album certifications – John Mayer – Sob Rock". Music Canada. Retrieved July 20, 2023.
  48. ^ "Danish album certifications – John Mayer – Sob Rock". IFPI Danmark. Retrieved July 19, 2022.