Inside Wants Out

Compared to John Mayer's Room for Squares, his debut, Inside Wants Out, originally self-released in 1999, sounds like an unplugged record. It contains three songs that Mayer later reworked for Squares — "No Such Thing," "My Stupid Mouth" and "Neon" — all done here at a gentler tempo, with no instrumentation beyond his acoustic guitar. Mayer's gift for melody was already in full effect on this record; without the flourishes of major-label production, he sounds less like Dave Matthews and more like a coffeehouse troubadour you'd stop drinking your latte to pay attention to.

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