John Mayer May Have Been An Asshole, But That's Over Now

Check the hashtags on Twitter or Tumblr, folks: John Mayer is back. This might make some pop culture enthusiasts' skin crawl, yet for those who remember the glory days of Grammy wins, number-one albums, and the brilliant resurrection of true blues with the John Mayer Trio, a guitar god has yet again arisen. In the past week, Mayer has announced his newest record, Paradise Valley, out August 13, and the album's first single, "Paper Doll." The release of Paradise Valley comes just 15 months after 2012's Born and Raised -- impressive for a man who's been hiding out for the first few years of the 2010s.

Yet like most things that have John Mayer's brand upon them, "Paper Doll" and the LP are going to polarize everyone -- again. Mayer's been at it for 12 years now, and he became tabloid fodder somewhere around the release of 2005's Continuum. While he's been nothing but a polarizing figure, from his musicianship to public profile, it's time to absolve John Mayer of his sins, regardless of any previous asshole-like shortcomings, and reflect on some of the better moments of his career.

From the earliest snippets of "Paper Doll," we're afforded a look into yet another departure from Mayer's most recent theme: The road-weary wanderer whose persona and musical stylings have drawn comparisons to Neil Young. "Paper Doll," however different from John Mayer as a mountain man, is the closest thing to a reprise of 2003's Heavier Things, an album whose sparse production and ambient elements shifted Mayer's style for the first time.

He motivated young minds in his Berklee College of Music lecture

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At the height of Continuum's success and before Battle Studies, we find Mayer as engaging as ever while baring his creative processes in a Berklee College of Music clinic.

Though he only attended the prestigious art institute for two semesters, Mayer attributes much of his songwriting prowess to his time spent at Berklee. Mayer offers a world of insight into craft for any creative mind while cracking jokes, often at his own expense. Peppered with solo live renditions of some of his greatest hits, Mayer's Berklee clinic paints him in a softer light -- and he makes one hell of a professor.

After the jump: Two more instances of John Mayer not being an asshole.

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