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.