By Katrina Liu
Few songs still affect me the same way they did when I first heard them. Songs often become stale after you play them over and over again.
However, it’s been more than three years since I first listened to “In Your Atmosphere” by John Mayer, and it’s still as beautiful as it was the first time I heard it.
Bridgeport, Connecticut native John Mayer has been a household name in pop music for more than 20 years. He is best known for his impeccable guitar skills and lyrically brilliant songwriting. Mayer has hits such as “Gravity,” “Your Body is a Wonderland” and “New Light” under his belt, and that’s just a very small sample. His personal life is often subject to gossip, but it’s hard to deny his impact on the music industry.
“In Your Atmosphere” has intricate guitar riffs, beautiful songwriting and raw emotion — it’s Mayer at his best. He’s an expert at combining all three of these aspects into his music. While his listeners have varied opinions on which of his many songs are at the top of his discography, it’s always guaranteed that John Mayer will deliver a good song.
There is no studio version of “In Your Atmosphere.” The only version that’s on Spotify is a live performance from 2007. But I think that adds to the song’s life. While being an incredible live act, and I say that from personal experience, there’s something about the unpolished-ness of “In Your Atmosphere” that makes the song seem polished. If I had to describe this song in one word, it would be raw — raw in its performance, in its purity and its beauty.
As a writer, I have a deep appreciation for songs with vivid and authentic songwriting. “In Your Atmosphere” does exactly that in such a simple yet mesmerizing way. In truth, I think the whole song is genius from beginning to end, but the outro is the highlight for me.
While I often love songs I relate to, that isn’t always the case. The pain and yearning that Mayer paints in this song isn’t something I particularly relate to on the level he’s singing about, but that’s another reason why I find this song absolutely genius. It’s an ode to an artist that can create a song that still impacts their listeners even if they don’t necessarily connect with it personally.
This song still makes me emotional, and I’ve probably heard it over 100 times now. That’s a testament to Mayer’s skill, which has led him and continues to lead him to a place among some of the musical greats.