The song at #73 on my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s is “Heartbreak Warfare” by American singer-songwriter and guitarist John Mayer. My first introduction to Mayer was his wonderful debut single “No Such Thing” in 2002. The song was a poignant look back at the high school experience that really resonated with me, as it was played a lot on the radio during the time of one of my milestone High School reunions. I loved that song so much it ended up at #17 on my Top 100 Best Songs of the 2000s list.
“Heartbreak Warfare” is another of Mayer’s songs that I love. The darkly beautiful song is from his fourth studio album Battle Studies, and though it was released in October 2009, it became a hit in early 2010, so in my book, it should be celebrated as one of the best songs of 2010, and also of the 2010s. The song is has a mellow, almost hypnotic tempo, albeit with a haunting undercurrent. Mayer is a fine guitarist, and his work on this track is particularly good, and I love the sense of bitter frustration that comes across in his silky vocals. The lyrics speak of a toxic relationship, and are a plea for his lover to ease up on her poisonous behavior in the hope they can salvage what’s left: “How come the only way to know how high you get me is to see how far I fall? God only knows how much I’d love you if you let me but I can’t break through it all.”