Great musical legends, such as Bob Marley, Santana, and Michael Jackson, have known how to intricately use the musical element of groove in their music to attract audiences. In modern times, contemporary music has a new legend rising up with groove and style. His name is John Mayer. However, not only has Mayer established himself as a master of groove, Mayer has established himself as a prominent songwriter with depth in his lyrics.
Mayer’s song, “Something’s Missing”, is an example of this. The song conveys a profound questioning on the part of John Mayer. He is searching for something, but he does not know what it is. In contrast, it is interesting to acknowledge that another rising musician’s song compellingly seems to have the answer to Mayer’s question.
TobyMac, a gold-selling, Grammy award winning solo artist, is not behind in the ranks of the contemporary music artists. Although an artist who is musically vocal about his faith, he has still won acclaim and praise for the musical and songwriting talent found in his albums. For instance, in its review of TobyMac’s album, Portable Sounds, Allmuic named TobyMac the “Justin Timberlake of the Christian pop set” because of his artistic ability to skillfully distribute good hooks in his music. Beyond the groove in his music, TobyMac has an objective- share his faith. The specific song that TobyMac indirectly answers John Mayer’s question is called “Made to Love You”. The song answers Mayer’s inquiry in its nature of stating an idea and in its portrayal of contentment.
TobyMac and John Mayer both ask questions at some point in their songs, but they diverge when they get to the choruses of their songs. Mayer is questioning at the chorus of his song. Tobymac is stating something at the chorus of his song. Mayer seems to be asking, “What is missing in my life? I am lonely, although I seem to have everything I want.” TobyMac begins his song by conveying “when did I forget about you and when did I forget about my purpose in life.” TobyMac is communicating something is missing and that his life is in turmoil until the point when he gets to the chorus of his song where he states the words “I was made to love you.” Who is he talking about? TobyMac is talking about God. TobyMac is saying that he was “made” with the soul purpose of being an individual that worships God and that has an intimate relationship with him. The peculiar thing is that items that are made for a certain purpose are not always used for that purpose. For instance, a woman might use her high heel as a hammer, although her high heel was made to be worn as a shoe. TobyMac, however, states “I was made just for you”. See, TobyMac is conveying that with his singing, his life and his thoughts he was made to use it worship God and be with Him. Living outside of that purpose is what brings discontentment. TobyMac, whose song begins in place of turmoil, chaos, and questioning, goes to a point in his song where he asks when did I forget my purpose? The chaos ceases to be in power when TobyMac returns to realize that he was made for God, who makes him content. The missing link in Mayer’s song is that he has not found out or acknowledge that he was “Made to love” and be loved by someone, God.
Contentment is the second message of TobyMac’s song. In “Something’s Missing”, Mayer goes through a list of things he has. “Friends,” “Money,” and “Good Times” are only three of the things he mentions. By listening to Mayer sing this list, Mayer’s something missing is something that Mayer wants in addition to things he has. He wants that extra something to complete him. TobyMac’s song conveys the opposite. TobyMac states “Anything, I would give up for You.” TobyMac says that he is willing to give up the Friends, the money, and even the good times because he is content to be with God.
Some might overlook the message of Tobymac’s song, but the truth is that John Mayer is not the only searching for something that is missing. If you are among those searching, then, perhaps, you should pay attention to what TobyMac is saying.