1. “Dear Marie”
“Dear Marie, tell me what it was I used to be/And if you’re further up the road/Can you show me what I still can’t see”
There could be no more perfect real opening track for the album (we’ll ignore “Wildfire.”). “Dear Marie,” a song about all of John’s loves, but most likely a play on Swift’s “Dear John,” represents all at once the changes that John has experienced in the past few years. For everyone who has watched John go from promising voice to painful scumbag to quiet, thinking virtuoso, this is our catharsis: John’s home. Finally looking around to see that people may actually know the world more than he does, he calls on the fictional “Marie” to show him the errors of his past. Discovering that she, like everyone, has moved on from the pain and stupidity of John’s youth, he comes to grips with a new world. That is growing up in a song, and a lesson that perhaps all of us can learn. Thanks, John.