Let’s face it, John Mayer can be a douchebag. Everyone knows it but here’s the deal. He’s an eclectic blues guitar player whether most would like to admit it or not. Also for those not keeping score, Mayer is evolving musically. The album “Born and Raised” is not your quentessential pop rock album. In fact it’s rooted deeply in folk and country music. The album immediately conjures up images of the West. Big Sky Country at it’s finest and Mayer’s ability to adapt to a completely new form of music is astounding even if this album has very few strong songs.
The opening track on the album “Queen of California” really takes you away from the get go, setting the tone for the rest of the album. Furthermore, “Shadow Days” is another great song by Mayer even if I will admit that the lyrics can be cheesy from time to time. However we’re a long way away from “Your Body is a Wonderland” territory. Mayer couldn’t completely disregard the pop/blues rock that made him so famous and his effort on “Something Like Olivia” is lacking just a little bit if you ask me. The title track off the album really highlights Mayer’s new style of music and this lyrically may be one of his best.
Now up to this point in the album I’ve been impressed but Mayer drops a few lackluster song here in the middle of the album that personally I’d be okay if they were left out. Many of the songs on this album work well as background music but not something that people are going to listen to every single day. That is until you get to “Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967″. This song is just written so well and Mayer tells the story so well that this is a treat to listen to. An acute sense of how the instrumentation should be and the wonderful lyrics put this song on a pedestal above all the rest on the album.
Mayer’s newest effort Born and Raised really are a departure from the cookie cutter rock that he can sometimes be known for. It’s a great departure if you ask me and worth a listen on your part.
|1.||“Queen of California”||4:10|
|2.||“The Age of Worry”||2:38|
|4.||“Speak for Me”||3:45|
|5.||“Something Like Olivia”||3:01|
|6.||“Born and Raised”||4:48|
|7.||“If I Ever Get Around to Living”||5:22|
|8.||“Love Is a Verb”||2:24|
|9.||“Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967″||5:08|
|10.||“Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey”||4:39|
|11.||“A Face to Call Home”||4:45|
|12.||“Born and Raised (Reprise)”|