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John Mayer – Born and Raised

May 23, 2012

I realize that John Mayer is the definition of douche bag and a bit of an embarrassment to a be in the collection of a music snob, but I can’t  help but to like this guy’s music.

This is supposedly his “country” album, but to me it is just a classic mid-70s singer songwriter album – what we used to call soft-rock.   I suppose if your PR photos show you in a cowboy costume, the songs have acoustic-based arrangements and somewhat “cry in your beer” lyrics that qualifies a country music these days.

A side diversion – I think the most influential act on current country is The Eagles and not any traditional country artists like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, etc.  Hell, Bob Seger probably has more influence  on contemporary country than any traditional country artist.  Anyway back to John Mayer.

This is a very nice mellow singer songwriter album that would play well in your rotation of Jack Johnson, Ray LaMontagne, Amos Lee, Eric Hutchinson, etc.  For a guitar hero, Mayer is very understated – the heat is there, but it is a slow boil.  Most songs feature acoustic guitar arrangements.  Lyrically it sounds like Mayer has looked himself in the mirror and does not like what he sees.  It is time to straighten oneself out and amend for one’s sins.  But Mayer manages to not be depressing in this.

The album invokes Allman Brothers-lite, pop-Clapton, Cat Stevens, and a touch of Harvest-era Neil Young.  I am really impressed.  I had lost interest Mayer after his second album.  This has me interested in him again.

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From → Music Reviews

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