Born and Raised

Studio Album by released in 2012
Born and Raised's tracklist:
Queen Of California
The Age Of Worry
Shadow Days
Speak For Me
Something Like Olivia
Born And Raised
If I Ever Get Around To Living
Love Is AVerb
Walt Grace's Submarine Test, January 1967
Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey
A Face To Call Home
Born And Raised (Reprise)

Born and Raised review

Black and white streaks in John Mayer’s life

If you believe in the theory about alternation of good and bad times in our lives, then popular author and performer John Mayer has recently stepped into a long streak of bad luck. He was doing perfectly well with his albums bought in huge amounts, concerts sold out and secured future for his musical career when it suddenly came. One by one, he had mishaps in his private life, where he was too inconsiderate of what to say and what to do. Moreover, John was diagnosed with a serious defect. His throat was developing a bad tumor with a threatening name granuloma. As a result, for the first time in his career, the artist was forced to release his album without a promo tour. Nevertheless, the singer’s fans lay hopes on his freshly issued record and believe that it will help him get into a streak of good luck. The new album is called Born And Raised and equipped with twelve tracks. Those who know John Mayer’s style will be quick to notice a milder sound and a more serious and at times even dark mood expressed by a musician who took a different look at his life.

A totally different Mayer

The opening Queen Of California, and The Age Of Worry appeal with the trademark acoustic guitar, but do not even try to be hits. Mayer does not rush to make loud statements and prefers to speak in a slow and thoughtful fashion. Single Shadow Days is a more expressive and remarkable piece introducing a new Mayer. This man is willing to share his thoughts and feelings, but he rather seeks than gives answers, which is not like him a while ago. He looks completely desperate in Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey, a man killing time with a bottle of strong drink. Among a lot of songs ridden with nostalgia, regret and sadness, it is almost impossible to look over Something Like Olivia, a nearly humorous tale about a beauty whose heart is no longer free. You can easily imagine a sad smile of a man who tries to make fun out of his own misfortunes caused by his own mistakes. This is the image pictured vividly in A Face To Call Home conquering with its openness. The character here is eager to give everything just to begin his life from the start and with a person who yet has to learn a lot about him. Just like many other songs here, this one leans to blues, the music that is a perfect match for Mayer’s vocals.

Changes in style with no harm to quality

The significant change in Mayer’s vocal manner on Born And Raised is a deliberate act determined by the new messages in the lyrics. John’s voice displays a lot of tiredness and grief, and words seem to come out with a lot of difficulty. None of that is like the old John Mayer, but this image suits him for sure. What seems to be a flaw of the album is its monotonousness. Almost all the songs here keep up the same low tempo, which might displease some segment of the audience. Yet again, it must be a part of strategy if we remember the character of the record. What comes as a pleasant discovery is the good work of all the guest performers and good job done by John Mayer, including his harmonica play as he keeps mastering the instrument vigorously. All in all, Born And Raised presents a new John Mayer, the man, and John Mayer, the musician, and the transformational process appears quite intriguing. Moreover, all these changes are taking place without affecting the performer’s musical style.

Alex Bartholomew (28.05.2012)
Rate review4.20
Total votes - 99

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