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Born and Raised

John Mayer

Label: Columbia

Release Date: May 22, 2012

Review Date: June 3, 2012




John Mayer is one of the most prolific songwriters, guitarists and performers to have been born in the last 35 years.  His latest album, Born and Raised proves why this isn’t an unsubstantiated claim and how his triple-threat talents have given his career such sustainability. 


It’s also a “different” kind of album from Mayer though it’s not an unexpected one.  Simple. At timessouthern rock and at time folksy, it’s at all times the melodic, lyrical genius that is Mayer’s trademark.


Brilliantly produced by the legendary Don Was (the Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Mitch Ryder), this album can be listened to in any environment, for any mood, at any time.  This is because of – not only Mayer’s songwriting and performing skills – but for the great people he selected in helping him play on Born and Raised. 


On keys is the legendary keyboardist and Boomerocity friend, Chuck Leavell (Chuck discusses Born and Raised with Boomerocity here); much sought-after drummer, Aaron Sterling; and, on bass, is Sean Hurley who, appropriately enough for this album, formerly toured with Arlo Guthrie.


Three randomly picked favorites (because I love all the songs from Born and Raised)are:


Speak for Me is one of those songs whose lyrics make you think if not haunt you.  “ . . . and the music on my radio ain’t supposed to make me feel alone . . . You can tell that something isn’t right when all your heroes are in black and white . . . what a drag to say ‘At least I still have yesterday . . .”


Second choice is the introspective, lonely title song.  While Mayer has obviously written this song in his thirties, the meaning is ageless and the appeal not bound by generations.  This is a brilliant, brilliant song that is surely destined to be one of Mayer fans’ favorites.


The final randomly picked favorite is the mellow, contemplative If I Ever Get Around to Living. Lyrically and melodically captivating, Mayer says, “If I ever get around to living, It’s gonna be just like a I dreamed. I’m gonna take the love I’m given and set it free . . .”.


John Mayer fans like me have already bought this CD without needing to listen to it first.  For those looking for an introductory CD of what Mayer is like, you can’t go wrong with Born and Raised.  Be warned, though, that you’ll need to be prepared to buy his other work to explore other areas of this artist’s work.


Written by Randy Patterson
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