Mayer takes a turn down Folk and Bluegrass Avenue for his fifth LP, 'Born and Raised', taking influence from such artists as Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. Mayer, who has recently had a tumultuous battle with Granuloma, causing him to cancel a number of his tour dates and appearances hasn’t let the conflict affect the soft yet smoky tone in his voice that has carried him so far into his career.
Born and Raised is an interesting fit for the Mayer discography, as stylistically it sways further away from third album 'Continuum' and fourth effort 'Battle Studies' while still managing to maintain Mayer’s signature style. The album is incredibly therapeutic and soothing but still forces you to take notice of the piercing lyrical content. Mayer coos “All at once it gets hard to take, It gets hard to fake what I won’t be, ‘Cause one of these days I’ll be born and raised” on the title track, while in the harmonica-ready ‘Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey’, John lets us know that he’s “trying to find the man I never got to be”, leading me to think of it as a metaphor for his change in musical style on the album.
'Born and Raised' in general along with the cover artwork, remind me of a more mature well put together version of Panic at the Disco’s ‘Pretty.Odd.’ (to be more specific, the sombre moments that take place on the album), which despite what you may think, is actually a good thing. John Mayer has managed to bring a new genre to his music without alienating those who are fans of his previous work. In other words, instead of wondering towards a foreign sound, he brought the genre to him.
Key Tracks: The Age of Worry, Born and Raised, Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967