on 8 January 2013
no, i do not think born and raised is better then john mayers older albums. but i do not understand why it should be compared to them, it is completely different to his older stuff and i personally think it has more emotion and more honesty to it. all of john mayers albums to me are amazing, and this album is no different. this album is by no means better than say room for squares or continuum but it is a good deal more interesting. in this album we can clearly see where john mayer is in his life, the things he had wanted to do and the things he still does. the album itself reminds me of old people, old people who remember stuff and tell stories about things that happened a long time ago, as if they are that old that nothing else is going to really happen ever again. if you buy this album you will not regret it, i promise. (me and my friend listen to it when she comes over for macaroni cheese)
I got into John Mayer through one of my boys who is a huge fan. This album is well crafted and IMHO better than his earlier stuff. Several reviewers have compared this work to that of other artists and for my 2 penny's worth I get a sort of feel of Bob Dylan.
I enjoyed it more on CD than I did streaming on iTunes during the free preview. I think it demands to be heard on a full size hifi.
on 21 May 2012
Where this is nothing like his previous work the listener should keep an open mind as this piece of work is a HUGE breath of fresh air!.
It screams classic american down to earth none pretentous organic and timeless genius! very Allman brothers with a hint of Neil Young and the softer edge of the Black Crowes.
If you have ears that are not painted on this album will please and could well be a future classic. Sit back and ENJOY!!!!!!!.
on 28 May 2012
after the distinctly average Battle Studdies and the ill fated interview I was wondering if I would have to say Dear John to Mr Mayer who I have loved since the get go. If this album was another really bland album I would have to. I dont even have Battle studies on my MP3, none of the songs, not any. So would this be the same? Well Mayer himself admits he was just making noise because he had nothing to say, so he moved to montana and sorted his head out and wrote a new album. The result.....Mayer is the man again. This is a really seriously good album. True to form it has a different sound from anything previously. Its undoubtedly Mayer, but with an acoustic (but not like Room For Squares more in the vain of Stop This Train) 70's, country vibe. Hes gone back to simple melodies and filled the arrangements with layer upon layer of them. The album sounds almost like Ryan Adams at his most mellow at times . The new band hes got is great, Chuck Levell deserves a special mention on keys and Johns guitar playing is superb as usual, although there isnt much lead stuff on here. But you dont miss it. Such is the quality of the songs. I had avoided all the hype prior to the release so I could come to it fresh. I put the CD in the car and the first thing I heard is Queen of California. A great song and represents the album well. A song I have not been able to get out of my head and it plays on an incessant loop in my mind. There are other greats too. In fact the single Shadow Days is the weakest song on the album, so thats saying quite a lot. It bodes well for the future that he can write Queen of Cailfornia (an AAA song struture for song writing nerds) and Walt Grace (hints of the beatles). Pick this up now. It is a fantastic sunshine CD (like Norah Jones first album was). Put it on in the car, put the window down and enjoy
on 25 May 2012
It surprised me at first to hear that John Mayer was making an album with a such a strong folk/country angle to it.
I love all of his previous work dearly, and so (being aware of my own in-built bias) knew that I would be far more likely to enjoy such an 'American' departure from his usual style than the average passer-by. I was worried that this album (if it turned out well) wouldn't have the impact it deserved in the UK market.
Luckily, I don't think that is going to be a problem.
There are clear, instantly accessible songs that grab you from the first play - 'Shadow Days' and 'Queen of California' being the obvious choices. Prior to the album being launched, these were the sneak previews that I had on repeat.
After a few listens though, I found myself gravitating towards other parts of the album. For me, this is where the album has really started to shine. 'Love is a Verb', 'Walt Grace's Submarine Test' and 'Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey' is a wonderful section that I've looped several times - encouraging you to relax, take a load off and enjoy some great story-telling and thoughtful lyrics, to some great music.
'Walt Grace's Submarine Test' deserves a special mention in my books here, easy to ignore if you don't listen to the story, but once you do, the complete package is exceptional.
Likewise, 'Something Like Olivia' and 'Born and Raised' is another great 'section' that I loop often, although more for the country-vibe.
No doubt, some will dismiss this review as biased from the beginning, but to an extent, I don't really care. I've been open about how I approached this album, but equally, as open-minded as I could be when judging it. It's easy to sneer anonymously at other's enjoyment, but this album isn't for people like that. It's a grown-up, relaxed, enjoy-at-your-own-pace album that has at its core, quality song-writing from a hugely talented musician.
People may get the wrong first impression of John Mayer if this is the first album of his they buy, although no doubt when they buy others, they'll enjoy Continuum etc. in equal measure.
on 20 February 2016
Beautiful album... I'm rating it 5 in terms of john mayer's music and not based on the Country music genre overall, even though I consider this a breath of fresh air from the "Ahhh loooov ma ccuuuunttttreeeeee, Ahhhh weeeaaaarrr a ccoowwwboooyyy hhaaaaattttt, pleeeeeaaaz buy maahhh CDDDDD!!!"
Its definitely one of his best works... its true to his heart, which is why it is beautiful to listen to. His work in the pop genre of course put him on the map, and a lot of it including stop this train and In Your Atmosphere (which I don't believe is on a studio album of his).
But all pop songs are recycled, its nice to hear something fresh and straight from the soul. This man is a rare talent.
Great songs include Whiskey, Queen Of California (of course) and Something Like Olivia to name my favourites... I remember trying really hard back in 2012 to learn Queen Of California and Something Like Olivia on my guitar, if you are like me up until last year you'd only heard acoustic versions of those two songs and not actually listened to the full album... I'd highly suggest buying the album if you have a nice pair of head/earphones, high quality speakers, or you're simply a collector like your's truly, if you're an itunes user, get that apple lossless encoder down on your import, there are so many little details you miss in this type of intricate music at low quality.
This was the worst review of all time, bye. pls buy dis tho itz gude.
One thing with John Mayer is how he continues to develop as an artist of immense talent. When I first heard him I thought we had another superb blues singer/guitarist, he made a couple of excellent albums,live ones that certainly made me take notice.Since then and through four very good releases in the studio comes album number five.Much gentler than his other work although most of his last one 'Battle Call' was much more melodious.As a singer he has such a fine voice that gaing depth and strength with each release. This new release shows us what a truly excellent songwriter he's developing into, the album is full of great songs,superb musicians with much more acoustic guitar to the fore here, and on a track with Crosby and Nash the strength of this set really shinesThroughout it's playing time it is a wonderfully enjoyable release in every way, it really does deserve success and certainly rank as one of my albums of the year I'm sure come December. This is a release not to be missed,never listened to John Mayer before then this is one great place
to begin.From the title it sounds like it could be good old down home Americana, but it's much more than that it's an artist of superb talent with a bunch of great new songs producing an album that's called I believe a keeper.Not to be missed.
on 28 January 2014
Since accidentally discovering John Mayer when I visited a record shop (remember those?) a few months ago, I have built up a collection of his albums starting with his excellent five-CD collection (sold in a hardback book format, also available at a reasonable price from Amazon). 'Born and Raised' is (to date) his second most recent album, and shows a great shift from some of his earlier material. This is more 'rootsie', and if that worries you, take a chance. If nothing else, Mayer is well aware of his musical heritage, and has properly acknowledged this by working with the respected musicians that inspired him. That is known as learning your craft. Sometimes his escapades with his various famous girlfriends has undermined that hard work, so people who might otherwise enjoy his music walk on by. This is a pity, because on 'Born and Bred' he is making a real effort to redefine his musical compass by taking it into new territories, like those inhabited by CSNY and The Band. Indeed 'The Croz' and Graham Nash add their beautiful harmonising on this album. So - this isn't the pop/blues/rock that you may have heard from Mayer before, but then many great artists before him similarly tried out different musical genres. Just enjoy the journey with him - this album is a beauty.
on 26 May 2012
After a few listens, this has grown on me really quickly and I've just added the whole album to my Best Of JM playlist. There's not a track on it that I dislike but stand outs for me so far are Queen of California (the next single?), Shadow Days (with a guitar lick not far removed from Slow Dancing, and none the worst for that), Something Like Olivia, Born and Raised, and Whiskey Whiskey Whiskey.
As a big fan of CSNY and Neil Young, I love the obvious influences. The harmonica is so reminiscent of Neil Young that I had to check that he wasn't credited on the album. I see that David Crosby and Graham Nash are though. Good to hear a bit of harmonium too at the end of the Age of Worry!
A much better album than Battle Studies for me. I had to listen to that a lot more before it grew on me and I don't play it much now. Most of JM's albums take a little time to grow. In fact, I didn't like JM at all when my son first tried to introduce me to his music. From that, to Where The Light Is being one of the most albums listened to by me of all time. To me, that album remains his best - and live he is fantastic - with Continuum his best studio album. But Born and Raised will get a lot of plays by me over the coming months. If you're a JM fan, heartily recommended!
on 27 June 2012
I find this album disappointing, at least in the context of the expectations raised by earlier work from someone I have always believed to be a great talent. In the unlikely event of there ever being a "Best of John Mayer" album I would be mightily surprised if anything on this album makes it. In other words, undeniably pleasant listening though it is, there is very little that stands out. In that regard this is similar to the latest album of that other great American talent of the same age (and they are apparently friends) Jason Mraz - in each case high expectations have been dashed by their latest relatively mediocre offerings, possibly responding to record company pressure.
In Mayer's case this album calls to mind Eric Clapton in his middle period, when he produced a succession of perfectly acceptable but unremarkable albums. But by then he had also produced several masterpieces with Cream, Derek and the Dominos and Blind Faith, he was already a "great". Mayer is not - yet - and this album doesn't add to his reputation, in my view. Perhaps he is a great guitarist and singer only - but just an average songwriter. His next album I guess will tell us.