Customer Review

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average., 21 May 2012
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This review is from: Born And Raised (Audio CD)
With one listen through completed, i'm hoping this is one of those albums that improves dramatically with more exposure.
I was hoping for an improvement over Battle Studies, (don't write an album whilst in a relationship with Jennifer Aniston)and it isn't for me personally, just different as it's mostly acoustic in the vein of Neil Young and Crosby Stills and Nash.
Don't get me wrong, there are some nice moments here that will accompany well any sunny days we get this summer, but it isn't going to bury itself under my skin like Continuum did i don't think.
The problem in my humble opinion is that this album lacks the groove and snap that the acoustic songs from 'Where The Light Is' had in spades. I know live albums often tend to capture a certain something, but there's nothing here that raises itself above half hearted unfortunately.
I know Mayer has (hopefully) many years of creative output yet to come, it would be horrendous to contemplate he may have peaked (again for me personally) with Continuum.
I'm not bashing him honestly, for a still young man he's obscenely talented and writes songs way beyond his years, it just doesn't seem to me that he brought any of that experience or attitude to the writing or recording of this album.
I stuck with battle Studies because there are a couple of moments in there reminiscent of earlier Mayer that keep it in my collection, i'm hoping Born and Raised reaches at least that level as it always feels like something of a personal defeat to give up on an album altogether.
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 May 2012 15:38:42 BDT
I think you summed it up perfectly.

There are very few truly ear catching moments on this album. Alot of the tracks just come across as abit bland and lacking in a certain sparkle. But I do really like the feel of 'Born and Raised' and it does have it's moments, tracks; 1,3,6 + 11 are my top picks.

In comparison to Continuum this feel does feel abit average, as does Battle Studies. But judged it on it's own merit, and it does have some, then this is still one of the best releases of the year in my opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2012 15:54:33 BDT
Pablo Honey says:
Thanks Mr Styles, maybe the bar was (unintentionally) set too high too early with Continuum?
I agree it's worthy as a stand-alone concept and it's sure to improve for me.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2012 16:37:59 BDT
Eggers says:
I have just bought this album today and whilst I was a little disappointed to see it given 3 stars by its first reviewer, I feel your critique is well balanced and fair.

I think it's a grower. It's the sort of album that sneaks up on you deceptively. My favourite tracks on the first listen are "if I ever get around to living" and "whisky x 3"

Posted on 21 May 2012 16:51:44 BDT
sparkyman91 says:
I can understand what you're saying but in truth I don't think you can compare continuum to born and raised, as it's literally a different genre of music. Yes by the same artist but I think it's another direction Mayer has decided to go into. I don't think you can expect the groove and snap because the folk genre is more about having a mellow and soothing tone, where as continuum was a blues album with rightfully more groove and snap. And I think people are wrong in thinking that continuum set the bar too high early on, because Mayer hasn't written another blues album to compare to it since then, so you never know he may well surprise us yet, then the time will be right to compare the two.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2012 17:10:26 BDT
Pablo Honey says:
I wasn't aiming to directly compare Born and Raised to Continuum, they are as you quite rightly observe different album genres.
It's the snap and groove of the other acoustic material that JM has released that i personally feel isn't present here (Neon and Free Falling from Where the light is absolutely bristle), i agree it's a different direction and genre and i accept he hasn't (yet) released another album similar in style to Continuum so a direct comparison would have indeed been pointless.
I too hope there are surprises aplenty in the future, just not like Battle Studies.
;-)

Posted on 21 May 2012 18:23:00 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 May 2012 23:46:51 BDT
I'm Sorry, but this review is a bit silly, I know it's you opinion but it's lacking reasoning at times. You don't review a song after 1 listen, if you were a music reviewer for a magazine then fair enough, but at least give it a few listens. You are comparing it to the acoustic section of 'Where The Light Is', but that section is pretty much a 'best hits' of his acoustic songs that he put together because over the 10 years and hundreds of gigs he's done, he knew what the audience likes, hardly fair to compare it to that.
I agree it's not his best work but you've got to understand what he's trying to do here, he's trying out different things and showing his versatility, each album has a different flavor or sound. If he had 5 albums similar to Continuum people would be slating him saying he's a 1 trick pony. As much as I want amazing guitar solos, slick grooves and guitar tones that would impregnate any female within a mile, I's not gunna happen on every album, he's not that sort of artist. So really what I'm saying is judge the album for what it is not as a John Mayer album and his previous work. It's like saying 'Daughters' is not a good song because you preferred 'Good Love is on the Way'. The album cover and his image at the moment isn't really screaming pop/rock/blues, It's saying more like 'hey, this is going to be a little bit different so bare with me while I try and figure out some sick licks for a different album', I'd be a little uncomfortable hearing 'Slow Dancing in a Burning room' and 'Shadow Days' on the same album, it just wouldn't work.
Please don't feel like I'm having a go at you here, I'm just saying take a step back and have a proper look at everything that's going on.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2012 18:28:53 BDT
Pablo Honey says:
Thanks Mr Griffiths, you're quite right in your observations of my (perhaps hasty?) review.
The last thing we'd all want is another Continuum, i will stick with this album as i'm sure it will grow on me as most of his others have.

Posted on 21 May 2012 18:53:31 BDT
D. T. Walsh says:
This review nails it! Thanks............
You have saved me having to write the very same review! A much better album than Battle Studies, for sure!

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2012 01:45:35 BDT
C. Tomlinson says:
I can't understand why Battle Studies gets such bad reviews? It may not be his best but it's still good. Assassins Is a fantastic tune as is Perfectly Lonely, on these songs alone it merits a listen. I don't think an artist like Mayer can make a bad album. However Continuum Is still his best yet.

Posted on 31 May 2012 09:33:21 BDT
I think as a songwriters album this beats most of his previous with the amount of listenable tunes for all ears. As a musician myself I am not left feeling that the guitar is lacking, I have had it on loop listening to the lyrics this time around, instead of listening out for guitar flourishes and runs. I think we have seen another string to Mayers bow with born and raised. I don't think this album could ever be deemed average. There are endless hooks throughout.
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