I really wanted to love John Mayer's new album Born and Raised. After being underwhelmed by Battle Studies, I was hoping B&R would come out swinging in the same vein as Continuum. Thus far, it gets a resounding, "Meh" from me. I'm going to go back and give it another listen or two in the coming weeks because it wouldn't be the first time that an album had to grow on me. (Confession: I didn't love It Won't Be Soon Before Long at first. It took a couple of listens to grow on me. Now I rock at least a couple of tracks from that album weekly.) It's not that I dislike the change of style, moving from Blues to Folk. John plays with genres and sounds often. And at the very least Blues and Folk are
I think my...apprehension...with this album is that I'm having a hard time attributing this sound and these lyrics to the John Mayer in my head. Of course, artists are allowed to grow and evolve. But for some reason I have a hard time receiving a John Mayer who isn't Continuum/Heavier Things/tracks 6, 9, 10 and 11 off of Battle Studies.
I will say I love "Shadow Days." I find that I'm growing up more than I sometimes give myself credit for. And a lot of events of late have shown me how imperfect and flawed I am. But I'm learning the discovering one's imperfections does not have to be a self-deprecating, life altering thing. You live, you learn from your mistakes, you grow and you keep moving forward.
Did you know that you could be wrong and swear you're right/ Some people've been known to do it all their lives/But you find yourself alone/Just like you found yourself before/Like I found myself in pieces on the hotel floor/Hard times they help me see
I'm a good man with a good heart/Had a tough time got a rough start/but I finally learned to let it go
Now I'm right and I'm right now/And I'm open knowing some how/That my Shadow Days are over/My Shadow Days are over now
So we'll see how B&R does. John has been through a lot in the past few years. I for one, hope that this album was the catharsis he needed to let go of the junk that seem to be overshadowing the great singer/songwriter that he is.