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Born and Raised

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iTunes Review

Born and Raised is a set of organic cowboy songs dreamed up under a starry night sky. Songs like “Queen of California” and “Shadow Days” reflect a countrified worldview. “If I Ever Get Around to Living” shimmers with intricate arpeggios and gentle backup vocals. Melancholy harmonicas inform the mood of “Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey” and “A Face to Call Home.”

Customer Reviews

Album of the Year!

This may be very well be John Mayers best album. For sure lyrically the most complex and beautiful words he has ever wrote. Continuum may be the bar set by John for most people. But I think this is the album that proves he is not only one of the top ten best guitarists alive, but also one of the best voices and song writers of our generation. His voice has never sounded better, a touch raspier, but filled with warmth and amazing tones. It is a larger body of work than Continuum and a more focussed set of songs that come to life under the themes of self discovery, loss, love, letting go and growing up. The fidelity of this recording makes it sound like he is singing in your living room. Don Was has done a great job recording and engineering this album. This is a countryfied John Mayer that has beautiful organ keyboards, harmonica and stellar acoustic guitar playing. Standout tracks are every single one, but a few noted below really stand out:

1) A Face To Call Home, a beautiful inspirational love song, that builds to an incredible blowout finish of stunning, blazing electric guitar work that must be played loud.

2) Something Like Olivia, a very fun tongue in cheek, swinging catchy little song that is so fun and bluesy with an infectious guitar riff throughout.

3) Walt Grace's Submarine Test, 1967, this song is John's most unique and unusual writing to date. A kind of epic folk take that is unlike anything he has ever written, haunting background vocals layer in behind John's powerful quivering voice as he spins the tale of a man escaping a dull reality. I say this song is his best vocals ever and one of the best songs he has ever recorded.

4) The Age Of Worry, a sing song kind of track that is very inspirational, that you can see playing in a bar somewhere where people rally round each other singing loudly 'Worry, why should I care!'

5) Queen Of California, love the line; 'heading out west with my headphones on' A song about letting go that captures Johns journey of self discovery lately.

6) Born and Raised
Stellar title track, painful self realizing lyrics, amazing harmonies equal one brilliant song.

All the songs are amazing, there is a craft to this album of songs that is rarely seen anymore, a perfect album that is the new benchmark in John's career.

Beautifully intricate

A great combination of rock and folk and pop and everything in between. Classic John with so many wonderfully new twists. There's so much emotion jammed into it that it's practically overwhelming, but in a terribly good way. There aren't a lot of words to describe the music - just listen and you'll feel it, you'll understand so many new things and you'll be so satisfied and still left wanting even more - but if I had to choose just a few, they would be "expectation-blowing, heart-pounding perfection."


Well, I had written out an extensive review to the album, and then I clicked back to my recently added to listen to one of the songs I was discussing, and I clicked back to the iTunes Store and it was all gone. Something seems wrong with that iTunes... Fix it.

Anyways, the bottom line is that this album is genius songwriting, and even though some may find it draggy because of all the mid-tempos, Mayer saves himself through the sheer excellence of this group of songs. He proves he's pushing himself in the jam-section of "If I Ever Get Around To Living", where you can hear some nifty jazz licks that I didn't expect from him, despite the time he spent at Berklee. "Love is a Verb" is simple, beautiful and over too soon (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). It does start to feel a little bit like a grammar lesson, but it's brilliant nonetheless. "A Face to Call Home" ends the album on an excellent and epic note à la Coldplay. Some of his best lyrics are found on this song, - for example "You know my paper heart / The one I filled with pencil marks / I think I might've gone and inked you in".

In fact, most of the album is lyrical master-class. It doesn't feel like he's just spewing out information for the sake of being honest; he's revealing things about himself in a way that is not uncomfortable, and is very calculated. "Born & Raised" goes as far as to bringing up the separation of his parents, but at no time does the listener feel awkward for Mayer.

Another major factor in this album that makes it so special for me is the understated musicality. I'd just like to throw in that the inclusion of Crosby and Nash on the title track was awesome. But anyways, not everyone will get this album. It doesn't smack you in the face with blatant and impossible-to-ignore singles; it's very much an album, where you have to listen to the whole thing to appreciate its scope. I prefer this album to Continuum as a studio album; it'll be interesting to see how the two albums stack up against each other in a live setting.


Born: October 16, 1977 in Bridgeport, CT

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

After making his introduction as a sensitive, acoustic-styled songwriter on 2001's Room for Squares, John Mayer steadily widened his approach over the subsequent years, encompassing everything from blues-rock to adult contemporary in the process. Arriving during the tail end of teen pop's heyday, he crafted pop music for a more discerning audience, spiking his songcraft with jazz chords and literate turns of phrase. The combination proved to be quite popular, as Room for Squares went triple platinum...
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Born and Raised, John Mayer
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