Friday, June 8, 2012

King of Laurel Canyon (Music Review)

First Impression Music Review
John Mayer - Born and Raised B+
Released May 2012 

A friend recently asked me, "is the new John Mayer a covers album?"  It is not, but it does have a certain familiarity.  On Born and Raised Mayer channels his inner CSNY with a dash of Ryan Adams.  The album is produced by music vet Don Was, and is full of catchy folk-rock that sounds honest and heartfelt.

His public screw-ups make this album all the more interesting because of its confessional nature.  Some of the juicy bits suggest that "Shadow Days" is a response to Taylor Swift, the "Queen of California" is about Jennifer Aniston, and the title track is about his parents divorce.  Regardless what/who the songs are about, Mayer has constructed an impressive piece of Americana.  The album isn't perfect, but it speaks to me.  It has been a fixture in my compact disc player since I got it.
Favorite tracks - Shadow Days, Born and Raised, Queen of California, Walt Grace's Submarine Test January 1967

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