Over the last few years, I’ve realized that John Mayer is actually pretty badass. The panty whisperer himself has made cameos on Chappelle’s Show, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, and a hilarious interview with him and Kanye West about whose watch was more baller. All that is just icing however; John has been in the studio lately recording his fifth studio album, Born and Raised.
I admit, until now, my favorite song of his was Neon and that was a decade ago. After being sent the album, I’m back on board. I wonder if what people say about John being a ladies man changed his lyric writing on the album. Before, his music was a lot about dedication to that southern belle in the corner. Some of that is still there, but I felt like this was more of a chronicle of how to survive as a heartbroken\starry-eyed dude.
Queen of California is the first song on the album, and sets visuals of a boot-wearing kid from Connecticut, making his way out west, after hearing the getting’ is good. It oozes the country feel that John was known for from the very beginning, with his love for blues sprinkled on top.
The title track, Born and Raised, is the sixth song on the album, and to me, is the most lyrically resonating. Absolutely considered a blues track, the melody of the verses, the low bass drop in the chorus, and drifting-smoke-feeling harmonica plays host to a tale. The tale is of thinking back to the difficult times that got him to where he is now. The friends, family, and lovers lost in one way or another provided this simple statement:
Then all at once it gets hard to take
It gets hard to fake what I won’t be
Cause one of these days I’ll be born and raised
And it’s such a waste to grow up lonely
I still got time, I still got faith
I call on both of my brothers
I got a mom, I got a dad
But they do not have each other
If I Ever Get Around to Living took the first place prize of favorite songs. With lyrics feeling like waking from dream state life with the perfect life mate, only to realize that he was still a kid, following mom’s wishes, and aspiring to be something more. Mom asks that dreadful rhetorical questions parents ask;
“When you gonna wise up boy?”, while falling in love with a potential that may never be as good as said dream.
I’ve yet to see John Mayer live, but I plan on it once his tour comes through town. Stay tuned, and go pick up a copy of Born and Raised.
Until next time my friends,
P.S. – Shout out to the studio musicians for kicking so many asses on this album. This album is his highest selling of the five, and murdered the charts for weeks!