Born and Raised - John Mayer
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 41
  2. Negative: 2 out of 41

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  1. Jun 1, 2012
    Okay guys - I admit I'm writing this review after a single listen, but I can say quite honestly already that I'm glad I did not buy this album. There was some good stuff: "Queen of California" has a nice throw-the-chorus-on-the-end-of-the-verse structure; "Love is a Verb" is a sweet little song; "...Submarine Test..." has a cool enough melody that the words don't even really matter; and the first verse of "Fool to Love You" had me yelling "Yeah man!" alone in my room. And the guitar work, as always, was some of the best you'll hear all year - particularly the acoustic playing, which is precise and intentional. But Christ, was there bad stuff. I didn't count how many times Mayer rhymed "start" with "heart" in total, but I know it was included in at least two choruses. Taking into account what I already said about his guitar playing, I was hoping he'd play a solo on more than two songs. Instead what we get is a bunch of harmonica that recalls neither Springsteen's hooks nor Young's earnestness nor Dylan's playfulness. Born and Raised also features only one, count 'em, one tune that reflects his supposedly massive blues influence. The modern soul of Continuum (Mayer's only work at this point with a chance at being a classic) is out the window. Even Battle Studies, despite its lack of replay value, had cool pop tunes like "Perfectly Lonely," and rhymed "mattress" with "axis." Born and Raised mainly consists of corny confessionals in which Mayer tries to convince his audience he's not an **** John, the best way to make people forget what an **** you've been is to put out a great album - look at Kanye West. Singing about what a "good heart" you have, and what "rough start" you've had, is like a high school geek whining about his virginity while wearing taped-up glasses and jeans held up to his belly button by suspenders he's worn every day since second grade. The worst part is that the good stuff doesn't last long enough. "Born and Raised (Reprise)" has the cool honky-tonk groove Mayer must have been searching for the whole album, and, like I said, "Fool to Love You" is a riot. But neither song stretches out past two minutes and thirty seconds. I've had faith in Mayer ever since I really gave Continuum a listen (or rather, since his stellar live album "Where the Light Is" kept me at my own guitar for about six months - Continuum's subtle brilliance snuck up on me after that), and his show on the Battle Studies tour was great. But Born and Raised is a letdown in almost every way. I understand that artists grow, develop, and change their sound, but that doesn't account for lazy songwriting - and neither does wearing a cowboy hat all over the place. Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Jun 1, 2012
    The Don Was-produced album proceeds at an unhurried pace, featuring Jackson Browne-like confessionals and Young-style, harmonica-accented shuffles. [Jul 2012, p.77]
  2. 60
    Born and Raised a prime example of the John Mayer paradox--it's good enough to satisfy even his most casual fans, but the old-school Mayerisms that remain will only anger his detractors.
  3. May 24, 2012
    It's an honest, and oftentimes compelling, statement on his road to redemption.