John Mayer 's new album 'Born and Raised' is indebted to the late 1960s and early '70s, to the extent that the cover art even looks like a facsimile of SMALL FACES' 1968 album Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake. Mayer's fifth studio album is the first that he will be unable to support with a live tour, as he is currently suffering from a throat condition that forced him to cancel his planned live shows. In the absence of a tour, Mayer will no doubt be hoping that reviews of the album will be positive ones.
Billboard note how much tracks like 'Queen of California' owe their influence to the likes of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, with a nod to Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham in 'Speak For Me.' To hammer the point home, the title track features backing vocals from David Crosby and Graham Nash. Their track-by track rundown offers more in the way of description than opinion, though, leaving the reader to seek out the tracks themselves. More telling is the review from New York Daily Times, which concludes that it's Mayer's "lack of vulnerability and risk that most distances this album from its intended goal", adding, "Instead of being more frank and raw, its more meandering and numb than ever."
Huffington Post are kinder, describing 'Born and Raised' as "a phenomenal record", and continuing, "John Mayer has crafted an album not only meeting the towering expectations of loyal Mayer fans but far surpassing them." There's no hiding Mayer's intention to create an homage to days gone by; he seems to have divided opinion with his fifth studio album though and only time will tell whether or not it will suffer with a lack of live appearances from the popular singer.