Album: John Mayer, Born and Raised (Columbia)

 

John Mayer continues mining the California singer-songwriter vein of 2009's Battle Studies.

On “Queen of California”, he admits his ideal would be the Neil Young of 1971, and that's evident elsewhere in the steel guitar and piano of the title-track, while “If I Ever Get Around to Living” could be an outtake from neo-Laurel Canyonite Jonathan Wilson's Gentle Spirit album. It's all very laidback and earnest, but the endless lo-cal homilies ultimately grate: after all, what's most loveable about Neil is his ornery, cussed nature, and there's not a bit of that in this bland Americana.

Download: Born and Raised; Something Like Olivia

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