John Mayer,
Battle Studies
(Sony, 2009)

John Mayer is evolving into some different genres, shifting into folk and blues. I'd consider this album an interim effort and I'm expecting a masterwork the next CD.

There are some winners here. "Half of My Heart" is smooth and bluesy. CD opener "Who Says" questions what our shoulds ought to be. "Do You Know Me" opens beautifully and just makes you want to know more. And "Friends, Lovers or Nothing" is a great strong bluesy transition piece. If this one song is an indication of future trends, bring it on, John.

"Crossroads," a la Eric Clapton and Cream, is one of the two serious missteps on Mayer's part. Mayer's lost the soul of the original masterwork -- this is one I am programming to SKIP every time it comes around. The second, "All We Ever Do is Say Good-bye," isn't so much of a mistake but has too much repetition for my taste.

So, in this reviewer's opinion, the CD is hit or miss. Other fans may like what I do not. If I had the purchase to do over again, I'd pick and choose from the MPS listings of what songs I want and what i do not. For the most part, I don't skip Mayer's music, but the two songs mentioned above hit a sour note.

review by
Becky Kyle

12 June 2010

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