JOHN MAYER

BATTLE STUDIES

2009-12-07

This relatively stripped down affair finds John Mayer keeping his hot-wired guitar skills in check and focusing on the abject misery of lost love and the self-recrimination that accompanies the realization that it is him, not them, that is to blame for his resulting loneliness. While on paper this sounds like a blues disc most of the cuts putter along in an all too tasteful, mid-tempo adult contemporary vein. Hints of the rock power of Mayer and his back up crew (Steve Jordan on drums, Pino Palladino on bass and Ian McLagan on keys) creep only into "Assassin" and the Robert Johnson classic, "Crossroads". "Who Says" also has a bit of life to it. This might be a great disc in Cougar-town where the quest for a reflective man who is willing to take the blame for a failed relationship is the Holy Grail of finds. Everywhere else, it’s the soundtrack to an elevator or dentist’s lobby. Smitty

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