Style: Coffeehouse classic rock, compare to Allman Brothers Band, Dawes, needtobreathe
Top tracks: "Queen of California," "Born and Raised," "The Age of Worry"
After his chronic TMI (Too Much Information) fever broke two years ago in staggeringly crude interviews, Mayer retreated to Montana and eventually underwent vocal cord surgery. His artful fifth studio album shows he did some growing up. The easy-rolling journey channels fine-grit classic Southern and California rock into roadtrip reflection and wistful regret ("Shadow Days," "If I Ever Get Around to Living"). Mayer confesses, "I still might have a ways to go" ("Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey"). He proves it by turning "Love Is a Verb" into a self-centered cliché, "You got to show me." Still, Mayer's sunset-golden sound comes off organically authentic, and the album bears and raises questions about growth and grace.1
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