John Mayer"s Born and Raised Is a Perfect Road Trip Album

<em>Born and Raised</em>” />  </p>
<p>“Make me feel as I am free/ Someone come speak for me.” Such is the gentle plea of John Mayer in his soothing, soulfully textured voice on the song “Speak for Me.” </p>
<p>Of course, the bitter irony is that this song – like all on his new album <em>Born and Raised</em> – was written and recorded before the singer-guitarist was sidelined by a throat nodule. He was on complete vocal rest after surgery last fall; after a recurrence, he still can”t sing live. </p>
<p>You gotta feel for the guy: This is a shimmering album, perfect for taking on the road in the glow of spring and summer.<br />
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John Mayer

Gari Askew

Tunes like “Queen of California” – with its shades of “70s soft rock – radiate a real warmth, as Mayer reflects on his time in the doghouse for bad behavior.

On “Shadow Days,” the sweetly contrite single, he sings, “I”m a good man with a good heart/ Had a tough time, got a rough start.”

With such earnestness and tasteful, understated musicianship, he wins you over.