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

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

05/18/2012 AT 04:45 PM EDT

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"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."

Of course, the bitter irony is that this song – like all on his new album Born and Raised – 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.

You gotta feel for the guy: This is a shimmering album, perfect for taking on the road in the glow of spring and summer.

John Mayer's Born and Raised Is a Perfect Road Trip Album| Born and Raised, John Mayer

John Mayer

Gari Askew

Tunes like "Queen of California" – with its shades of ‚ÄČ'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.

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