With songs with titles like "Heartbreak Warfare", "All We Ever Do is Say Goodbye" and "Perfectly Lonely" you can tell what kind of "Battle Studies" John Mayer is referring to in the title of his fourth studio album. Almost the entire album is filled with songs dealing with affairs of the heart…or in this case battles.
There is still plenty of strong guitar playing amidst what is essentially pop music on the album. It is apparent from the get go with this album that he was trying to pare things down and make everything about it simplistic. That to me does his talent and in the end his music a disservice. He is a better musician than most of his contemporaries and he should not be afraid to let that shine. Mayer's strength is in his musicianship and if he doesn't use that then he sounds like many others. And that is not a good thing.
Another thing I noticed right off the bat is how silly most of the lyrics on the album are. Maybe he is spending too much time paying attention to what is going on over at TMZ or Tweeting to spend the time needed writing songs. Whatever the problem I hope he fixes it quickly.
After several listens, while it is quite listenable, I came to the conclusion that it is not one of his strongest or most mature efforts.