Despite the fact that John Mayer has been suffering from a serious vocal chord ailment he was able to record and now release his fifth studio album. On the bright side, while he won’t be able to tour in support of the album we do get some new music. Maybe this condition and the fear that he wouldn’t be able to sing again has forced the man previously known for loose lips and controversial opinions to turn inwards and evaluate how he has lived his life. The music on Born and Raised (produced by Don Was) is symbolic of a man looking for his place in the world. It features various genres of music and the lyrics are definitely of the soul searching variety. A mix of Celtic, soul, gospel, country, roots, and plenty of 70s influence can be found on different tracks. With words like “I ain’t no troublemaker, and I never meant her harm” and “it gets hard to fake what I won’t be” you realize very quickly that he has spent some time thinking about things that have occurred over the course of his highly successful, but not without controversy, career. Amidst all the nonsense he has said and his high profile relationships/breakups with amongst others Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Aniston, it is easy to forget what a marvelous guitar player he is and that he makes good music. Fan or not, here’s to hoping that he gets his throat issues sorted out and continues to focus on his music rather than being preoccupied with being clever or inane on Twitter.