CD REVIEW: John Mayer "Battle Studies"

John Mayer has grown up. Not that he was immature, but his previous albums had a bit of youthful angst and energy. He has shown that he is a superior pop songsmith, he has proven that he is a guitar hero, showcased that he's got the blues, and he's got a handul of Grammy awards to support all of those claims. On his latest album, the first of which isn't part of his self proclaimed "trilogy," he proves that simplicity is just as awesome as being in your face. He covers a Robert Johnson classic, made famous buy friend and guitar virtuoso Eric Clapton, to remind everyone that he shtill has what it takes to jam. He lets loose with his acoustic on the first single "Who Says," bringing mellow back to his arsenal in a style not heard from since his first independent release "Inside Wants Out." Love is a central theme in all of the music with two instant classics leading the way: "Heartbreak Warfare" and "Half Of My Heart" which features a guest vocal by Taylor Swift. Each song is a perfect addition to John's catalogue and the album as a whole is well written and performed. There isn't any heavy production, not a lot of musicians, and John co-produced it all with drummer Steve Jordan. John Mayer has a lot up his sleeves, but this time he isn't hiding anything.