This is the first review of Battle Studies to say what I’ve been thinking. JM’s my hero and he probably always will be, but even I can draw some interesting parallels between him and Clapton. There’s nothing wrong with this, obviously, I’m just saying that he seems to be taking all of his cues, whether intentionally or not, from him.

John Mayer is obviously going through a “Backless” phase. In 1979, Eric Clapton released an album called “Backless” which shifted him from the guitar hero (“God,” if you will) to the more laidback singer/songwriter, causing a universal frown from six-string enthusiasts everywhere. With the release of “Battle Studies,” Mayer treads a similar path with a collection of songs that focus on melody over fretwork.

If the thought of a more pop-oriented angle leaves a bad taste in your mouth, this probably isn’t the Mayer album for you. One foot is firmly planted in the adult contemporary genre, especially when pop princess Taylor Swift provides background vocals on “Half of My Heart.” It’s not a bad song by any means, just a bit light for a young guy that’s played alongside artists like B.B. King and Slowhand himself.

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