Battle Studies

 
(i)

 

Radio-friendly pop is mature in theme but not graphic.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While Mayer's outlook on love isn't idealistic, he deals with his emotions openly and honestly in these songs.

Positive role models

Mayer is certainly not the most upstanding celebrity around, having publicly broken a few hearts in his day. However, he remains dedicated to producing quality music without overindulging in the party lifestyle -- a good example in the overall scheme of things.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Some light sexual allusions: "Enter the morning light / To find the day is burning the curtains and the wine / In a little white room / Though I'm not alone, her head is heavy on me."

Language

Includes the occasional swear word but no f-bombs.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A couple references to drinking wine and getting stoned.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that in both his lifestyle and music, John Mayer is just a little too mature for younger kids -- engaging in public relationships with various women and singing about adult topics like substance use and one-night stands. 

What's the story?

Singer-songwriter John Mayer is in the news again -- only this time it's for his latest album BATTLE STUDIES, not his high-profile relationships with stars like Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Simpson. The majority of songs here, including the duet "Half of My Heart" with young country superstar Taylor Swift, describe a push-and-pull between wanting to be in a meaningful romantic relationship and yearning to be free of commitment. Though Mayer explores this in a somewhat more mature and complex way than all the bubblegum popsters out there, his lyrics still remain largely free of adult language and graphic descriptions of sex or substances. For example: "You get in, you get done and then you get gone / You never leave a trace, or show your face, you get gone / Should've turned around and left before the sun came up again / But the sun came up again."

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Though John Mayer releases his fair share of simple, radio-friendly pop, he's actually an accomplished guitarist, having performed with the likes of guitar wizards Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Charlie Hunter, and others. Mayer's guitar talents show through on this album in songs such as "Friends, Lovers, or Nothing," "Perfectly Lonely," and "Assassin." In a general sense, the record is a lot like previous Mayer releases, with plenty of songs that are both easy enough for radio yet sound above the fray, thanks largely to Mayer's guitar chops and velvety vocals.  

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about musicians as celebrities. Should musicians be judged on the basis of their talent, their personal lives, or both?

  • Is it fair that the careers of some fantastic performers are hurt by the things they choose to do in their off hours? Why or why not?

Music details

Artist:John Mayer
Release date:November 17, 2009
Label:Columbia
Genre:Adult Contemporary
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Battle Studies was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 9 years old February 19, 2011
 
catchy tune
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Educator and Parent of a 15 and 18 year old Written bytphox April 27, 2010
 
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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