John Mayer Proud Of 'Giant Evolutionary Steps' On Born And Raised

At intimate New York listening party, singer says new album 'widened the expectations of what I can do.'

NEW YORK — Fans and industry folks gathered at the famed Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village on Wednesday night to get an advanced listen to John Mayer's new album, the country-fried, introspective Born and Raised.

Before the album even played, Neil Young songs blasted through the hallowed halls of the studio. Given Mayer's vibe on Born and Raised, which pays homage to the Young sound of the 1970s, it all made sense. When Mayer's album was eventually put on, it was an easy transition from Young's jangly guitar and harmonica to Mayer's own on the album, out Tuesday.

The album was recorded at Electric Lady Studios, and the Big Apple is referenced on some tracks, as on many Mayer songs before. "Records are pure reflections," Mayer told the room. "I'm so proud it's out. The finish line is so far off [when you're making the record]."

In recent years, Mayer has been through it all. After going TMI crazy in the press in 2010, he has shied away from media attention. Some of that had to do with the fact that he had surgery on his vocal cords in late 2011. In fact, he still needs to go through another surgery to correct the problem. But he said he plans to record a new album this summer, regardless.

"If you're lucky, you get to make giant evolutionary steps from your first record, so I was able to do that. And you guys, I think, you're able to come along with that step and be psyched about that evolution and I'm excited to even go further now and start coming up with melodies you haven't heard yet," he said, referencing his "Your Body Is a Wonderland" days on his 2001 debut, Room for Squares. During the chat he explained that every song on this album is his favorite, for perhaps the first time in his career, adding that they "widened the expectations of what I can do."

Additionally, after having to cancel his 2012 spring trek, Mayer confirmed he want to hit the road in spring 2013 "and have two records to pull from. ... I think I can cheat time a little bit because as you know, I try to cheat time all the time. So I think we can all catch up so that a year from now there's two records. It'll be like Born and Raised part two because there's certain things I want to keep doing."