It's no secret that John Mayer is a 21st Century Fox, wining and dining women all through tabloid headlines, so it's about time he delivered an album that traded upon his loverman persona -- and Battle Studies is that record in spades. Here, Mayer fashions a modern groove album that maintains a smooth seductive vibe so thorough it spills into a one-man band cover of "Crossroads." Mayer remains a disciple of Eric Clapton, but he shows an unusual interest in big AOR, creating a coolly clean blend of synths and Strats that's as much about texture as it is about song -- perfectly appropriate for a make-out album. Sometimes, Mayer dips too heavily toward texture, but he can't resist good, tight melodies and builds this album upon them.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi