updated 05/17/2012 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/18/2012 AT 4:45 PM ET
“Make me feel as I am free/ Someone come speak for me.” Such is the gentle plea of John Mayer in his soothing, soulfully textured voice on the song “Speak for Me.”
Of course, the bitter irony is that this song – like all on his new album Born and Raised – was written and recorded before the singer-guitarist was sidelined by a throat nodule. He was on complete vocal rest after surgery last fall; after a recurrence, he still can’t sing live.