In the past few weeks, hating John Mayer has grown from a hipster pastime into a full-contact sport. Following a particularly damning Playboy interview — in which he spoke crassly of his celebrity bedmates and dropped a racial epithet — Mayer caught flak from every corner of the Internet. Perhaps it's a sign of the times that more people follow his Twitter account (@johncmayer) than his musical exploits, but Mayer's failed career as a raconteur has been a reminder that he should let his guitar do the talking. After all, the 32-year-old is one of the few modern musicians who can coast on only his charm, blue-eyed-soul vocals and nuanced, blues-guitar playing. Last year's Battle Studies had all those attributes as well as an important missing piece: contrition. While it's not a heartbreak record anywhere near, say, Dylan's Blood on the Tracks, it shows that pop's bad boy is on his way to becoming a man.