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John Mayer - Paradise Valley (Album Review)

Tuesday, 20 August 2013 Written by Lee Johnston

There aren’t many artists who can count their album sales by the million. John Mayer can, and it is easy to understand why.

From its opening bar to its final note, ‘Paradise Valley’ is totally inoffensive. It’s listening at its easiest, with lyrics and melodies so simple that the casual listener can’t help but sing along.

‘Paradise Valley’ is Mayer’s sixth studio album and musically he treads similar ground to that covered on his last record, ‘Born and Raised’.  Freshening things up on this occasion are a number of guitar breaks, and less harmonica, as well as collaborations with Frank Ocean and his current love interest, Katy Perry.  

The album opens with hand-clapping and tambourines aplenty on Wildfire, which sets the record off in high spirits, only for the mood to be brought back down with the acoustic, melancholy Dear Marie.  

The acoustic vibe continues with Waitin’ on the Day before Paper Doll slips from the speakers. If you believe everything you read in the papers then this is a dig at Taylor Swift, Mayer’s ex, and a response to her song Dear John.  As well as being a reminder that we’re in exalted celeb company it’s a quiet, meditative track built around a catchy guitar lick.

Mayer follows this up with a competent cover of J.J Cale’s Call Me the Breeze and a duet with his current squeeze, on Who You Love. Another collaboration then provides the album’s standout moment, albeit briefly. A reprise of Wildfire, featuring Ocean, clocks in at just under 90 seconds but the 'Channel Orange' star's vocals add plenty of extra life to a song where Mayer fell a little way short earlier on in proceedings.

‘Paradise Valley’, then, is more of the same from a man who can do no wrong in the eyes of many. It would be interesting to see him push the boat out just once or twice in future.

John Mayer UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Sun October 20th 2013 - LONDON O2 Arena
Sat October 26th 2013 - LONDON Wembley Arena

Click Here to Compare & Buy John Mayer Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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