John Mayer – Paradise Valley (2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

John Mayer – Paradise Valley (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 39:59 minutes | 840 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Columbia

Paradise Valley is the sixth studio album by musician John Mayer. Musically, it is similar to his previous album, Born and Raised, which was released in 2012. However, this album features more musical breaks and instrumentals consisting of electric guitars rather than harmonica. It was released on August 20, 2013. The album’s title is an eponym of Mayer’s home along the Yellowstone River in Montana’s Paradise Valley, where he has lived since 2012.

John Mayer’s 2013 album, the Americana-tinged Paradise Valley, is an introspective if somewhat more upbeat affair than his similarly country-inflected 2012 release, Born and Raised. With that album, Mayer was coming off a rough career patch that found him issuing a mea culpa for an infamously loose-lipped 2010 Rolling Stone interview. Making matters worse, in 2011 the singer/songwriter announced he would be going on extended hiatus from performing while he received treatment for granulomas found near his vocal cords. Subsequently, with Born and Raised, Mayer moved away from the commercial pop of 2010’s Battle Studies and toward an intimate, largely acoustic, ’70s Laurel Canyon-inspired sound with songs that featured plenty of apologetic soul-searching. Named after the Montana river valley where Mayer owns a cabin and spends much of his time when not touring, Paradise Valley continues in this more intimate country-folk style and often feels less like a stand-alone album and more like a companion piece to Born and Raised. Which isn’t to say it’s a lesser work. On the contrary, Paradise Valley actually hangs together better than Born and Raised, with songs that achieve a balance between Mayer’s electric Eric Clapton influence and his softer James Taylor-inspired side. Although his self-imposed period of supplication seems to have ended, Mayer still has plenty of troubles on his mind. Whether comparing his life on the road to the life of an old girlfriend he webstalks online, as he does on “Dear Marie,” or struggling with his wanderlust and inability to call one place home, as he does on “Badge and Gun,” Mayer is clearly still struggling with some of life’s bigger issues. As he sings to his old girlfriend on “Dear Marie,” “Yeah I got that dream, but you got yourself a family.” It’s this knack for turning his personal worries into universally relatable ones that helps Mayer avoid coming off as too self-absorbed and entitled. It is also this ability that helps him finesse “Paper Doll” from simply being a nasty swipe at rumored onetime paramour Taylor Swift (Swift purportedly wrote the song “Dear John” after being dumped by Mayer) into a superbly crafted and gorgeous song about romancing someone more emotionally vulnerable than yourself. Elsewhere, Mayer delivers a soulful rendition of J.J. Cale’s “Call Me the Breeze” — the most straightforward blues cut on the album — and delves into two synergistic duets, the first with on-and-off girlfriend Katy Perry on “Who You Love” and the second with R&B auteur Frank Ocean on “Wildfire.” That Mayer fails to cite country legend Ernest Tubb as the inspiration for “You’re No One ‘Til Someone Lets You Down,” which basically cribs the melody from Tubb’s “Walking the Floor Over You,” might seem more of an oversight if he hadn’t made it so obvious from the start that he was clearly drawing from the deep well of country music’s past on Paradise Valley. Ultimately, whether it’s Tubb’s honky tonk twang, or the twang of Mayer’s own heart, the sound of Paradise Valley rings true. ~ Matt Collar

Tracklist:
01. Wildfire
02. Dear Marie
03. Waitin’ On The Day
04. Paper Doll
05. Call Me The Breeze
06. Who You Love (feat. Katy Perry) feat. Katy Perry
07. I Will Be Found (Lost At Sea)
08. Wildfire feat. Frank Ocean
09. You’re No One ‘Til Someone Lets You Down
10. Badge And Gun
11. On The Way Home

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