Review: Paradise Valley by John Mayer

Paradise Valley by John MayerParadise Valley is John Mayer playing by the book. After two pop albums and two blues albums, he’s done two Americana albums, this being the second. There’s John being (yes) classy while wearing his heart on his sleeve. There’s John covering another guitar great (in this case, the recently deceased JJ Cale). Hell, for added measure there are random on paper (yet sensible to the ear) collaborations with Katy Perry and Frank Ocean. But compared to Born and Raised, which is too earnest and, therefore, largely forgettable, Paradise Valley seems to be more on the ball. John isn’t trying hard; he’s just going what he does best. “I Will Be Found (Lost At Sea)”, for one, won’t be out of place in his underrated classic Continuum. Perhaps it’s the return to the electric guitar. Perhaps its undergoing vocal surgery. For some reason, the dude feels rejuvenated and back on track. Or maybe it’s because I was afraid of what this’d sound, given what came immediately before, and that album cover… [NB]4/5

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