Venture to “Paradise Valley” with John Mayer’s newest album

Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley
Paradise Valley

On Aug 20th, “Paradise Valley,” John Mayer’s newest musical creation, was released.

Although I noted differences between “Paradise Valley” and his previous albums, Mayer’s familiar, serene tone remains the same. If you are looking for soothing music to listen to while studying or falling asleep, this album is for you.

“Paradise Valley” features more guitar instrumentals that Mayer’s previous album, “Born and Raised,” lacked. It does, however, share a country vibe with “Born and Raised” that his older albums, such as “Continuum,” did not have.

Critics received the album positively; many critics commented that “Paradise Valley” is more relaxed than his previous albums.

Randall Roberts, “Los Angeles Times” pop music critic, said, “Eleven songs that hit the mark where last year’s over-wrought ‘Born and Raised’ mostly missed, ‘Paradise Valley’ is a more lyrically restrained and less generically reflective affair. And musically, it’s bigger, more accomplished and more approachable.”

The first track in the album is “Wildfire:” the perfect introduction to a great summer album. This track is impossible not to love.

“Waitin’ On The Day” is a personal favorite of mine. I love the guitar harmonies in this track and could listen to the track on repeat all day.

According to Jon Caramanica, writer for “The New York Times,” this song “is one of the few declarations of domesticity and calm on this album, which includes some of his strongest songwriting.”

The first single to come from this album, “Paper Doll,” independently represents the overall tone of the album.

Due to the intimacy of his lyrics, it is evident that this is a very personal song to Mayer.

The track with the most overt country style, and thus my least favorite track on the album, is “Call Me The Breeze.” The instrumentals are commendable, but it doesn’t live up to the high standards set by the other tracks.

“Paradise Valley” features two guest artists: Katy Perry with an emotional performance of “Who You Love,” and Frank Ocean in a beautiful, soulful rendition of “Wildfire.”

A piano ballad, “I Will Be Found (Lost At Sea),” is not highly appreciated by most critics; however, I have found it to be one of my favorite pieces of the album.

Finally, just as “Wildfire” is the perfect track to kick off the album, “On My Way Home” is the perfect song to conclude the musical vacation of “Paradise Valley.”

As Mayer sings about coming home, he figuratively brings us back to reality from the ether of this incredible album. I give this album an overall rating of 4 out of 5 bear claws.