|John Mayer — Paradise Valley (2013)|
John Mayer — Paradise Valley
♣ John Mayer's multiple personalities have always helped fuel his diverse, sometimes contradictory musical styles. Sensitive storyteller and starlet-bedding studmuffin. Razor-sharp guitar slinger and savvy brand marketer. Mainstream maestro and smug twit. Downhome folkie and heartfelt veterans activist. Mix and match. Seventh album Paradise Valley (August 20) plays all the bases with skilled if familiar finesse, a more electric outing than last year's fine 2012 "comeback" (post vocal surgery, post doofus interview comments) retro folk/rock album Born and Raised but still holding firm to that project's more relaxed feel and timeless appeal. Unlike '09's unfocused if adventurous Battle Studies, the Don Was-produced Valley is relatively safe stylistically but you sense that Mayer's recent Montana retreat serenity translates into a more confident approach. On songs like the loose, lovely and lyrically acidic "Paper Doll" (poor Taylor Swift was so five minutes ago) and the swoonfest duet "Who You Love" with latest "on again" squeeze Katy Perry (click through to stream), Mayer knows he's got aces in his hand -- as he always has -- but now he's looking for just the right time to play them.
Birth name: John Clayton Mayer
Born: October 16, 1977, Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States
Location: Los Angeles, CA ~ Montana
Instruments: Guitar, vocals, omnichord, piano, vibraphone, harmonica, percussion
Notable instruments: Fender Stratocaster, Martin Guitars, Gibson Guitars
Album release: August 19th, 2013
♣ Electric Lady Studios (New York City, New York)
♣ The Village (Los Angeles, California)
♣ Berkeley Street Studio (Santa Monica, California)
♣ Ocean Way Recording (Hollywood, California)
Record Label: Columbia Records / Sony Music
01. Wildfire (4:13)
02. Dear Marie (3:43)
03. Waitin' On The Day (4:32)
04. Paper Doll (4:18)
05. Call Me The Breeze (J.J. Cale) (3:26)
06. Who You Love (John Mayer/Katy Perry; feat K. Perry) (4:11)
07. I Will Be Found (Lost At Sea) (4:03)
08. Wildfire (feat. Franck Ocean) (Christopher Breaux) (1:27)
09. You're No One 'Til Someone Lets You Down (2:46)
10. Badge And Gun (3:13)
11. On The Way Home (3:58)
♣ Sean Hurley — bass, backing vocals (2008–present)
♣ Chuck Leavell — keyboards (2011–present)
♣ Aaron Sterling — drums (2011–present)
♣ Zane Carney — rhythm guitar (2013–present)
Producer: John Mayer, Don Was
♣ Mark Bengtson Assistant, Pro-Tools
♣ Delbert Bowers Assistant
♣ Michael H. Brauer Mixing
♣ Christopher Breaux Composer
♣ J.J. Cale Composer
♣ Zane Carney Guitar
♣ Allen Ditto Engineer
♣ Lisa Fischer Vocals (Background)
♣ Bernard Fowler Vocals (Background)
♣ Paul Franklin Pedal Steel
♣ Chad Franscoviak Engineer
♣ Chris Galland Assistant
♣ Jeff Gartenbaum Assistant
♣ Chris Gott Production Manager
♣ Gary Grant Flugelhorn
♣ David Ryan Harris Vocals (Background)
♣ Jeri Heiden Design
♣ Ken Helie Production Coordination
♣ Dan Higgins Flute, Sax (Tenor)
♣ Sean Hurley Bass
♣ Rami Jaffee Keyboards
♣ Sam Jones Photography
♣ Chuck Leavell Keyboards
♣ Bob Ludwig Mastering
♣ Manny Marroquin Mixing
♣ René Martínez Guitar Technician
♣ John Mayer Composer, Horn, Primary Artist, Producer
♣ Michael McDonald Executive Producer, Management
♣ Hiroki Nakamura Stylist
♣ Frank Ocean Featured Artist, Vocals, Wurlitzer
♣ Chris Owens Assistant
♣ Katy Perry Composer, Featured Artist
♣ Martin Pradler Digital Editing
♣ Bill Reichenbach Trombone (Bass), Trombone (Tenor)
♣ Patrick Spain Assistant
♣ Aaron Sterling Drums, Percussion
♣ Don Was Producer
♣ Larry Williams Flute, Horn, Sax (Tenor)
♣ "Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and musician John Mayer returns with his new album Paradise Valley, which he produced with longtime collaborator Don Was. The first single is the track Paper Doll. This album coincides with John's first US tour in three years, which will hit 40 cities from July 6th through early October."
Associated Press — STEVEN WINE — August 15, 2013
Pretty melodies, not much more from Mayer
♣ Even those of us who have yet to date and break up with John Mayer may find "Paradise Valley" unlikeable. Kids are apt to spend some time with the hummable tunes before moving on to more fulfilling relationships.
♣ Predictably, Mayer's in love-'em-and-leave-'em mode. "Sure was fun being good to you," he sings. And, "I was made to chase the storm." And, "Some nights I throw it all away." On "Who You Love," Katy Perry weighs in, singing, "Some have said his heart's too hard to hold."
♣ Best is the summery "Waiting On the Day," which layers lovely vocal harmonies over a reggae pulse, and "Paper Doll," a gentle shuffle with darting guitars. Elsewhere the songs are slow and slower fizz and froth, and there's nothing here to make us think, laugh or understand Mayer better. The serial celebrity romancer's not leaving any blood on these tracks, which is a missed opportunity because a lot of words rhyme with "Taylor."
♣ Don Was co-produced Mayer's sixth effort, which makes the hodgepodge arrangements a surprising disappointment. There's a bit of flute here, some pedal steel there, and a tiki-bar mood that neuters Mayer's guitar playing, usually his strong suit. On the most bluesy song, the JJ Cale-esque "Call Me the Breeze," Mayer's solo is just building steam when it's oddly interrupted mid-verse.
♣ Mayer can still write a pretty melody and his singing's fine following treatment on his vocal cords. But nearly half of the songs include wordless vocals, probably because on "Paradise Valley" Mayer doesn't have much to say.
♣ The Guardian, Thursday 15 August 2013 21.44 BST
♣ "Own worst enemy" might have been coined for John Mayer, who's sold 20m albums and won multiple Grammys, but has turned himself into tabloid catnip by giving indiscreet interviews about his high-profile girlfriends. Even his current flame gets the innuendo treatment in the album credits, which say: "Thank you in so many ways, Katy Perry." This hasn't stopped Perry from dueting with Mayer on Who You Love, a country-pop amble that's entirely self-serving. She is a drowsy, rootsy presence, claiming: "Some have said his heart's too hard to hold/ You should see him when he shines", while Mayer murmurs his agreement. Elsewhere, the tender vocals contributed to Wildfire by surprise guest Frank Ocean are easily the most striking 85 seconds on the record. But the biggest talking point here will be Paper Doll. Apparently aimed at another ex, Taylor Swift, it's a washed-out ballad that takes the concept of "too much information" to a new level: "Strapped into heels that hurt," he mumbles, "You should have kept my undershirt." Thanks for that. (http://www.theguardian.com/)
♣ Room for Squares (2001)
♣ Heavier Things (2003)
♣ Continuum (2006)
♣ Battle Studies (2009)
♣ Born and Raised (2012)
♣ Paradise Valley (2013)
— Studio albums 6
— Live albums 7
— Compilation albums 3
— EPs 4
— Singles 25
— Video albums 2
— Music videos 17
♣ Paradise Valley, the latest album from Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and musician John Mayer, will be released on August 20, and is available now to pre-order on iTunes.
♣ Mayer produced Paradise Valley with longtime collaborator Don Was, who also co-produced Mayer’s #1 charting Gold-certified 2012 release Born and Raised, and has worked on albums for acts such as the Rolling Stones, B.B. King and Bonnie Raitt.
'Paper Doll,' the first single from Paradise Valley, is available now on iTunes, and the lyric video already has more than 3 million views. People gave the 'bittersweet beauty' 3 1/2 stars and Billboard called it 'a perfectly crafted pop song,' remarking that 'Mayer’s voice has triumphantly returned.'
♣ Mayer kicked off his first tour in three years in Milwaukee on July 6. Rolling Stone reviewed the tour opener, saying that 'Saturday's show may be remembered for its heavy dose of new material and Mayer’s vocal rejuvenation. But in the moment it felt most special because [Mayer] looked thrilled to be back.'
♣ The 40-stop U.S tour continues through early October, with support act Phillip Phillips ('Home,' 'Gone, Gone, Gone') for most U.S. shows. Mayer was also just announced on the lineup for the Global Poverty Project benefit concert in Central Park on September 28.
♣ For the European leg of the tour, singer/songwriter Gabrielle Aplin will be the support act for Mayer in each of the eight sold-out arena shows in Denmark, Holland, Norway and the United Kingdom.
♣ Aplin’s debut album English Rain shot to the top of the UK album chart when it was released in May 2013, and spawned the hit single 'Panic Cord.' Her follow-up single 'Home'is due to be released this month.
♣ Mayer also hits South America for the first time in mid-September. Originally scheduled shows in Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and the Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro sold out quickly. Another Buenos Aires show - September 16 at Luna Park - has just been added.
♣ Mayer is using the U.S. portion of the tour to heighten awareness of and raise funds for our military veterans suffering from the effects of post traumatic stress. One dollar from each tour ticket sold will fund PTS-related programs created by Mayer and the Northern California Institute for Research and Education.
♣ Collectively, Mayer’s previous albums 'Room for Squares, Heavier Things, Continuum, live album Where the Light Is, Battle Studies and Born and Raised' have sold 20 million copies worldwide. During his career, Mayer has garnered seven Grammy Awards and eleven nominations.
♣ Additionally, he has been included in Time Magazine’s annual Time 100 list of the most influential contemporary thinkers, leaders, artists and entertainers, and twice been featured on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine’s annual Guitar issue.
♣ Last year, he was honored in Washington, D.C. by the Recording Academy for his philanthropic work on behalf of both U.S. military veterans and young people interested in music.
|John Mayer — Paradise Valley (2013)|