“Paradise Valley” review

John Mecum

John Mayer, one of the most recognizable songwriters of the past ten years, marks another chapter in his ongoing journey of searching for love and learning to love oneself at the same time.

His latest release, entitled “Paradise Valley,” is a folk-styled record that feels like the final fleeting days of summer.

It is a very mellow album, but it still maintains that swagger that helped define who Mayer is today.

The single “Wildfire” captures the fluttering joy of newfound love and the adventurous feeling that comes along with it. Like many songs on the album, in classic Mayer form, it blooms into a full-blown jam at the end.

The album also features guest appearances by Frank Ocean and Katy Perry, who happens to be Mayer’s current romantic interest. This makes for some interesting moments in the song “Who You Love.”

“Paradise Valley” is like a long sunset with the smell of crisp grass. The songs bleed introspection, but with a lighter tone than his previous installment “Born and Raised.”

It features some of his most prolific guitar work to date and yet still has an ability to maintain a peaceful, laid back vibe for the entirety of the album.

Mayer has always had an ingenious ability to paint a vivid picture of where he is in the long walk of life, and “Paradise Valley” is no exception.

The album shows a man who is still getting back to where he belongs, but perhaps with a lighter conscience this time around.