John Mayer’s singing style seems to vary with every album. The once soft-rock singer has now transformed into a more classical, folk-rock musician. His new album, Paradise Valley embodies this sound, as well as proving that Mayer’s 2012 album Born & Raised was not a one-time endeavor.
As the title indicates, Paradise Valley has a more tranquil, down-to earth mood, allowing me to just close my eyes and relax. After the singer had two throat surgeries, why not slow things down?
The opening number and second single “Wildfire” had a singsong melody that was stuck in my head for days. The song also exemplifies the soft-rock sound that I was used to with older Mayer songs.
On two other tracks in the album, Mayer brought in two big names be featured. Frank Ocean, a frequent collaborator, sang with Mayer in “Wildfire Pt. 2.” Personally this song was not as good as the first because I was so used to the original version, but still was fun to listen to.
Katy Perry, Mayer’s ex, was featured in “Who You Love,” which seemingly tackled any controversy regarding the two’s relationship, and mixed two types of sounds to create a beautiful piece that made me want to listen to it again and again.
His love life again surfaces in the albums lead single “Paper Doll,” which is said to be a response to ex-girlfriend Taylor Swift’s song “Dear John.” However, the catchy tune and style made me forget all about the drama.
This album comes across as a new beginning for Mayer. He has never been known to have emotional songwriting, and now, with his realistic lyrics and occasional moments of wistful melancholy, he finally seems to have let go of the style I am quite bored of. If he keeps up with this kind of style, then he can expect an even greater career.