Friday, August 16, 2013
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: JOHN MAYER - PARADISE VALLEY
More and more, Mayer seems to have adopted the Clapton path, occasionally breaking out the blues stuff with his trio, but saving the solo albums for radio fans. The guitar licks here are all tasteful, and he's even covered E.C.'s favourite, J.J. Cale, on a version of Call Me The Breeze. It's about the most upbeat thing here, still only a shuffle. Do we really need a younger Clapton? Well, why not I suppose, there's no denying these are catchy little numbers. It leaves one wondering where the big songs are though, with everything ear-pleasing but hardly epic.
He has a shot at country (You're No One 'Til Someone Let's You Down), a couple of acoustic folk numbers, and two different songs called Wildfire, one a hand-clap summer party number, the other a quiet, short ballad sung by buddy Frank Ocean. The first version, which opens the album, is the best thing here, with an infectious beat and sweet guitar, and will certainly have the amphitheaters groovin', but still in a restrained way. It seems Paradise Valley is a quiet spot, filled with nature. I think he needs to drive into the city a bit more.