Whole is better than its parts

Whole is better than its parts

After vocal surgery, John Mayer returned to the studio in good shape to record his sixth folk/country album Paradise Valley - named after a part of the Yellowstone River in the US.

Opener Wildfire - a jolly, playful number - is enjoyable and catchy, and Mayer does an excellent job covering JJ Cale's 1972 song Call Me The Breeze. There's a second short track also called Wildfire - featuring soul singer Frank Ocean - which captures a totally different mood.

I Will Be Found (Lost at Sea) has well-written lyrics and a groove-along rhythm. But Who You Love, the much hyped duet with Katy Perry, is mediocre and frankly a bit boring.

Much attention has been given to Paper Doll, as it is rumoured to be aimed at Taylor Swift, with lyrics like "You're like 22 girls in one" (a sneaky reference to Swift's song 22). "And none of them know what they're running from" is a response to the lyrics of Swift's Dear John: "How I ignored when they said run as fast as you can." But as a single, it is deeply unimpressive. The dull melody doesn't compare to Dear John. And, well, let's not mention the insanely weird music video.

Despite those flaws, Paradise Valley is still very enjoyable. Its laidback, peaceful vibe makes for relaxing listening, making it an excellent choice for rainy days.

YP Rating: 3/5

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