Featured Album

WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through live performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

Folk Radio

Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.
Listen Live

John Mayer - Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley picks up where John Mayer’s Born And Raised left off; on the breezy, soft rock and acoustic side of the singer-songwriter street. The Don Was produced album is Mayer’s sixth studio release. Tender and yielding, melodically infectious, and deftly performed, the eleven-song collection is also a somewhat country-flavored affair.

At the heart of the appeal of Paradise Valley is the excellent musicianship and some of the strongest songs Mayer has written. What you may miss in Mayer’s rocket power electric guitar playing is more than made up with exquisite musical detail; from the pedal steel guitar playing on “You’re No One ‘Til Someone Lets You Down,” and the melodicism of Mayer’s playing on “Wildfire,” to the bluesy riffs he spits out on a cover of JJ Cale’s “Call Me The Breeze,” the songs are skillfully arranged and played. Songs like “Waitin’ On The Day,” and “I Will Be Found (Lost At Sea)” may be unassuming however they are heartfelt and gorgeous.

The album features a pair of high profile collaborations. Frank Ocean, who returns the favor of having Mayer play on Ocean’s Channel Orange, sings on “Wildfire.” At a minute and 28 seconds though, it’s too short. As usual, Ocean sounds fantastic and Mayer’s harmonies with him work well together. “Who You Love” – Mayer’s duet with his girlfriend Katy Perry - may be critically written off by some as a contrite and schmaltzy song, but it’s a classic “soft-pop” song.

On Paradise Valley, John Mayer has settled and matured more comfortably into the soft side of his voice and songwriting that began on Born And Raised. Lyrically, he’s still soul searching yet with increasing optimism. Here’s hoping though, his next outing will center him back a bit towards the more upbeat and energetic songs he’s equally gifted at writing and performing.
Released: August 20, 2013 on Columbia
Review by Bruce Warren August 19, 2013

LISTEN to "Wildfire" from John Mayer's just released Album!



Another Way to Support WXPN

Buy Paradise Valley at Amazon.com. Your purchase that starts here supports WXPN public radio.


Your Amazon Purchases Support WXPN

Singer-songwriter Abi Reimold celebrates her record release this Saturday at Hong Kong Garden

Philly-based songstress Abi Reimold – also a photographer and occasional contributor to The Key – will celebrate the...Read More

DRGN King, Family Vacation, Big Tusk, Ghost Gum and more scheduled to play show on Record Store Day at Vinyl Redemption...

If you were already having a hard time planning out how you were going to celebrate Record Store Day on April 19, things just got a...Read More

Redbull’s Sound Select pairs Philly artists Embarker and Chris Forsyth with Oneohtrix Point Never

Redbull’s Sound Select monthly feature, showcases local artists across the country is bringing some additional recognition to...Read More

The Key Studio Sessions: Elegant Animals

Philly’s Elegant Animals are five musicians with an adventurous spirit that transcends genres. You could call them an electronic...Read More

66th annual Pastorius Park Concert lineup announced with Hezekiah Jones, The Lawsuits, Mutlu and...

The 2014 Pastorius Park Concert series has been announed, starting Wednesday, June 18th with Hezekiah Jones. The weekly Wednesday...Read More