[NEW RELEASES]Paradise Valley
Predictably, Mayer’s in love-’em-and-leave-’em mode. “Sure was fun being good to you,” he sings. And, “I was made to chase the storm.” And, “Some nights I throw it all away.” On “Who You Love,” Katy Perry weighs in, singing, “Some have said his heart’s too hard to hold.”
Best is the summery “Waiting on the Day,” which layers lovely vocal harmonies over a reggae pulse, and “Paper Doll,” a gentle shuffle with darting guitars. Elsewhere, the songs are slow and slower fizz and froth, and there’s nothing here to make us understand Mayer better. The serial celebrity romancer’s not leaving any blood on these tracks, which is a missed chance because many words rhyme with “Taylor.”
Mayer can still write a pretty melody and his singing’s fine after treatment on his vocal cords. But nearly half of the songs include wordless vocals, probably because on “Paradise Valley” Mayer doesn’t have much to say.