By Alyssa McCord
As one of the first albums I ever purchased with my allowance at the age of 10, John Mayer has remained to be one of the few artists that have really stuck with me all of the way to age 22. Naturally, being a student at Berklee, it’s hard to escape the Born and Raised singer, especially whenever he’s kind enough to stop by our school to lend some words of wisdom as he did in March of 2011. With “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room” and “Gravity” being just two of the most frequently covered Mayer tunes taken on by student ensembles, the transition from Continuum to Born and Raised was one watched very closely by not only the music world, but by Berklee students.
Although the consensus wasn’t solely positive, it seemed as though many students accepted Mayer’s new country-esque vibe with open arms. With slightly more classic-Mayer songs like “A Face To Call Home” and “Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967” making that transition a little easier, songs like “Queen of California” and my personal favorite, “Born and Raised,” were found to be refreshing, all while still maintaining Mayer’s famous (or infamous, some would say) signature depth and charm.
Nevertheless, everyone loves a good comeback. After leaving his fans desperate for three years for a little bit of face time, John Mayer is finally back out on tour, and much to the joy of all of the diehard fans (and those left slightly underwhelmed by Born and Raised), he’s giving us a brand new album to go along with it. Scheduled to release on August 20th, just three days after his upcoming show at Comcast Center on August 17th, Mayer’s sixth studio album Paradise Valley is “Not a Born and Raised ‘plus’ [but] a new group of songs to bring the whole thing up to date with summer 2013,” as the songwriter himself proclaimed in a post on his Tumblr. “I have that hunger that always precedes something meaningful.”
According to a post on Rolling Stone’s website, the new album will feature his apparent on-again-off-again girlfriend Katy Perry and frequent collaborator Frank Ocean, along with already released singles “Wildfire” and “Paper Doll,” in addition to the already stunning partially-released “On The Way Home” (listen to a clip of the song here).
While we obviously take a special interest due to his history with Berklee, it’s safe to say that Paradise Valley will be one of the not-to-miss albums of the year for all of the music world, along with his must-see current tour supporting his latest studio album Born and Raised. With one dollar from each ticket sold benefiting NCIRE’s work supporting returning Veterans, along with the fact that this is his first tour after battling pretty severe case of throat granuloma followed by an inevitable hiatus, we couldn’t be more excited to see Mayer back on the road and giving us exactly what we want: more music.
Dying to check out the new and improved John Mayer for yourself? He’ll be heading into town next weekend on Saturday, August 17th, with opener Phillip Phillips at Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA. This is a show you don’t want to miss, so click here to get your tickets now!