#14: JOHN MAYER- "Paradise Valley"
Truth be told, I am as surprised to see this album on my Top 20 as you are. I love the music of John Mayer.... just not the music that most people like. What I love from this talented guitarist is when he gets down and dirty playing Blues. I love it when he is on the stage at Eric Clapton's "Crossroads" benefit concerts, tearing it up with the greatest living Blues legends. I love it when he gathers together with the John Mayer Trio, comprised of Mayer, drummer Steve Jordan, and legendary Welsh bass player (best known for playing on a slew of classic 80's albums), Pino Palladino. It seems that most of this activity took place several years into his career, when Mayer just needed a break from his seemingly sanitized music that was a consistent staple on Pop radio. And then there was the world's fascination with his personal life... who he was seeing, dating and/or cheating on. All of which was not important to the music world, in general.
And then when he hooked up with Katy Perry, I thought all bets were off. Not that I cared about anything but the impact on his music. Then, this album was released. I saw that Katy Perry appeared on it and had lost hope that things would resonate with me the way his album "Continuum" did, still (apart from the Trio and live recordings) my favorite John Mayer album. I did more research and saw that this album was inspired by his new home in Montana, which DID give me a glimmer of hope... enough so that I risked the money on buying the album. From my initial listen, I found the record to be very listenable, honest, and the perfect soundtrack for a road trip to anywhere but here... not that "here" is a bad place for me. I am just lucky enough to be with someone that enjoys a good road trip as much as me... and loves making the music an essential part of our many journeys together.
Because of its overall charm, this album is number 14 of the year. If it had only been about 20 minutes longer...
"Who You Love" feat. Katy Perry
"On The Way Home"