35 of 44 people found the following review helpful
A guilty pleasure,
This review is from: Paradise Valley (Audio CD)
Christmas came a little early to the Patterson house, with the arrival of a precious gift I've been waiting for all year. I'm not talking about our daughter Amanda's return from the Middle East--though we're grateful for that, too. No, I'm talking about the release of John Mayer's new album, "Paradise Valley".
Since my husband Brad's unspeakable accident, I have been left with certain needs--for companionship, understanding and emotional fulfillment. And who better to supply that than John Mayer? With his pound-puppy eyes, breathy voice, and probing poetry--well, don't get me started! So for Christmas, I decided to treat myself to John's new album.
Now ladies, I'll bet a lot of you feel the same way I do about John Mayer--maybe more than some of you would care to admit! Sad to say, most men just don't get it. I think some of them are downright threatened--as ridiculous as that is. For instance, Brad is an amateur musician, and if it were up to him, he'd provide 100% of my musical entertainment for the rest of my life. But as much as I love our John Denver sing-alongs, sometimes you just want to sit back, press play and enjoy the work of professionals. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about! And that's when I reach for John Mayer.
I know I'm not alone in this. But we gals are often forced to enjoy our John Mayer in secret, in those stolen moments at home. Like the other day, while I was shining our front door's brass handle--tedious work, but not when I do it with John. Or take my dear friend Lizette. She lives with her husband and their three sons on a ranch in Virginia, raising chickens and squash. About the only place she can find to enjoy John is in the chicken coop, as she prepares the family supper. So whether it's me polishing my knob, or Lizette choking her chicken, John Mayer is a pleasure we women have to enjoy alone.
As crazy as it sounds, I actually keep my stash of John Mayer tucked away in the back of a closet. I only have about five albums (including Continuum, which I never get sick of), but Lizette is a fanatic. She's got a box full of all sorts of John Mayer-- live albums, bootlegs, things she downloaded off the internet and even bought used off of Craigslist. Frankly, I think it's excessive. She loves the variety, but if her husband ever finds that box, she's going to have some explaining to do!
Anyway, we are not talking about bootlegs today, ladies. We are talking about John's brand spanking new album, "Paradise Valley". So let's get down to it.
Yes, it's called "Paradise Valley" for a reason. That's a place where John has spent plenty of time, if you know what I'm talking about. I'm referring of course to his ranch in Montana, where he retreats when the pressures of stardom prove too much to bear. The picture on the cover is of him on that ranch, wearing a hat, with his dog. On the back, the dog is wearing the hat! What a wonderful glimpse into life in Paradise Valley. It's like an invitation to spend a whole hour with John Mayer--an invitation I could not resist.
But since buying the record on a quick run into the city, it had been sitting in the back of the closet, unopened, waiting for the right moment. The other day, with Brad off to work and Amanda in therapy, I snuck it out. I felt more than a little naughty as I grabbed that secret CD and settled in for some serious me time.
Now, I have a ritual whenever I listen to a one of John's records for the first time. Before I slide in the CD, I lock the door, draw the blinds and take out a box of Kleenex. That probably sounds totally bananas to you men out there, but I'll bet the ladies can relate!
Then with a trembling finger, I hit play.
Things got off to a frisky start with "Wildfire," a gospel-tinged finger-snapper that had me grinning with anticipation. "You look fine, fine, fine/Put your feet up next to mine/We can watch that water line get higher and higher." I could almost feel John's well-muscled calves and the warm, rising water beneath us, as John's fingers ran playfully up and down his fret board. There was no doubt where this was going.
I felt a little flushed by the start of the next track, "Dear Marie." Suddenly John was serious, pining for a lost love, an unfillable space in his heart that haunts him still. His fingers still worked away, but I could hear the hurt in his voice. This was a man who needed to be cradled, and I could tell pretty soon I'd be reaching for a Kleenex.
The next song, "Waiting on the Day" busted the floodgates wide open. Here John just confesses all his needs and dreams, and gals, I lost it. It was only ten minutes into the album, but my whole body was shaking. I grabbed that tissue box in the nick of time and filled three hankies with my hot, throbbing tears.
Suddenly there was a loud knock on the front door--it was Brad and Amanda! I must have jumped three feet in the air, and had the overwhelming sense that what I was doing was wrong, wrong, wrong--shameful and wrong. The sheer terror of being caught on the couch, in that moment of self-indulgent release, surrounded by balls of used tissues--it's every mom's worst nightmare!
"Just a minute!" I yelled. I threw a magazine over the CD case and stuffed the Kleenex under the couch, then leapt over the coffee table and turned off the stereo just as Brad and Amanda pushed the door open.
"What's going on?" Brad asked, as Amanda glared at me through her mascara.
"Nothing," I said, trying to catch my breath, wondering if I'd wiped all the tears. The two of them stared at me for what felt like an eternity, while I pretended to study the surface of our flawless 85 inch TV. They finally left the room, and I stood there, marveling at how quickly a moment of ecstasy can turn into a bottomless pit of guilt, shame and humiliation.
So that's my review of the first three songs. There are eight more on the album, but I guess we'll all have to wait. After that close call, I have been trying to be "good." But you know us gals--leave us alone in the house with a box of John Mayer, and sooner or later, we'll be at it again. So, ladies, stay tuned!
BTW, the other day Lizette told me she caught her oldest son masturbating to pornography. Isn't that just disgusting?! I swear, sometimes I am so grateful not to have sons.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 21, 2013 2:21:09 AM PST
I have *got* to get this CD. I can't remember the last time anything made me cry like that.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2013 10:53:44 AM PST
James O. Thach says:
You know what? It's actually a really good album. I got it so that I could bust on it, but it turns out John Mayer is quite talented. Which forced me to come up with another way to review it.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2013 9:13:58 AM PST
D. Elacour says:
I think you are one of my favorite people of all time. Or at least my favorite person to write amazon reviews.
Posted on Jan 8, 2014 2:52:11 AM PST
Tracy S M Cowell says:
James O. Thatch, I think yours is the most extraordinary review I have ever encountered...I imagine you will boost Amazon's sales of John Mayer recordings to housewives around the globe through the roof! Move over Bridges of Madison County! The album sounds great and I will purchase it as a belated Christmas gift for my youngest son who is a fan - as am I through his interest. Perhaps I should borrow it when I am home by myself!
Posted on Jan 28, 2014 9:20:36 AM PST
Chrystal Stein says:
I see what you did there with that TV reference. Just when I think you reached the climax of your humor, wait for it...bam! You take us to a whole new level. Thank you, I needed that.
Posted on Feb 7, 2014 12:04:53 PM PST
fancy in the pantsy says:
As a woman, I was born with a valley where I take my pleasure but I never once thought of it in any relation to John Mayer.
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