John Mayer-Paradise Valley (Full Album Stream)

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Paper Doll was a great jump-off point for this album, and with its release only a week away, Mayer lets the full LP out for your streaming enjoyment.

His previous album, Born and Raised, was a little disappointing in honesty and certainly didn’t match the quality of the two albums prior to that. The aforementioned single provided more than a glimmer of hope for this one, whilst an appearance from Frank Ocean also offers plenty of promise, and for those of a mushy nature there’s even a collaboration with his on-again off-again female companion Katy Perry. Always a confident move letting your album out a week early, and you can head below to stream the LP on iTunes before your purchasing decision next week.

John Mayer-Paradise Valley

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John Mayer-Paper Doll

Whilst I didn’t particularly enjoy his Born and Raised album, the Battle Studies LP that came before it was a definite winner, and it’s on that basis that I’ve given his newest single a go.

Taken from his upcoming Paradise Valley album, this is one that should appeal to those with a similar opinion on his back catalogue. The production is built on a gentle blend of guitar plucks, with several individual strums working both in tandem and in contrast to create a layered yet rather minimal backdrop, supported occasionally by soft, barely-there synth work and easygoing percussion. The sound is completely mellow, and hence it’s a perfect fit for Mayer’s naturally-relaxing vocals, which once again manage to pack plenty of emotion in without sacrificing the overall vibe of the track; the overall blend of vocals and production is weighted nice and evenly throughout, and creates what is uncomplicated, easy listening that’s smooth and consistent throughout.

A good addition to a laidback summer playlist that you can get on iTunes now. Look out for the Paradise Valley album on 13th August.

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Frank Ocean-Channel Orange (Full Album Stream)

Anticipated doesn’t even begin to describe it. Frank’s album has long been the talk of the industry, and with it being officially released next Tuesday, he took to his Tumblr to let loose of an official stream of the album.

I’ve always viewed artists making full LP streams available as a confident move, and for the relatively humble Frank Ocean to drop this off early suggests he’s got full belief in his body of work here. Not only that, but it’s generally clever: many people that illegally download albums do so as a ‘sampler’, so they know whether to go out and buy the CD, and this almost removes that first step.

I’ll drop off a full album review in the coming days, but one very quick playthrough suggests none of us will be disappointed with this, and the classic (too early?) Frank Ocean formula is in full effect. I’d like to avoid any more premature hype and such so I’ll not comment too much on the individual quality of the tracks, and frankly you can do it yourself with the stream available in this very post, and a comments section below should you be so inclined.

The album has been given an early US and UK iTunes release today, ahead of the official CD release next Tuesday. You can pick it up here if you can’t wait for that CD release (or just want both!).

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Frank Ocean-Channel Orange Artwork and Tracklist


One of the most anticipated projects of the year, and the artwork and tracklist for Frank Ocean’s debut album were revealed late last night.

The artwork is pretty minimal, in keeping with Frank’s generally unfussy nature, and whilst it probably won’t inspire any artistic visions, it will certainly catch the attention of shoppers when sitting on the shelves.

The tracklist contains a few tracks Frank fans will recognise, including the much-loved Thinkin Bout You, the recently-released Pyramids, and a new version of White, his solo effort on the recent Odd Future Tape Vol. 2, that features John Mayer. The other features on the album are both noteworthy, as Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt and the legendary Andre 3000 join up with Frank to offer a helping hand. One notable is how many of the track titles seem to be related to those around them (5, 6 and 7 for example), and I hope that leads to some storytelling theme across the album. Click below to see the full 17-track list.
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John Mayer-Edge of Desire Video

Mayer is churning these out pretty quickly. One of the more popular tracks from Battle Studies gets visual aid, and it’s another live-based effort.

I think I prefer this video (not the song though) to the Heartbreak Warfare video as it’s not just a live performance, but other bits from the tour too. Worth a watch.

Check out the audio for an acoustic version of this track here.

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John Mayer-Heartbreak Warfare Video

Probably the best track from Battle Studies gets some video time. Given that the track is awesome, I’d hoped for a little more than a live performance video, but I’ll take it (although the audio for the song is the album audio, and not that of the live gig).

If you want to watch him perform this live, click here for a performance from February. You can also get the audio at that link if you don’t already have it.

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Rhymefest and John Mayer-Letter Video

Haven’t watched this yet due to a rather important football (soccer for you Americans) game going on right now. However, it’s halftime so I won’t hold it back from those of you who aren’t watching it.

Looking forward to checking this out though, and you can grab the audio/the full mixtape here.

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Bishop Lamont and John Mayer


Any hip-hop collaboration with John Mayer is always awesome, and this is certainly no exception to that rule.

Bishop Lamont brings some personal lyrics to this one, a marked change to his usual content, and it’s pretty good stuff. Nice stories told throughout, and definitely a good display of ability. John Mayer’s hook is awesome as you’d expect, and makes this track very good. One of the better songs I’ve heard recently, and one everyone really needs to check out.

Bishop Lamont-Gone ft. John Mayer

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Rhymefest (and John Mayer)-Letter


Remember Wale’s absolutely awesome track, Letter? With John Mayer on the hook? Yeah you do.

This has the exact same hook, and appears to be destined for Rhymefest’s upcoming El Che album, and will definitely appear on his upcoming mixtape. The production has changed, and I’m not sure if it’s better than the Wale version in that sense, but the verses are just as good and this is definitely one worth checking out if you liked the previous version.

Rhymefest-Letter

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J. Cole Raps Over Common’s Go


Fresh off the grill. J. Cole gives us some great bars over the Common/John Mayer classic, timestamping this track with some Valentine’s Day/NBA All-Star game references. Another nice Cole joint, and I could do with a new mixtape from the dude -it’s been too long!

J. Cole-Knock On Wood

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John Mayer-Heartbreak Warfare

I honestly and truthfully completely love this song. It was one of my favourite songs of 2009, and I still play it all the time.

Mayer performs it really well, and I’m surprised at how well everything sounds in this performance. It’s in glorious HD too, so it’s a treat for nearly all of the senses. Be sure to do your ears more favours and grab the .mp3 of the original. Fans of alternative and/or mellow music need this.

You’re here to be eclectic, not narrow.

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Ajay-182's Best of '09


In what can best be described as a fitting coincidence given the retrospective nature of this particular post, 2009 was very much a year of hindsight. I rediscovered artists I’d neglected, I discovered artists who I’d simply ignored, but most importantly I began to see the fundamental flaw in my appreciation of music (especially hip-hop) and how I probably got it wrong.

Don’t make the same mistakes. Click on to grab some unmissable tracks, and of course my discoveries from the year gone by. I’ve thrown in a couple of lists too, as I know some of you can’t deal with excess reading.

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Music

young-jeezyg
A phenomenally original post title for this collection of new music. New stuff from John Mayer, Game, Jamie Foxx/Justin Timberlake and much more from loads of big names after the click.

I need to stop having to resort to multiple track-filled posts and post this sh*t up when I get it, like I used to. Bad habits eh?

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Some (Very) Brief Album Reviews

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Firstly, apologies for the quiet day on here. I’m having some issues with the back-end of things, and it’s going a lot slower than usual. Hopefully, normal service will resume in the next hour or so.

Right, onto this post: I get through a lot of albums weekly, and unfortunately just don’t have the time to do as many reviews as I’d like. They take a huge amount of time, which is pretty hard to come by. Don’t fret though, as I will have some coming up very soon (the assignments are nearly done!) and to tie you over I’ve written some mini-reviews on albums I’ve given a spin recently. Click below to swarm yourself in my warped opinions.

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October Summary

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Better late than never eh?

October definitely renewed my faith in music, after a September which was heavily reliant on 3 major album releases. Click below for my musings on the month, and as per last month, my favourite albums/songs from the last 31 days.

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Wale and John Mayer

Wale+stage
How has this not made the album? Wale just let loose of this collabo which was cut from Attention: Deficit. It’s a fantastic track, and in keeping with the quality of music that Wale keeps dropping. The beat is relaxed, Mayer’s hook is drifty and memorable, and Wale’s raps are on point. He comes on a more conscious tip than other recent stuff, and it’s always a lane he does well in.

If all of these great tracks aren’t making the album, the album must be absolutely classic.

Wale-Letter Ft. John Mayer

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