Following a controversial 2010 interview with Playboy, John Mayer shut himself up, going into a self-imposed media exile. Then nature did its part. In October 2011 the singer/songwriter underwent surgery to remove a granuloma from his vocal cords, and for more than a month afterward his communications were restricted to typing commands on an iPad while his voice healed.
Now fully recovered, Mayer has rebounded with new album, the roots-leaning Paradise Valley, and an accompanying arena tour that swings by the Schottenstein Center this week. If anything, the time away appears to have relaxed the musician, whose polarizing persona (dude has a knack for getting people riled up) has never really surfaced in his normally placid take on guitar-driven pop. Songs like the soul-flecked “Who You Love” and “Wildfire,” which features an assist from singer Frank Ocean, are as comfortably lived in as anything in his catalog. Sure, it’s far from perfect — the treacly ballad “I Will Be Found (Lost at Sea)” could generate some seriously epic sighs — but after a couple relatively silent years fans should be happy to hear just about anything from the singer.
Phillip Phillips opens the show.
Sam Jones photo