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    John Mayer grows up and so does his music

    ‘‘My pulse beats a whole different way now,’’ says John Mayer.
    Victoria Will/Invision/AP
    ‘‘My pulse beats a whole different way now,’’ says John Mayer.

    Sure, John Mayer will likely debut at No. 1 next week with his latest album. But he says ‘‘Paradise Valley’’ marks a new chapter in his career: He’s no longer obsessing about dominating the charts, though his decade-long career has included platinum-plus albums and Top 40 hits.

    ‘‘I’m getting older and people seem to be staying the same age ... so at any moment if someone says, ‘It was really nice having you, just if you don’t mind stepping this way?’ I would go, ‘Oh, I get it. I get it,’’’ he said.

    This attitude is part of Mayer’s new approach on becoming a changed man. He even checks himself when he sees moments of success, like when the music video of his first single, ‘‘Paper Doll,’’ earned millions of views in its first days online.


    ‘‘You think you’re really crushing it and you look at Miley Cyrus’s video and there’s like 46 million,’’ said Mayer, who attended Berklee College of Music, referring to Cyrus’s edgy ‘‘We Can’t Stop,’’ which has racked up 148 million views.

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    In a recent interview, Mayer was as talkative as ever, but seemed to have a new sense of calmness as he discussed how his life has shifted in the last three years. He overcame a throat injury thanks to Botox injections last year, but the injury left him on voice rest for months and sidelined his performances — ‘‘an intense amount of hyperfocus’’ is how he describes it.

    ‘‘I don’t drink really anymore. I warm up before I sing. I warm down,’’ he said. ‘‘I do whatever I can. I don’t want to lose that part of my life again.’’

    His voice isn’t fully recovered, but he was able to record ‘‘Paradise Valley,’’ released Tuesday. The 11-track set, which features girlfriend Katy Perry and R&B singer Frank Ocean, has a cool, light feel that merges pop, country and blues sounds. Mayer wrote some of it — like ‘‘Dear Marie,’’ about his first love — last summer, and newer tracks were added months ago, like the confessional duet with Perry.

    The new album comes one year after ‘‘Born and Raised,’’ though he normally takes longer breaks between albums.


    ‘‘Maybe all the crazy years, the noisy kind of years were just to get to a place where I could have tenure and put a record out,’’ said Mayer.

    The ‘‘crazy years’’ have been well-documented: His famous girlfriends (Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Simpson among them) and infamous breakups; his overshares on Twitter that led him to shut down his account; and his attempts at humor that backfired, including an inflammatory Playboy interview that led him to bolt the spotlight that he once craved so badly.

    Instead of being known for his Grammy-winning artistry — Rolling Stone crowned him one of the contemporary guitar gods — he was becoming known as an unsavory tabloid fixture.

    But he knows he was the root of most of the drama that surrounded him and damaged his image.

    ‘‘My pulse beats a whole different way now. . . . It’s like there’s no possible way I could stay the same human being that I was in 2010,’’ said Mayer.


    He is even empathetic when he sees other celebrities making similar mistakes: ‘‘I look and I see other people who either tripped over that same thought or in the process of being about to trip and I have a lot of understanding for it.’’

    Despite that, Mayer doesn’t plan to be Dr. Phil.

    ‘‘There’s no advice. You couldn’t have given me any advice,’’ he said. ‘‘Those kind of people don’t operate on advice. I didn’t operate on advice.’’