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Albums: August 30, 2013

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John Mayer, Paradise Valley
His personal dealings aside (those hats!), John Mayer’s pretty-as-ever sixth album suffers from an acute case of Nice Guy syndrome. It’s gentle, inviting, even poetic — until it becomes petulant and entitled, as on ”Dear Marie,” where a former teen flame is informed with exquisitely sensitive condescension, ”I got my dream — but you got family.” Worse yet, ”Who You Love,” his duet with current girlfriend Katy Perry, squanders her on one simple verse and some quickie harmonizing. Keep dreaming, pal. C+Nick Catucci

Franz Ferdinand, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
”I’m the king, so give me a crown,” Alex Kapranos commands on the stomping ”Treason! Animals.” with so much confidence, you might be tempted to call him Your Majesty. The Glaswegian dandies’ fourth album reenergizes their hooky, too-clever brand of new wave while upping that louche energy; you won’t know if you want to bed them or slap them, so you’ll probably do both. B+Ray Rahman

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