Say what you will about John Mayer, but there’s no denying the guy’s deep appreciation for his craft. Hear him talk, and it becomes obvious that he’s something of a deconstructionist: someone that values all the little intricacies and different variables involved in the making of a great song.
Mayer doesn’t play hard and fast in regards to what constitutes a “great” song either. While he himself has become less of a dominant radio presence in recent years, he’s hasn’t been shy about championing the genius behind massive pop hits like “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky.”
Taken together, it starts to make sense why Mayer would bust out his own spin on Beyoncé’s “XO” during his live shows, a cover which has now rightfully gotten the studio treatment. No one can out-Beyoncé Beyoncé, and Mayer’s too clever to try. If the original is an instant mood lifter, Mayer’s acoustic take is beautifully restrained, enough to slow everything around you to a standstill. Accompanied by his guitar and some folksy harmonica, it’s the sound of an artist very much comfortable in their own skin.