Mayer’s return this month sees the artist aim higher than ever, leading with a quickly engaging soundscape and concept – a smooth and colourful backdrop and beat that perfectly well accompanies the lyrical depth that follows.
Liu Kang undoubtedly sees Mayer at the top of his game. While there are flickers of contemporary hip hop purely for style points, this merely helps draw a broader audience – the vast majority of the track emerges as an alternative anthem, a go-to that rains down with uplifting beauty and melodies that entrance. At the same time, there’s a consistent sense of intention to the song, lyrically and indeed in the passion you can hear throughout the vocals. Whether rapped or sung, the delivery captivates and satisfies.
Mayer represents a level of gratitude on this release, and that appreciation and awareness shines gorgeously in everything from the lightness of the beat, to the lyrical openness, to the soulful vocal style. In the same instance, the song is structurally complex, subtly so but effective nonetheless in holding your interest and affection way past the four minute mark.
A second listen is fairly guaranteed if the genre appeals. Mayer has fused a whole lot of creative influences here, but has done so in a professional and genuine way. A definite highlight from his releases so far and a song well worth tuning in for as the summer months swing into view.
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