The elusive Mayer returns with perhaps his most engaging groove yet. Kicking into gear with a soulful up-pitched vocal for a hook, a light and summer-style beat, The Love You Left Behind drives with swagger and possibility – a sense of overcoming, regret followed by strength and progression.
There’s plenty of angst to the verses, the second verse in particular, but thanks to a clever and concise structure no moment remains at the forefront for too long. The song’s hook and even the pre-chorus lean in melodically and rhythmically creative directions. As the artist repeats the statement about watching you cry, strength stands tall, carefree reflection, but then to mix things up you get the contrasting question and heart-ache of how could you do this to me?
The song is loaded with contrast, moments of self-belief juxtaposed by those of anger and resentment. Meanwhile the uplifting lightness of the soundscape, the entrancing groove and colour presented by the beat, all continues to create a strangely accepting, easy going aura, that shows no signs of emotional struggle.
Without any of the conceptual details, Mayer has written a hip hop classic here – a pop crossover that’s easily memorable, and which tips its hat to the sound of the nineties as much as it does contemporary, vlogger-style ambiances. With the underlying sentiments on top, there’s something a little more interesting to the process – a certain realness and truth that lets you build a stronger connection with the artist.
Another step higher for Mayer and a fresh and impressive track to see you through the rest of the summer.
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