“But if you give me just one night/ You’re gonna see me in a new light.” So sings John Mayer on his new single, and the production credit indeed seems designed to change your perspective: Behind the boards is No I.D., the hip-hop producer known for mentoring Kanye West, helping launch Common, and working with Jay-Z and Vince Staples on genius album-length collaborations. Learning that he teamed up with Mayer is not a shocker worthy of cardiac arrest, but it’s definitely a surprise.
So, does “New Light” achieve its intended purpose? Not really. It doesn’t even sound any different from your average John Mayer song: a brisk and moody little soft-rock ditty with slightly funkier guitar flourishes than usual. I guess when the bridge hits there’s a little extra rhythmic action, too, but mostly this would fit right in on The Search For Everything, Mayer’s attempt at a pop comeback from a year ago. If you dig the guy’s music, you will probably dig this too, but don’t expect it to change any haters’ minds.
Hear “New Light” below, where you can also watch Mayer’s new interview with Zane Lowe, in which he begins by calling Shawn Mendes “a better version of me” and admitting, “I’ve retired from a certain type of ambition.”