This is a guest post by Racheli, a capella aficionado turned acoustic appreciator.
John Mayer first started to really appeal to me when I realized that his voice was soothing enough that if I listened to him while maneuvering my way through rush hour to and from the subway I actually remained calm and happy (rather than tense and pissed off, as New Yorkers often are). His guitar skills are incredible, and his live performances are often times even better than his recorded ones. This song, Freefallin’, is great – not only because Tom Petty’s original rocks, but also because of Mayer’s interpretation. Whereas Petty’s version has more of a rock feel to it, Mayer’s has a more soothing and calm affect. The lack of drums changes the tempo of the song, which completely changes the style. I also love the contrast between Petty’s voice and Mayer’s, Mayer’s being the raspy type that I just can’t resist. He also changes up the chorus by leaving out the high A that Petty sings. In fact, one of the guys singing harmony sings that note instead.
The song is pretty chilled out until about 3 minutes in when he really starts the build-up, and then my favorite moment comes at 3:26 when he finally hits that A… magical. I get goosebumps every time. I don’t even compare this to Petty’s original because it’s really its own song – as all great acoustic versions are – and I could listen to this one all day.
To get a better idea of what John Mayer is about (…as if you don’t know already), check out these two tracks from Where the Light Is – Live in Los Angeles.
Check out ‘In your atmosphere (Live)’ from the same album ‘Where the light is’ – Absolutely magical. I love the end where he goes into a kinda different song for a about a minute – ‘Wherever I go…’ Gives me mega goosebumps!