Pop & Hiss

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Michael Jackson memorial: John Mayer performs 'Human Nature'

July 7, 2009 | 12:10 pm


Pop & Hiss brings you quick thoughts on some of the main performances at today's Michael Jackson memorial.

What: John Mayer's 'Human Nature.'

Ann Powers is inside the Staples Center, and her first thought at Mayer's performance: "I don't know why John Mayer is here. Was Slash not available?"

Mayer went for a stylish guitar interpretation. It was vocal-less until about halfway through, when a choir sang the lyrics above a whisper. It's easy to take a jab at Mayer here, with his exaggerated, pained expressions and Sunday brunch-safe interpretation, but in this setting it was soft and respectable. Although there's no need to hear it beyond Tuesday afternoon.

Powers is a bit more kind, noting that the take is "reasonably tasteful," although she adds that the crowd singalong that organizers may have hoped for didn't develop.

— Ann Powers and Todd Martens

Photo credit: EPA