(Un)Covered: Love Yourself

Justin Bieber vs The Maine By | May 18, 2016 at 3:00 PM

“Love Yourself”
Writers: Ed Sheeran, Benjamin Levin, Justin Bieber
Original Release Date: November 9, 2015

Unlike most of my fellow Canadians, I’m not actually a Justin Bieber fan. Mostly I just ignore what he does, but lately it’s been hard to avoid hearing some of his most recent singles, including “Sorry” and the slow jam “Love Yourself”.

I have to admit the lyrics are the rare breed that are capable of both making you laugh and making you think (most likely Ed Sheeran’s influence). On the one hand, it’s funny to hear someone say “my mama don’t like you and she likes everyone”, but at the same time, it’s sad to think of someone who has a hard time connecting with others. Musically, there’s a staccato beat running through the song that is made for head bopping, plus a fun little horn segment that, if it was a little more exuberant, would fit right into a new The 1975 song.

The Maine worked their usual magic when they decided to cover it. Their version seems a little faster than the original, which is interesting because they generally tend to slow down their pop covers (see “As Long as You Love Me and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun). John O’Callaghan’s voice has just as much emotional depth as Bieber’s (maybe more, but I’m just biased), and the guitars in the chorus give the song a more alternative rock feel than the synths in the original.