Review Summary: Maroon 5: The Sellout Songs
It's hard to believe that, just a few years ago, Maroon 5 could be considered rock
. Sure, their music always had pop influences, but songs like "She Will Be Loved" or "Harder to Breathe" could easily be dubbed as rock songs. Now, ten years after their debut Songs About Jane
, all of Maroon 5's rock has been stripped, leaving nothing but pop.
After 2011's wildly successful number-one hit "Moves Like Jagger", Maroon 5 realized that success could easily come to them if they just made a straight-out pop song and added a guest singer, Christina Aguilera. Although it may have completely erased all of Maroon 5's rock roots, it saved their third album, Hands All Over
, which didn't sell as well as either of their first two albums. Clearly, a sellout track worked for them, so why not have an entire sellout album?
The entire album is just like "Moves Like Jagger" - pop songs with essentially nothing but Levine on them. Look no further than lead single "Payphone" (which should have came with a b-side entitled "Walkman"). It's a pop song, and no one will doubt it. Levine's nasally vocals dominate the whiny chorus, in which he realizes that "fairy tales are full of shit
". Maroon 5's lyrics have never been their strongest point, but they've never been this bad.
The album's strongest songs are its first two singles: "Payphone" and "One More Night", both of which have catchy verses and hooks. The same can't be said for the rest of the album. Many of the songs are just boring and dull, such as "Beautiful Goodbye" and "Daylight" or just plain unmemorable, like "Doin' Dirt" or "Tickets". Maroon 5 have always had a knack for catchy hooks and memorable choruses, but nothing on this album is memorable besides from the two opening tracks.
Maroon 5's main problem is that they are not Maroon 5 anymore. They have become Adam Levine (and 4 other guys). His vocals have never been impressive to me, but the fact that they based an entire album around Adam Levine's whiny singing is just unforgivable. Maybe they just did it for the popularity, or maybe Levine took over the entire band and forced them to make him the leading band member. I can't find a single damn place in the entire album where Mickey Madden, James Valentine, Matt Flynn or P.J. Morton made anything special. Oh wait, that's because they didn't do anything at all on this album. Maroon 5 have a serious problem going on, and until someone other than Adam Levine does something significant in this band, Maroon will do nothing but gradually go downhill.