Maroon 5 - Red Pill Blues Album Review
Maroon 5 has done a tremendously annoying job of keeping their sound and music on the radio, in the television and stuck in your heads for almost 16 years now. It is not very well known that this band has actually been together for almost 25 years, known at the time of their formation as Kara’s Flowers. They have tried every sound, mimicked every genre; from funk, to soul, to R&B, to the all too familiar pop-rock sound they have branded themselves with. Their sixth studio album as Maroon 5 was released on Nov. 3, 2017 titled Red Pill Blues, a reference to the science fiction movie The Matrix. The album features several different artists, including SZA, Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky being the most recognizable.
While the album has gained mainly mixed & positive reviews from critics, this album features nothing out of the ordinary from the band and doesn’t branch out and experiment from the headache-inducing sounds of upbeat synthesizers and electronic percussion that seem to be prominent in every Maroon 5 album. It’s easy to overlook and excuse poor and irritating instrumentals if they are accompanied by thought-provoking, intellectual, good lyrics, but it seems like Maroon 5 can’t seem to find a balance between the two.
The album begins with the song “Best 4 U” and the mundane beat that everybody knows. It’s intriguing at first, but once Adams Levine’s vocals provide the repetitive lyrics about a party boy warning his girlfriend he’s not what she wants - which is in some way foreshadowing listeners for the rest of the album - it gets boring and exhausting.
With this repetitive & draining nature beginning the album, listeners may hope that they are in for something different with the next song featuring SZA. Maybe she’ll save the band and put forth an amazing new vibe for the rest of the album! Maybe not. The song, which was released as a single titled “What lovers do” repeats the exact same hook, chorus and refrain for the entire three and a half minute song.
And it doesn’t end there. The song following that, titled “Wait,” after the first verse, repeats the same chorus, hook and refrain for the song’s entirety. And before you know it, the album is over and you’ve spent one hour out of your life listening to Adam Levine sing the exact same thing with a familiar beat and track in the background, with lyrics that are less than creative.
Now, granted, this album is fun. It’s catchy and light hearted. All pop albums are. But it’s fun in the sense that you’re at a party and don’t need to pay attention to the lyrics and in the sense that you’re getting ready to go out with your friends and want to forget about your week filled with exams and homework. It’s not mature, not developed or dignified and it didn’t take the path listeners were hoping the band would.
Lilly Adams is a freshman majoring in film/video. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Sophomore / Film/Video Studies