Album Review: Maroon 5 – Red Pill Blues
Listening to the 11-minute smooth funk jam of album finale Closure, it’s hard not to admire Maroon 5’s commitment to a good time. Ever since the sunny This Love and the ubiquitous Moves Like Jagger, Maroon 5 have surfed a wave of good feeling to commercial and Grammy-winning success. Buoyed by frontman Adam Levine’s successful stint on The Voice, the band’s approachable and upbeat brand of blue-eyed soul remains as popular as ever. On album number six, Maroon 5 mix a blend of upbeat, easy listening, and mellow jams that will no doubt please their existing fanbase.
First single Don’t Wanna Know (feat. Kendrick Lamar) has all the hallmarks of another Maroon 5 hit. Levine does heartbroken, while Lamar does bitter – “Do he do you like this, do he woo you like this? / Do he lay it down for you, touch your poona like this?”.
The band recruit A$AP Rocky for the mellow Whiskey, which finds Levine trying and failing to forget an ex – “I never knew that love was blind / ‘Til I was hers, but she was never mine”. It’s not all heartbreak, though. Levine and co. get seductive on the spacey Lips On You, a sultry slow-dancer for young professionals in neon-lit city nightclubs.
Sensing a theme here? It’s true that this album doesn’t resemble a sea change for the band, alternating between their twin themes of heartbreak and seduction. The album remains true to the Maroon 5 brand of melodic, stylish neo-soul. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.