Yesterday, I came out as a Maroon 5 fan at the ripe old age of 55. And, my new found love of the band has NOTHING to due with Adam Levine’s major role on that silly TV singing show on NBC, The Voice. As I have said earlier, I find those shows to be especially contrived with fake drama and writing that appeals to the lowest common denominator which has little to do with musical talent and only audience manipulation. Let’s face that if Jennifer Hudson, an Oscar-winning actress with the most powerful voice this side of Whitney and Mariah, cannot win American Idol, then something is innately wrong with these programs. Throw in the fact that few of these contestants actually have hit songs, then there may be a problem with the shows. Plus, I know for a fact that two-big voiced singers from this area went to an American Idol cattle…er…casting call, only to be sent home because they were NOT sitting in the correct area of the stadium. It’s as though the producers reject fifteen-sixteenths of the potential contestants BEFORE the auditions ever begin.
But, this blog entry is NOT about those stupid shows. No! For I have come to sing the praises of Maroon 5, the latest artist to mine the lucrative field that straddles the pop, rock and R&B worlds so effortlessly that I have place them alongside Fitz & the Tantrums as my heirs to the Daryl Hall & John Oates popmeister throne. What is unique about Maroon 5 is that they have taken the Chic guitar sound and combined it with some rock sounds and hip hop flourishes to concoct a unique and valid pop sound for the 21st century. And, as I said yesterday, where Rob Thomas dropped the ball during the previous decade by making solo albums and walking away, however briefly, from Matchbox 20, left the pop/rock vein wide open for someone to grab the mantle. Briefly, I thought Fitz might take it, but they decided to slow down the fast train of stardom, just as Maroon 5 began to hit their creative stride, especially since Levine apparently learned the Thomas lesson by sticking with his band no matter how many people are telling him to go solo.
Honestly, I thought Maroon 5 was done after their second album, which has aged better than I thought it would since I felt it was a major disappointment upon its release. Then came Levine’s artistic renaissance via The Voice, as he began to learn the advice that he was actually giving his contestants, allowing him to grow as a singer, performer and, most importantly, a songwriter, even though the band has turned toward “song doctors” to help them make hit songs. I really don’t have a problem with this relationship. At least the label is NOT telling the band that their songs are crap, and they need to record other songwriters’ songs, as has happened to a great number of artists, such as Cheap Trick, Heart and Chicago, to list a few.
So, today, I bring you my Top 20 Maroon 5 Songs, which I believe to represent the sound of a band at the top of their collective skills. And, just because many of them have been hits does NOT neglect this band’s talent! Not everyone has to be angst-ridden and noisy when making art. Some musical geniuses actually have hit songs, right Blondie? Well, let’s stop pimping this countdown and just get to it!
- “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt like a Motherf***er” (V, 2014)
- “Moves like Jagger (Feat. Christina Aguilera)” (Hands All Over, 2010)
- “What Lovers Do (Feat. SZA)” (Red Pills Blues, 2017)
- “Sunday Morning” (Songs About Jane, 2004)
- “Girls like You (Feat. Cardi B)” (Red Pills Blues, 2017)
- “Don’t Wanna Know (Feat. Kendrick Lamar)” (Red Pills Blues, 2017)
- “Payphone (Feat. Wiz Khalifa)” (Overexposed, 2012)
- “Sugar” (V, 2014)
- “She Will Be Loved” (Songs About Jane, 2004)
- “Makes Me Wonder” (It Won’t Be Soon Before Now, 2007)
- “If I Never See Your Face” (It Won’t Be Soon Before Now, 2007)
- “Harder to Breathe” (Songs About Jane, 2004)
- “One More Night” (Overexposed, 2012)
- “Misery” (Hands All Over, 2010)
- “Maps” (V, 2014)
- “Daylight” (Overexposed, 2012)
- “Animals” (V, 2014)
- “Wake Up Call” (It Won’t Be Soon Before Now, 2007)
- “Wait” (Red Pills Blues, 2017)
- “Love Somebody” (Overexposed, 2012)
Sure, most of the band’s best songs have been major hits, but when a band has had as many Top 10 songs in their career as Maroon 5 has, then it should be no surprise that their best songs were released for radio play and individual sales.
Don’t take my word for it! Listen to the band’s music and I think you will become a believer. Maroon 5 is a first-rate pop/rock band!