Maroon 5: Red Pill Blues Album Review
Maroon 5’s sixth album, “Red Pill Blues,” containing exciting duets and collaborations from SZA, Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky and LunchMoney Lewis might just be a promising album to continual fans. Earlier this year, on an interview with "On Air With Ryan Seacrest", lead vocalist Adam Levine stated: “Look since I was 20, I’ve always wanted to make an R&B record. And I will tell you it [the album] is starting to lean more in that direction,” explained Levine.. Changing up the genre might seem challenging, but with Maroon 5’s chameleon-like character, they may definitely be able to transition into a different genre with ease.
Starting the record off with “Best 4 U”, a rather repetitive, yet likable track due to Levine's sweet tone and the mellow sound of the song. . The instrumentals, such as the minor synths and electric guitar are that reminiscent to some of Bruno Mar's most recent tracks off his latest album, "24K Magic". As an album opener, this particular song did not fit that expectation of an album opener, especially when compared to previous Maroon 5 records. For their 2014 release "V", they start off with "Maps", a successful single, and for "Overexposed", their 2012 release, they begin with the chart-topping single "One More Night". "Best 4 U" sets the bar at an average holds the potential to being a popular radio track in the future.
Track two, “What Lovers Do” is a track infused with a deep bass and a resonated guitar riff . SZA’s sultry vocals, combined with Adam’s own, and the peculiar array of instrumentals make for a cheerful, eerie track. Other standout tracks are “Who I Am,” featuring LunchMoney Lewis, which showcases the band in an earthier, laid back ambiance with the help of synths and a few guitar strings.
The eleven-minute track “Closure” has an interesting structure. It starts and ends like a regular three-minute song, but instead of ending entirely, continues playing instrumentals solely for the remaining eight minutes, seeming most fit for a relaxing background setting. Apart from “Wait” and “Don’t Wanna Know,” the rest of the songs feel emerged in the soft rock, sounding slightly similar to each other.
Lyrically speaking, the album varies from talking about a romantic, sensual moment with a loved one in “Lips on You,” to talking about missing a girl with a denim jacket on the track titled “Denim Jacket.” Despite having its ups and downs throughout the album in terms of lyrical content is . Bringing some of the biggest names in hip-hop, r&b and pop is definitely a strategic marketing move, which has the opportunity to attract a wider audience.
From the beginning of their careers, Maroon 5 have proved themselves to develop musical growth with every album release. In the span of their careers, Maroon 5 have spawned 3 number 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, and their most successful albums, such as "Songs About Jane", "Overexposed", "V" have achieved platinum status or better. "Red Pill Blues" is set to withhold Maroon 5's prolonged mainstream success, especially with help of the popular singles "I Don't Wanna Know" and "What Lovers Do".They tend to change genres, explore and more importantly, experiment with new sounds. Despite the expected musical growth, “Red Pill Blues” falls short. Not only is the album a setback from their prior album “V,” it is forgettable due to predominantly lumpish lyrics, and decent but not astonishing production. For an album that was over two years in the making, “Red Pill Blues” leaves me hoping the next one is much better.