Maroon 5 infuses old sound with funk on latest album

By ALEX MASS
On November 6, 2017

Album artwork courtesy of Wikipedia

Maroon 5 has been producing hit songs since 2002. Every album they have released for their dedicated fans has gone platinum; some have even gone multiplatinum. The group has come a long way since one of their earliest songs, “She Will Be Loved,” touched the hearts of many. Even now, with their sixth album out, their music continues to rise on the charts. Their latest album, “Red Pill Blues,” consists of a 15-song electronic blend that is unlike any other music they have released before.

The album starts off with the track “Best 4 U.” The smooth rhythm brings the listener back to an older, ‘70s vibe. This continues throughout the album with similar songs to follow.

The album’s lead single, “What Lovers Do,” establishes the tone for what is to come in regards to this album’s sound. The song features the up-and-coming R&B singer-songwriter SZA, whose R&B influences are found across the album. She is one of six collaborators that are featured on the album.

The song “Wait” is a ballad-like song that includes electronic music and a melancholy mood. This moody relationship based song is the classic Maroon 5 sound listeners would recognize but with a twist. Similar songs on the album, like “Plastic Rose” and “Lips On You,” have the same mellow vibe. The song “Lips On You” was co-written by the well-known Charlie Puth. Listeners can hear Puth’s influence on this track because it’s similar to his own songs.

Another major rising artist Maroon 5 collaborated with was Julia Michaels, who is featured on the song “Help Me Out.” They also get help from Diplo, who co-produced the song. The artists that are incorporated on this track help to offer a unique sound. Other songs that have some major artist features are “Who I Am” and “Whiskey.”

Further songs on the album like “Bet My Heart” and “Girls Like You” combine the fluid electric sound with a newer acoustic tone.

However, the longest and most powerful track has to be “Closure.” It is the heart of “Red Pill Blues” and captures the theme of the album like no other song they have released.  It is 11 minutes of emotionally driven lyrics with a funk undertone. Another jazz-funk inspired song listeners can find on this album is “Visions.”

Although their sound has transformed since their earlier days, songs like “Denim Jacket” show that they still find a way to incorporate their past into the future.

The album finishes off with two major songs that climbed the top 40 as soon as they were released pre-album. These songs both feature major hip-hop and rap artists that make Maroon 5 more current than ever. “Don’t Wanna Know” and “Cold” are the perfect closing songs to a new era of funk for Maroon 5. 

 

amass@ramapo.edu

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