April 8, 2004

Test Spin: Maroon 5

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Some things are worth waiting for. Though Maroon 5 debuted their album Songs About Jane in June 2002, it took a year and a half for them to finally get the airplay they deserve. With sometimes intensely sexual lyrics, and a mix of the LA and NY music scenes, Songs About Jane is the first CD to come around in a long time that is worth listening to on repeat.

This is Maroon 5’s first album, but it is not the first effort of most of its members. Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden, and Ryan Dusick have been friends since high school, and released an album under the band name Kara’s Flowers in 1997, only to be dropped by their label after little success. Five years later, Maroon 5 has added a member and found a new sound. Fronted by vocalist/guitarist Levine and backed by the remaining members of Kara’s Flowers and new member Valentine, Maroon 5 blends elements of funk and blues into their alt-rock-based songs.

Levine’s voice is somewhere between Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake, and comes through with an unadorned intensity on “Shiver” “Not Coming Home” and “Sweetest Goodbye.” The first released single, “Harder to Breathe,” was, ironically, written to express the band’s frustrations with finding a hit, and the second single, “This Love,” has proved to be even more memorable. (You know it: “This love has taken its toll on me/ She said good-bye/ Too many times before….”) With all the airplay the band is getting these days, we’ll be hearing a lot more from Maroon 5, which is undoubtedly a good thing.

Archived article by Logan Bromer
Red Letter Daze Staff Writer