Album Review: Maroon 5, “Songs About Jane” (2002)

I remember hearing Maroon 5‘s first single, Harder To Breathe in the summer of 2002. After only one listen, I had the catchy chorus stuck in my head, and I was sure the song was going to be a big hit. All summer long, the song got amazing airplay, and the video seemed to be on VH1 every five minutes. But by the end of summer, the group seemed to have vanished.

Sometime in 2003, Maroon 5 resurfaced with a new hit single, This Love, and subsequently skyrocketed to superstardom. Their videos are heavily rotated on both MTV and VH1, and their singles can be heard on any Top 40 radio station across the nation. And unlike most bands that are out now, I think Maroon 5 actually deserves all the attention they are getting.

Harder To Breathe is the aforementioned first single off the album. The beat and the lyrics are awesome. In the chorus, lead singer Adam Levine sings, “Is there anyone out there?/’Cause it’s getting harder and harder to breathe.” This was the perfect choice for a first single.

Talk about a song being played out! When I first heard This Love, I absolutely loved it, but now I can rarely even listen to it. It seemed like every time I turned on the radio, or MTV, there this song was. I mean, it’s great and all, but I can only hear it so many times before it gets annoying. Anyway, this one’s a bit more “poppy” than Harder, and again, it’s the catchy chorus (“This love has taken its toll on me/She said goodbye too many times before”) that makes it a hit.

Shiver is one of my favorites on the album. The infectious beat immediately draws you in, and the playful and unique lyrics keep you listening. One of my favorite lines are, “You chew me up/You spit me out/Enjoy the taste/I leave in your mouth.” This song is a bit more funkier than some of the others so far, and I think this would be a good candidate for a fourth single. She Will Be Loved is the current, and third single off the album. I think this is such a sweet and romantic song. The lyrics are heartfelt, without being cheesy (“I don’t mind spending everyday/Out on your corner in the pouring rain” and “Tap on my window/Knock on my door/I want make you feel beautiful” are my favorites) and Levine’s vocals are softer here, giving it an even more sentimental feeling.

Adam Levine performing in St. Louis, MO opening night of the Honda Civic Tour.

Meanwhile, Tangled is one of those songs that you really like while listening to it, but later on you can hardly remember how it goes. It’s actually an OK song- again, the beat is great, and Levine’s voice is wonderful to listen to- but it’s quite forgettable in the long run.  The Sun is probably the only song on the album that I don’t particularly care for. I’ve only listened to a few times since I bought the album, so I’m not even sure what it’s about or anything. And unlike Tangled, it’s not even that great while listening to it. The chorus is OK, the lyrics are sub-par, and it comes off as a being boring. It’s a bit of a disappointment.

Must Get Out is another of my favorites off the album. Musically, this song is similar to This Love, as they’re both upbeat and more pop than rock or funk. Lyrically, this song doesn’t have much going on, but I do like the lyrics in the first verse- “I’ve been the needle and the thread/Weaving figure eights and circles ’round your head/I try to laugh, but cry instead/Patiently wait to hear the words you’ve never said.”

I’ve liked Sunday Morning ever since the first listen. It’s another upbeat song, and is just a lot of fun to listen to and to sing along with as well. I don’t know if I’ve put emphasis yet on how much I like Levine’s voice, but I especially like listening to him in this song. He puts a lot of feeling into the words, and kind of brings the song to life. I could see this song being perfect for a movie soundtrack, too.

I’m on the fence with Secret. For one thing, there’s some soft music playing in the beginning, and the actual song doesn’t start until almost a minute into the track, and that’s annoying. But I do like the lyrics here, and the song is yet another one that’s a good listen. I usually listen to Secret, but fast forward a full minute to the actual beginning of the song. Through With You is more of a funk song, and sounds something like Terence Trent D’Arby mixed with Jamarouqui. However, this song does tend to drag on at times, so I’ll usually only listen to it for a minute or two, then skip it.

Not Coming Home was recorded live, which I think is really cool. It’s sounds a lot like Through With You, and even has the same theme going on (which is about Levine or the guys ending a relationship with someone), but it still original enough to stand apart from its predecessor. My favorite lyrics here are, “Go on misuse me and abuse me/I’ll come out stronger in the end.”

The album ends with Sweetest Goodbye,my absolute favorite off the album. The melody starts off very soft- almost like a ballad. Levine comes in, sounding great as usual, and he sings softly with the music. The tempo kicks up by the bridge, and rocks out a bit during the chorus. This song is just great! I love listening to it, and all the lyrics in the song are wonderful. There’s some really good harmonies at the end, too. A great end to the album.

Songs About Jane is a fantastic rock album.  Adam Levine and the rest of Maroon 5 are truly talented musicians, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where they go next.

Rating: 200px-4_stars.svg
Track List
1. Harder to Breathe
2. This Love
3. Shiver
4. She Will Be Loved
5. Tangled
6. The Sun
7. Must Get Out
8. Sunday Morning
9. Secret
10. Through With You
11. Not Coming Home – (live)
12. Sweetest Goodbye

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIjVuRTm-dc]

*This is a brittpinkie “classic” review. I have edited this review for content and formatting, though retained my original opinion of the product.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s