Like many of the band’s later works, “Jordi” is a passing album. However, it does have some good moments.Maroon 5’s latest albums are significantly inferior to their first – not even fans of the band will argue with that. “Jordi,” which was released on June 11, was no exception. However, with all its predictability and secondary nature, the band still managed to record some good tracks with therapeutic royalty free music.
The Longstanding Criticism of Maroon 5’s Music Quality
Criticism of Maroon 5 has long been a commonplace. It seems that only Imagine Dragons and Ed Sheeran have surpassed them in the number of negative reviews and articles. But if ID and Sheeran can be “consoled” by people’s love and crowds of thousands at concerts, then Maroon 5 is not so simple. Exactly five years ago, in June 2016, the musicians gave a concert in Moscow and many viewers were not satisfied – in their opinion, the band, and in particular frontman Adam Levine, did not meet expectations, it was as if they did not try. In 2019, Maroon 5 performed at the Super Bowl and also received a lot of negative feedback for their weak show.
The Impact of Adam Levine’s Extracurricular Activities on Maroon 5’s Music
The decline in the quality of Maroon 5’s music has been talked about for a decade. It was then, in 2011, that season 1 of the local “The Voice” aired on American television, and Adam Levine was among the mentors. He stayed on the lineup until 2019. Sitting on a talent contest jury is a lucrative move from a financial standpoint, but questionable from a creative standpoint. Perhaps this extra employment for Levine has had an impact on Maroon 5’s fortunes and ambitions.
The Commercialization of Maroon 5’s Sound and the Importance of Enjoyable Music
One of the main claims to Maroon 5 is the blatant “commercialization” of the sound. They started with stylish, funky pop music in the spirit of Jamiroquai, but over the years they began to sound more and more sterile and simple. There is even an opinion that Jamiroquai deserved the glory of Maroon 5.
Not everyone can write commercial songs either – otherwise chart beats wouldn’t exist. There’s nothing wrong with simple, predictable music, in general. Most listeners don’t need something complicated and original at all – it’s more important to them that the tracks are enjoyable to listen to. “Memories”, the lead single of “Jordi”, is built entirely on the Pachelbel canon, one of the most hackneyed techniques in pop music. Still, “Memories” is one of the best songs on the album, and it has a strong therapeutic effect. The main problem is that Maroon 5 often don’t try at all and seem to have almost lost interest in what’s going on, and listeners respond in kind. In 2021, Adam Levine’s statement that there are “no more bands in the world” was much more discussed than his new songs. Levine’s words angered many artists, including Haley Williams of Paramore and the musicians of Garbage. Ironically, it’s not even the first time he’s said it: in 2018, the singer said that “rock music doesn’t exist” – for which Slipknot singer Corey Taylor called Levine a “dumbass” and advised him to “go back to the show ‘The Voice.'”
Maroon 5’s Guest Artists and Attempts at Diversity in “Jordi” Album
Still, Maroon 5 does find some interesting solutions. The same 2018 hit “Girls Like You” was criticized for being predictable. It would seem that what could be easier – to invite a rapper with a guest verse to a pop song. Usually a male rapper is invited to a female pop song, but here they did the opposite – the soft Adam Levine called the feisty Cardi B. The same trick was repeated in the new track “Beautiful Mistakes”, recorded with the most fashionable rapper of the 2020s – Megan Thee Stallion.
There are a lot of guest artists on “Jordi” and a lot of different ones. Rappers Juice WRLD, Nipsey Hussle, YG and the same Megan Thee Stallion, Latino stars Anuel AA and Tainy, Nigerian band Bantu, young talented R&B singer H.E.R., Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac… Either it’s a calculation to reach different audiences, or it’s an attempt to make the album more diverse. Probably it’s both: the names Juice WRLD and Nipsey Hussle get attention right away, but replace them with any other rappers – and not much will change in the songs. This isn’t the first time this has happened with Maroon 5: In 2016, they released “Don’t Wanna Know,” recorded with Kendrick Lamar, one of today’s most talented rappers, but his part had little impact on the track.