Maroon 5 takes no risks with their simulated pop album.
5. CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE (FT. H.E.R.)
H.E.R.’s vocals carry this song (I said what I said).
At first, “Convince Me Otherwise” doesn’t stand out from the rest of the album, especially with its predictable hooks and builds throughout the song. But H.E.R.’s beautifully soothing vocals put the track in the top five for me. Adam Levine acts more as the featured artist in this track, and I’m not mad at it. The rest of the song is ‘eh’ at best, but H.E.R. gets us through it.
4. BUTTON (FT. ANUEL AA & TAINY)
Levine asks for his lover to push his buttons, all while pushing my buttons as I try not to fall asleep.
Produced by Puerto Rican record producer and songwriter, Tainy, “Button” probably has the most energy of the whole album. Anuel AA comes in with a Spanish verse that blends well with the melody. However, it is difficult to get into the song with Levine’s lifeless falsetto bogging down the whole vibe.
3. BEAUTIFUL MISTAKES (ft MEGAN THEE STALLION)
You remember Cardi B and “Girls Like You,” right? Well, they did it to Megan Thee Stallion.
The opening song for the album is honestly a great setup for the rest of the album. The melody and lyrics are simple and feel very mainstream, but that isn’t necessarily unexpected from Maroon 5, as they have made it work for them in previous albums. Megan Thee Stallion’s presence in the song isn’t forced, but it does feel subdued and out of place with the much less lively instrumentals.
2. ONE LIGHT (FT. BANTU)
I listened to this song more than once and kind of enjoyed it.
Zimbabwean pop artist Bantu’s feature is my favorite of the nine on the album. The Afrobeat-lite melody he brings to the table keeps even Levine’s melancholy singing from entirely bringing down the mood of the song. Bantu’s verse is genuinely catchy.
“Lost” is probably the most unique-sounding song on the whole album.
Levine seems to be imitating Billie Eilish’s style of songwriting and production, and though the song still falls short in many areas, the effort does give it easily the spot of the top song on the album. And I applaud him for that because one of my major complaints about this album is that the guest artists seem to be the only thing giving it life, but Levine still managed to make a solo track the best one.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. BEAUTIFUL MISTAKES (FT. MEGAN THEE STALLION) (3/5)
2. LOST (3/5)
3. ECHO (FT. blackbear) (3/5)
4. LOVESICK (2/5)
5. REMEDY (FT. STEVIE NICKS) (2/5)
6. SEASONS (2/5)
7. ONE LIGHT (ft. BANTU) (3/5)
8. CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE (ft. H.E.R.) (3/5)
9. NOBODY’S LOVE 2/5
10. CAN’T LEAVE YOU ALONE (FT. JUICE WRLD) (2/5)
11. MEMORIES (2/5)
12. MEMORIES (REMIX) (FT. NIPSEY HUSSLE & YG) (3/5)
13. BUTTON (FT. ANUEL AA & TAINY) (3/5)
14. LIFESTYLE (FT. JASON DERULO) (2/5)
Maroon 5 may not be known for creating unique tracks or exploring outside of their comfort zone, but we all have to admit that when songs like “She Will Be Loved” and “Payphone” come on the radio, we can’t help but sing along. Maroon 5 is reliable with their sugary lyrics and use of mainstream pop trends. But that’s why we listen to their music. We turn on Maroon 5 when we want a sugar high.
JORDI is a tribute to Jordan Feldstein, the band’s manager who died in 2017. The theme of grief, though, is only thrown in sparsely with sporadic lyrics here and there that seem to cover more broad-stroke grief than anything. The album has no energy, not even the sad kind, to keep you listening. It’s just kinda boring.
The featured artists carry the album, but still, somehow feel like forced placements to help M5 reach as many genres and markets as possible with one album… Except for Stevie Nicks. Stevie Nicks was back-up vocals in her feature and if I hadn’t read with my own eyes that she was in that song, I would never have known she was there. The lack of enthusiasm from Adam Levine only serves to highlight the plastic use of pop trends and hooks that M5 relies on. The songs end up blending together as you’re listening and making for good background noise at best. In the end, JORDI isn’t a bad album. It’s just not a good one.