This Love Has Taken Its Toll: Maroon 5 Fan Turned Hater


Graphic by: Cassie Jeong

By Jackson Twilling

Graphic by: Cassie Jeong

When I first heard Maroon 5 back in the early 2000s, I took almost no interest in the band. I have vague memories of such songs as “This Love” and “She Will Be Loved” playing on the radio, but that’s about it. However, since I rediscovered the band’s 2003 debut “Songs About Jane” a year ago, it has become one of my favorite albums. I’m a devoted classic rock fan, but even among such works as Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors” and Heart’s “Dreamboat Annie,” no other album that I have discovered to date is so consistently good. From guitarist James Valentine’s punctuating riffs in “Harder to Breathe” to singer Adam Levine’s soulful vocals in “Must Get Out,” “Songs About Jane” never ceases to impress. But more recently, I’ve found myself disgusted by the meaningless mainstream music that this once great band has produced.

What exactly took place within the band that caused such a radical change in sound from “Songs About Jane” to their latest release, “Overexposed,” I cannot say. The net effect, however, has been the loss of the iconic sound that drew me to them in the first place. Their once unique combinations of keyboard, guitar and drums, with their jazz and fusion-inspired roots, were replaced by the monotonous thumping of electronic beats and overused synthesizers. What was once a truly remarkable art-producing machine has become just another victim of the mainstream music industry.

Even the very material about which their songs are written seems to be lacking. “Songs About Jane” was filled with emotionally-charged lyrics, often referring to the heartbreak of a dying relationship or the sheer joy of having someone there to wake up next to in the morning. Maroon 5’s more recent songs have consisted of such irrelevant and insignificant filler material that I can’t find any reason for which they were written, outside of simply making money. The fact that Adam Levine’s “got them moves like Jagger,” just doesn’t resonate. Even Justin Bieber has done a better job of finding legitimate songwriting material and conveying emotion in his songs.

While the best days of Maroon 5’s music seem to have passed forever, it’s still easy to pick up a copy of “Songs About Jane” or “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long” (the band’s second album). For those whose only knowledge of Maroon 5 consists of songs about payphones and Rolling Stones members, an awakening beckons within some of the material first produced by this previously fantastic group.