Red Pill Blues by Maroon 5, the future that never came

In the year of 2002, I came across an album called Songs About Jane the name of the band: Maroon 5, to be honest, it caught my attention for several reasons, it was an album that featured outstanding performances by all members of the band, a singer with a voice not very versatile but original, and interesting topics with details that did not necessarily intend to comply with the commercial rules. Before pleasing everyone, Maroon 5 wanted to please himself. That is the key for a group to stand out, first of all, to satisfy their own needs and feel happy with the result of their effort embodied in the album, the rest will come later. At that time, I thought that the future of the band would be the production of songs with higher quality, that their evolution would be great and that of course, the commercial success would also be part of their reward. I imagined (as I imagine now) that all musicians who struggle with all their might during their adolescence and youth to reach a place in the public's taste, dream that, at the moment when money enters their pockets, the opportunities for refining and for perfecting their style by playing one or several instruments, as well as singing, will open up and you will not lose a single opportunity to grow musically and artistically. Having the time and economic tranquility to listen to more music, take classes within their discipline, expand the repertoire of instruments, gain knowledge to improve the sound you are looking for and relate to innovative recording techniques is pure gold. Enriching yourself individually increases the value of the band. There are great examples of this, and the truth is a reason to give a wide recognition to all those musicians who capture their evolution and love of music, and to their band in each new album they deliver. Of course, every star of Pop and Rock, as well as other musical styles, also looks forward to the moment of success and the arrival of money, for parties and girls, is part of the dream of every young person who wants to make a career in music, but it's not everything. There are those who also dream of social activism and the performance of other artistic expressions and I believe that everything is valid. What I think is reprehensible, is to let the future reach you and you can not show anything better than what you did at the beginning or, worse, show a clear setback in your quality as an artist and make it clear that the only thing that mattered was the commercial success. It's disappointing when you see something like that. I think that is the case with Maroon 5.


That's how disappointing Maroon 5 has been for me. We have witnessed the rise in the image (which has brought him a lot of money) of Adam Levine in completely different things from music or art. His foray into television shows has turned him into anything, except a singer concerned about his art and the band that accompanied him since high school. His success as a handsome boy has not only raised his image to unsuspected levels but has also raised his ego in such a way that everything the band does is overshadowed. I am struck by the apparent conformity of the other members. They seem only part of the scenery that frames the performances or demonstrations of Adam's masculine beauty. There are tracks on this album where you do not really hear a band, it's more a sequencer and the voice of their singer. I suppose they can think that without him they would be nothing, however, I believe that there are examples in the history of music that show that with determination you can continue with the race without the presence of some original members without the occurrence of tragedies. It is evident that the purpose of Adam since he proved to be the group's attraction is to excel above all and with all possible means; before a personality like that, the most recommendable thing is to continue with the race separately and, allow the evolution of the other members of the band that, perhaps, aspire to create something with more value and not concentrate only on achieving commercial success in order to have a life assured. Some have dared to compare this singer and the situation that lives within the band with that of Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones for the magnet that the image of Adam Lavine represents for large audiences, as it has for decades, Mick Jagger. Nothing more false. Mick Jagger has never been distracted in activities other than creating music and making the band shine, while the members of The Rolling Stones shine with their own light, are seen as individuals and, at the same time, as part of a whole when being at the recording studio as well as on the stage. The best example of Adam's bulging ego and the null presence of the musicians is their most recent presentation in the Super Bowl.


I do not always agree with all past time was better, as many assume, however, when listening to the song: "Who I Am" I think it does apply for this case. We listen to the old style that brought fame to Maroon 5 but it sounds tired, ineffective. Although it resorts to the fashion of inviting artists of other styles to dress the song with something of modernity, the truth, nothing happens. There was a time when this style completely refreshed the music scene, but today it just proves to be singing to a few. The album is full of commonplaces and the almost unique appearance of Adam Lavine in the videos accompanying this release, should offend the others who are part of the group.


We arrived at the moment that most people consider the best of the album. An issue that is mounted on the wave of opportunism, endorsing the discourse politically correct and taking advantage of the movement of vindication of women, which by the way, belongs to them. Regardless of the appearance of great women in the video, again, the image that never fails to stand out is that of the singer of the band, making it clear that his ego is bigger than all those who participate there. However, in an astute way, they make sure that the song is always heard with the video in the eyes of whoever wants it because if we do not see it, we will realize that it is a simple song with no musical value at all. This is where we can see that the presence of women in the video, rather than moving consciences, distract from the material we hear. The whole album and the whole band disappoint with their Red Pill Blues.

By: Jorge Diaz

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