The first singles of the album are by far the best songs
Too many at most average tracks
No clear concept
Many of you may remember Maroon 5 from their big hits at the beginning of their career. Others might even know that the Californian band is actually still regularly releasing successful songs. On 11th June 2021, they published a new album. Jordi came to the record stores. Here are my thoughts.
Maroon 5 – About The Artists
Maroon 5 has been founded in Los Angeles. The pop / pop rock band originally went on stage as Kara’s Flowers from 1994 to 2001, which also came with a movement closer to pop music. Quite some original members are still part of the band: Adam Levine (lead vocals, guitar) is the head of the band, Jesse Carmichael was part of the band most of the time in different roles. Ryan Dusick left the band in 2005, Mickey Madden in 2002. James Valentine is part of Maroon 5 from the very beginning, but has not been part of the school band, which has been formed when the band members were 12 years old. Nowadays, the band is a group of six, also featuring Matt Flynn, PJ Morton and Sam Farrar.
Karla’s Flowers releases three albums already. Especially the second release, The Fourth Album (1997), had some quite nice receptions. The Maroon 5 debut, however, was a huge success: the album Songs About Jane topped the charts in Australia, France, New Zealand and was Top 10 in many other places, including their home country and Germany. One of the key drivers was This Love, which was a global success. But also the single She Will Be Loved, released in the same year (2004), was a very successful song and topped the Australian charts, for example. The following album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (2007), was double platinum in the USA and featured a Number One Single in the US and Canada, Makes Me Wonder. So far, there have been six Maroon 5 studio album, the last one being Red Pill Blues (2017), which still has been a platinum one in the States. The first Jordi single, Memories, has already been released in 2019.
Maroon 5 – Jordi – Track by Track
The 14 song deluxe version lasts 43 minutes. There is also a standard version which just includes the first eleven tracks.
1. Beautiful Mistakes (feat. Megan Thee Stallion)
Yes, I have to admit: I am rather that kind of person, who did not follow Maroon 5 too closely during the previous years. Thus, already the first song is surprising me – regardless of the over 150 million streams the track already gained on Spotify before the album release. Maroon 5 opens with a die hard pop song with strong hip-hop elements – not only when Megan Thee Stallion is joining in the middle of the track.
The second song, Lost, is hard to describe to me. A synth pop track with sprinkles of alternative? The song creates a nice atmosphere, but I can’t relate to the song that much.
3. Echo (feat. Blackbear)
For the third track, Maroon 5 are joined by Matthew Tyler Musto – better known as Blackbear. The song Echo is indeed full of echoes in the chorus, which somehow is cool. Overall, the track feels a bit too rigid and put on to me.
I would rate Lovesick as the best song on the album. And that tells a lot – as the track is nothing but a not too thrilling melody, some rhythm and lyrics which are at most average as well. Where is that ease, that genius in telling stories? Where is the good version of Maroon 5?
5. Remedy (feat. Stevie Nicks)
Oh, a new favorite. I was really afraid that they do bad on Stevie Nicks, but the Fleetwood Mac legend gives a nice flavor to the song. The chorus is actually quite good and is driven by nice rhythmic parts. The first song I really can relate to.
I’ve been livin’ it up, try breakin’ me down, I’ll take it back up They’ve been wonderin’ where, wonderin’ what, I stay in the cut Don’t wanna wait in vain, I’m turnin’ the page, I’m learnin’ to trust You’re my starlight and moonshine and burnin’ sun I’ve been livin’ it up, try breakin’ me down, I’ll take it back up They’ve been wonderin’ where, wonderin’ what, I stay in the cut Don’t wanna wait in vain, I’m turnin’ the page, I’m learnin’ to love You’re my starlight and moonshine and burnin’ sun
Seasons is finally a hip-hop track with electronic elements. The electronic sound of the track is actually not that bad. Adam Levine does not feel right to me in that genre. He is not bad in spoken word vocals – but “not bad” is just not what I expect of a Maroon 5 album. These guys are that talented, they deserve more – and I also demand more.
7. One Light (feat. Bantu)
One Light with Afrobeat artist Bantu is actually coming with a quite nice groove. The guest musician is adding quite some value – bad luck that he is majorly taking over this role in the second part of the track.
8. Convince Me Otherwise (feat. H.E.R.)
H.E.R. is a R&B singer – and in fact, her voice is giving a very nice blending to this eighth song of the album. She is taking over major parts of the track and thereby seems to motivate Levine to sing with her. The result is a good listen. Bad luck that they don’t do it that simple more often on this album.
9. Nobody’s Love
Of course, any band is taking a development during its history, going for other sounds. I feel if the electronic and pop-alike trend of Maroon 5 would have produced more songs like Nobody’s Love, I would enjoy their sound much more. Still, the song has a certain monotony and does additionally not feature complex lyrics. But it is somehow an enjoyable listen.
10. Can’t Leave You Alone (feat. Juice Wrld)
I just can’t leave you alone We keep goin’ back and forth, oh Why can’t you just tell me how you’re feelin’? Why can’t you admit it? I told you everything about me I just can’t leave you alone We keep coming back for more, oh Why can’t you just tell me how you’re feelin’? Why can’t you admit it? I told you everything about me
The tenth track (I saw different song orders for this album – so don’t be confused) is a pop song with a strong R&B touch. Nice rhythm, fine groove in the chorus – but overall, it is too simple, too thin.
Memories was a quite amazing sale when the song has been released in 2019. Five million global sales is not too bad nowadays (triple platinum in USA, among other honors). The song is melodic. To me, the best song on the album. Maybe because it is very different from other songs on the album.
12. Memories (Remix) (feat. Nipsey Hussle & YG)
Better safe then sorry: Maroon 5 try it again with a remix version of the song. Please mention any material difference to the original recording in the comments section – to me, this double-recording is kind of ridiculous.
13. Button (feat. Anuel AA & Tainy)
If you mix rap, pop and then add some reggae, you are quite close to Button. Singing in different languages gives some thrilling touch.
14. Lifestyle (with Jason Derulo)
Jason Derulo released this song in January 2021. It is a bit of surprising that this track makes it on a Maroon 5 album now. Or maybe it isn’t. I just struggle to see a promising concept in Jordi – so why not trying out something, which could work out somehow.
Maroon 5 – Jordi – Spotify
Here is Jordi on Spotify:
Maroon 5 – Jordi – My View
Not too surprisingly, I struggle with this album. One reason is that I too much think about the great songs the band recorded during the early years of their career. You may call it unfair. They need to develop their style over two decades. But the level of talent these guys already proofed long, long ago is simply not reflected in this album. Too few highlights and finally too many songs which are in the average range. Disappointing.