The pop group’s new album, “Red Pill Bles,” makes odd reference to “red-pilling” and is just a generally uninteresting album.
“Red Pill Blues” was released on November 3, 2017. It is Maroon 5’s sixth album. Currently, “What Lovers Do” is the most popular song in the album hold #12 on Billboard’s top 100. This might be the group’s least accomplished album yet.
Ouch. This album really changed my shiny admiring view of Maroon 5. Although they have always been within the pop genre, Maroon 5 has fully conformed to the current pop scene. Synths, basic back beats and ditsy lyrics. Pray for them please.
To begin, I want to take a peek at this album’s title, “Red Pill Blues.” The title is a reference to the film “The Matrix,” which has a famous scene involving a decision between the “red” and “blue” pills. Possibly Adam Levine couldn’t handle the truth of reality from the red pill? Oh boo hoo. Doing a little more research, I discovered there is a men’s rights group called The Red Pill Movement. In brief, they believe they know exactly what women desire and claim all women are brainwashed by feminist propaganda disabling their ability to understand their true desires. Deep down women desire “dominance and traditional gender roles.”
Pretty much, this activist group wants to shit all over the progress women have made in women’s rights and equality. Back to the album, the irony is pure gold!
An all male group singing about dating, success and rejection. Maybe this is why the album is shit? Continuing onward, the album’s cover art adds fuel to the fire. Adding onto their pop culture conformity, they use the cutesy hipster-esque vintage pictures of the band members with Snapchat filters layered on top. It looks like a 13-year-old Tumblr-obsessed girl created it. In a recent interview, Levine mentions they use it to cater to the current Snapchat fad and have some “playful fun.”
Now on the actual music. Peek at the song names: “Best 4 U,” “What Lovers Do,” “Wait,” “Lips On You,” “Bet My Heart,” “Help me Out,” “Who I Am,” “Whiskey,” “Girls Like You,” “Closure,” “Denim Jacket,” “Visions,” “Plastic Rose,” “Don’t Wanna Know” and “Cold.” All these songs cater to continuing the muddy pre-teen hipster angst. The album is drowning in electronic background noise. Each song has the same electronica feel with flips between a woeful Ed Sheeran or New Justin Bieber vibe. I don’t have many words — each song didn’t stumble much farther than that.
Personally, I could always count on Adam Levine’s charming falsetto to drag me back into his lusty trance. But this album didn’t do that for me. Levine didn’t sound like Levine in many of the songs. He leaned deep into the more rap style vocals with spoken words and softly sung phrases. We want Levine’s voice, not Kendrick Lamar’s!
Overall, this album was a complete let down. As a Maroon 5 fan, I was looking for Adam Levine’s sweet serenading falsetto laid onto a cloud of artisan crafted grooves. None of that. Don’t listen to the album unless you want to punish yourself.