Maroon 5 – Red Pill Blues

Maroon 5 offer up an album full of bewilderingly bad chart hits with their sixth studio album, Red Pill Blues

Album Review by Nadia Younes | 06 Nov 2017
Album title: Red Pill Blues
Artist: Maroon 5
Label: Interscope
Release date: 3 Nov

Pop’s resident bad boy (he has tattoos) and Victoria’s Secret model hunter Adam Levine returns with his seemingly ever-expanding band of cronies, Maroon 5 (seems more like seven from the album cover), offering up an album full of bewilderingly bad chart hits.

Let’s start with the title, Red Pill Blues: a cool, indie reference to The Matrix or a shout-out to the manosphere subreddit The Red Pill? We’re going to assume it’s the latter, given the way women are discussed on the album. After all, Levine has struggled with his identity being a horribly attractive white man in a horribly successful pop band for over ten years now. The struggle must be real.

Actual proper musicians (Kendrick Lamar, we're looking at you) lower themselves by featuring on the album and R'n'B songstress SZA can’t contain her amusement at being involved in such a shambolic piece of music as the album’s lead single, What Lovers Do, preceding her verse with a laugh as though to say 'Haha, why am I on this shit?'

On the Deluxe edition of the album (yes, that's a thing that exists) Levine dedicates an entire song to missing a girl’s denim jacket – that track is, funnily enough, titled Denim Jacket – because who needs personality when your girl’s got style after all? 'Now someone else is taking you home, yeah / Hands on the waist I used to hold,' sings Levine, continuing to belittle women. Yes Adam, women don’t just have jackets for you to lust over, they have waists too!

Flick through the album and you’ll notice the first few seconds of every song sound very similar – what truly innovative pop music this really is. Closure is the band’s big experimental moment: it's the same boring repetitive beats that absorb the rest of the album, but for 11 minutes rather than just three or four.

With Red Pill Blues Levine and co have managed to produce an album that is uninteresting and unexciting; at best this is background music, to be listened to on very, very low volume, or even better, not at all.

Listen to: Literally anything else