Maroon 5’s sixth studio album, “Red Pill Blues,” was released earlier this month. It covers many emotions and highlights the band’s ability to work well with different artists.
The 15-song project starts with “Best 4 U,” where Adam Levine sings about a relationship in which the best thing for him to do is leave. This mix of pop and rhythm and blues instantly puts listeners in the right mood to enjoy the rest of the album.
Track number two is the hit song that constantly plays on the radio, “What Lovers Do” featuring SZA. Perhaps one of the greatest collaborations on the album, Levine and SZA’s vocals are the perfect mix that takes listeners to a relationship where Levine is willing to give his all to get with a girl.
The melancholy tone of the album continues on “Wait”, an electropop song in which Levine begs his girlfriend to stay with him. She has had enough of the relationship, but he is desperate for a second chance.
The tone of the album changes with “Lips On You,” which is a romantic and sexual track where Levine sings about being intimate with his girl. Charlie Puth is listed as a producer and songwriter on this track, and his vocals are heard in the chorus.
Track number five, “Bet My Heart” returns to the same girl mentioned in “What Lovers Do,” but this time Levine uses his guitar for the acoustic song. He sings about how he is willing to bet his heart on his dream girl.
In “Help Me Out,” Levine is assisted by Julia Michaels in getting a girl to notice him. The track, which was produced by Diplo, features a catchy beat.
“Who I Am”, which features LunchMoney Lewis, has Levine reassuring his love while Lewis adds that perfect R&B touch. It’s the perfect song to sing along to while stuck in traffic.
A$AP Rocky hops on “Whiskey,” a slow piano based track in which Levine remembers his ex. This collaboration is the most forced on the album. It seemed too slow for Rocky, whose references will likely go over the heads of many listeners.
“Girls Like You” is a track that will easily get stuck in listeners’ heads. It is a soft song, but it seems to overuse the hook too much.
Clocking in at 11 minutes, the longest song on the album is “Closure.” Ending with eight minutes of instrumentals, this song will make listeners want to press skip.
In “Denim Jacket,” Levine remembers a long-lost crush. This R&B track puts listeners in a melancholy mood, as people sometimes reflect on that one crush who got away. The next song, “Visions,” once again forces listeners to think about that special someone.
In “Plastic Rose,” Levine contemplates how a woman was able to act like she loved him and make it seem so real.
The last two songs of the album have become recent staples on the radio. While Kendrick Lamar does not go all in during his verse in “Don’t Wanna Know,” it is just enough to make it one of the album’s best songs. Concluding the album, “Cold” references a finished relationship. This slow-paced, yet well thought-out song gets its heat from Future delivering straight bars on a slow beat.
Overall, “Red Pill Blues” is a great album that has a song for anyone who has experienced love. Press play and let Levine do the rest.
This review was originally published in Hawk Talk Magazine.