Maroon 5 – Jordi

Jordi

Maroon 5

2021 • POP • INTERSCOPE/222

2.7

Maroon 5’s seventh record is their most pop but also the worst. It features lazy lyrics and a totally generic sound. Seems to be born of lackluster disinterest.

The past decade was of the utmost importance for Maroon 5. During the 2010s, the band grew out of control, reached an established level in mainstream music with timeless songs, and had opportunities they never dreamed of when they were still doing their first album, 2002’s Songs About Jane. However, on the other hand, as their recognition grew, their quality, personality, and roots were weakening more and more, reaching the point where the cover of one of their albums, 2017’s Red Pill Blues, was the band members inside vintage photos with Instagram animals effects, which put ears and snouts on each one of them. In other words, during these last ten years, Maroon 5 has agreed to trade their seriousness and musical quality for streaming numbers.

Maroon 5’s latest album JORDI is named after Jordan Feldstein, the band’s former manager who died in December 2017. Despite this considerable representation that the name brings to the band since Feldstein had been working with them for some time, JORDI is their worst album. Indeed, it was expected that the band would become more and more pop in an attempt to reach even more audiences, but it was never imagined that they would reach such a low, shallow, characterless, pathetic, tiresome, and irritating level as they reached on this album. In a nutshell, JORDI shows the band led by Adam Levine shooting all over the place, leaning on hit artists of the moment, desperately trying to make the album a hit in some way. Obviously, they couldn’t do that, so they delivered a messy record full of tiresome songs that sound like other artists’ discards that you’ve probably heard a thousand times before. 

Right off the bat, it’s good to establish that JORDI doesn’t have any really good songs. Most of the tracks here either sound downright uninteresting or discard from other albums that Levine seems to have recycled in his desperate attempt to make success. First of all, “Lovesick” is one of the worst songs Maroon 5 has ever released. It sounds like something you’ve heard a million times before, plus it has very, very precarious vocals. Likewise “One Light” comes up with these super discouraging instrumentals and lyrics that can be even worse, showing Levine singing about the bad things in the world that hit him — but you can’t even take it seriously because you can’t believe anything he says. Next, while “Seasons” sounds like a bad song that seems to come off something that would be Drake’s weakest album — who would also be making songs with total success in mind, “Can’t Leave You Alone” is minimally cool but you can’t hear it and not think how it fits in Justin Bieber’s Changes

Lyrically, the album doesn’t have anything very interesting either, remaining in the same sense that the band assumed for itself a few years ago. But you can cite how they simply sacrificed the choruses for tiresome repetitions, like the anticlimactic “Lost” and the well-produced but irritating “Echo.” Later, on “Nobody’s Love” they deliver a dubious composition when they sing, “You could make a grown man cry/If you ever said ‘Goodbye’,” assuming a man can’t cry and that breaking up with him will be the worst thing that could ever happen to him that he, who endures it all, just won’t. And even “Remedy,” which is a lot of fun but is totally spoiled by Stevie Nicks vocals that sound totally robotic, almost like a totally synthetic voice.

On the other hand, there are some relatively decent and listenable songs here. A lot of them are some of the collaborations and it kind of makes sense as in some of them Adam Levine doesn’t sing as much and some of them seem more like songs from other artists that Levine collaborated with and not vice versa. The best example of this is the opener, “Beautiful Mistakes,” which, while not really terrifying but rather uninteresting, only hits its strongest point when Megan Thee Stallion appears to add some different glow to the whole song. Likewise, “Convince Me Otherwise,” with H.E.R., is the best on the album, precisely because it sounds more like a song by the American singer and not by the California band. In the end, “Memories,” with YG and Nipsey Hussle, which is actually a remix of the solo version, is a little better, showing the importance of celebrating life. Not interesting though, but you can’t say it didn’t go with this uninteresting album. 

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