Maroon 5 – Payphone

The world has drastically changed since Maroon 5 debuted in 2002. With their latest single, Payphone, the band pays homage to obsolete technology with a sound that has also changed over time. This new song
follows all of the trends of contemporary 2012 airwaves, and as a result, we have a rather bland and
forgettable, yet simultaneously catchy and quirky little single. 
First of all, this song confirms what we’ve known ever since Adam Levine signed on as a Voice coach. This band is no longer a band. Instead, Maroon 5 has become to Adam Levine what The Scene is to Selena Gomez; a group of backup dancers with instruments. I’ll give my props to the drummer; the driving military beat give the song a solid skeleton. It keeps the song moving a steady pace, but otherwise, there might as well not have been a band at all. The instrumentals on the verses are completely lifeless, and the chorus is competely devoid of the band’s signature funk-rock sound. Its a sad testament to the fact that anything even remotely rock influenced gets practically ignored by top 40 radio. 
Luckily the song remains somewhat catchy. Adam is a solid vocalist with an incredibly unique voice, and it does shine through on the chorus. He quips powerful lyrics like “All these fairy tales are full of shit/ one more fucking love song and I’ll be sick” with the same sappy and restrained delivery he used on She Will Be Loved that gives the song a dramatic feel. While that’s all well and good, Levine still lacks the soul he brought to his past hits. Additionally, the team up with guest rapper Wiz Kalifa is completely unwarranted. His verse comes out of nowhere, and doesn’t fit the song stylistically or lyrically at all. Its a weird moment that left a really bad taste in my mouth. 
At least the music video is interesting…if by interesting, you mean so nonsensical that I was literally yelling at my television. To play into the song’s drama, we get high speed car chases, explosions, and shoot outs. The sad thing is…none of it is really called for. The video begins with Adam playing Joe Everyman working at a bank, and not having the cajones to talk to the hot secretary. Enter the bank robbers, and things go awry. So what does Adam do? Grabs a gun, and pulls the woman he couldn’t talk to directly into gun fire, further endangering them both, and everyone else in the room. Smooth. So he gets out of the bank, and does what? Steals a car. In front of the police. Leading to a car chase, in which he kills sever officers. Sure, the action scenes were cool, but this was seriously the stupidest video EVER! I don’t even mean “stupid” as in “lame.” I mean that as in “this lacked any sort of intelligence what so ever.”
There’s just so much wrong with this single. Sure, it has a catchy chorus, and Adam sings a half decent song, but overall, its just lacking anything special. Its clear that Maroon 5 has started sacrificing what made them unique in order to score a hit (guess the AMA snub really did hurt). Payphone is just a generic single that suffers from lack of creativity, a terrible rap verse, and a silly music video. 
Final Score: 2/5


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