Radio Rant: Maroon 5 – Misery

*Note: Starting next week there’s going to be a small schedule change. Radio Rantss are going to be Monday/Tuesday while reviews are being bumped to Wednesday-Thursday. That is all.

Radio Rants, RantingAboutMusic’s foreign exchange program! …yeah, still working on an intro for these, I’m sorry. Well, I’ve looked at threeish pop songs, two rap songs…now what?

Ok, sure. Maroon F–Wait, what? Maroon 5? The band that did “She Will Be Loved” and that one song from 2007? They’re…they’re still around? Well, alright.

The main reason I jumped at this song and not anything else is that right now we’re basically in a radio dead zone. It’s mid-August, which means that the summer mentality is ending, so the selected ten overplayed songs of the summer are on their way out. And in the meantime, nothing has really replaced them, so we’re stuck in some sort of in-between where there’s nothing that great out there. But I’m getting off course.

Maroon 5 came out of nowhere in 2003/2004 with a few hit singles that were good enough, but once you heard one, nothing else the band did would surprise you. After these songs ran their course, the band quietly disappeared from popularity. In 2007 they did the exact same thing, and are back with a new song, which will probably start the same chain.

So, “Misery”. After opening with a few clean guitar/synth jabs and some of the usual “sissy-passed-off-as-seductive” vocals of Adam Levine, I suspected something about this new song. After a full listen or two, I was able to confirm my suspicions. You remember “This Love”? You know, Maroon 5’s second single and first giant-ass hit? The kinda catchy one with the white boy funky beat and the “this girl is blue-balling me” lyrics?

Yeah, they rewrote that, and it lost its shine the second time around. If I didn’t care about getting my usual word count, we could just end here. But, since I’m about two hundred short of my usual, we’re gonna keep at it.

The music keeps things pretty minor during the verse, and the lyrics back it up in their own hackneyed, cliche way. “So scared of breaking it/That you won’t let it bend” hoo boy, look at that innuendo! Although as to why Levine would want to bend his manly bits (must…resist…falsetto joke) is a mystery to me. Ah well.

Chorus time, and things get major in a hurry, but the lyrics stay kinda “dark”. “I am in misery/There ain’t nobody who can comfort me/Why won’t you answer me?/The silence is slowly killing me” in the most upbeat way possible. The melody here isn’t bad, but there’s a whole other problem I see. It’s pretty clear to me. It puts me in misery.

Hey, look at that. I just found two words that rhymed with “misery”. Which is apparently more than Maroon 5 can muster, because they rhyme “me” with “me” with “me” in the freaking chorus. Ok, lesson in cheating in songwriting, if you have to rhyme a word with itself, bury it somewhere that no one will find it, like the second verse, you don’t put it in the chorus where it’s going to get sung over and over again. That’s just telling people you did a bad job. And the lyrics here are a complete workout in tired cliches and painful rhymes everywhere, not just the chorus. And I talk about the lyrics because the music is standard Maroon 5 stuff: basic pop rock with a “So You Want to Play Funk!” beginner’s book riff, nothing special.

At the start, I asked “These guys are still around?” Now my question is “How?”

About bgibs122

I enjoy music and music culture; I hope you do, too.
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