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Songs About Jane

Indie Music and Pop album by Maroon 5

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A Beautiful, Colorful, Sexy, Sensual Wild Flower Slowly, Seductively, Swaying a Field of Weeds

  • Jul 31, 2005
  • by
Rating:
+3
Pros: See Review

Cons: See Review

The Bottom Line: Get it!

As I get older it is getting increasingly difficult to keep up with all of the artists (and I use the term liberally) popping up on the musical scene like so many musical weeds in an ever shrinking garden of multi-colored and vibrant lily's. Lately I have depended increasingly on television shows (mostly on the WB), and movies to introduce me to performers that might deserve a second listen. Such was the case with my first aural (taste) of Maroon 5, the five member group from Los Angles. Two of the tracks (Sweetest Goodbye and Sunday Morning) from their debut album Songs About Jane were feature on the soundtrack for the movie Love Actually.

While I enjoyed these two tracks, I did not rush out and purchase the CD; I needed to hear more before I plunked down my hard earned $17.99, an amount that is still obscenely expensive. Then the group released This Love and She Will Be Loved; it was then that I gave in and barrowed a friends copy of Songs About Jane and listened to the CD several time before concluding that Maroon 5 was well worth my green.

But Maroon 5 the group is hard to musically pin down; i.e. which musical genre do you seamless slide the group into? Clearly there are rock influences (listen to the deep guitar riffs in Harder to Breathe, and Not Coming Home and that becomes apparent) intertwined with R&B (This Love, She Will Be Loved, Sunday Morning and a little bit of contemporary jazz (Sun, Secret) speaking through Maroon 5’s vocals and instrumentation. But at the same time the group’s melodic and harmonic influences seem to draw from a number of different genres. So the question remains where to pigeonhole Maroon 5 in the aisles of Tower Records, and Borders Books & Music? The answer for me is "I don’t know," all I care about is that the results of their labor sounds good to me, which by-and-large it does, and refreshingly so.

Now that I have to CD, it is one of those albums I find something new to enjoy with each listen. Recently I have discovered the simplistic beauty of track No.4 She Will Be Loved. It one of those songs that glue themselves to the playback reel of your mind and constantly plays no matter what you are doing. Musically, the song is perfectly balanced; the instrumentation is plays softly in the background, while the slightly off-kilter vocals of lead singer Adam Levine draw you in. This track is the only one in which the group harmonizes together like an R&B groups of old, and yet throughout I can hear echoes of Sting reverberating in the background, especially at the end of the song. The effect is mesmerizing.

Lyrically, She Will Be Loved tells a story, of addiction, dependence, love, redemption, sacrifice and devotion all in a song that regretfully on last 4:18. She Will Be Loved is, for now, my favorite track on the CD, I have played repeatedly and it never grows stale with use.

Between the remarkable or otherwise notable tracks, there are some that are not so memorable. Having grown up with R&B, I have little use for the hard rock flavor of the first track Hard to Breathe. Musically, it was hard to listen to and generally skip it. The instrumentation tends to cover up the vocals of Adam Levine, whose voice is somewhat weak and lacking in range.

Track No.2 This Love is more to my liking, the balance that so marks most of the CD is apparent as are the smart lyrics. And there is a back beat that makes the song easy to dance for and thus memorable. Track No. 8 Sunday Morning and track No. 12 Sweetest Goodbye are also worth noting; there is certain youth inspired sexiness to them that is hard to ignore, which is probably why they were perfect tracts for the movie Love Actually. Every time I hear the track flashes of Keira Knightley’s gorgeous big toothed smile saturates my inner eyes. Not a bad image to invoke in the middle of rush hour traffic.

Track No. 9, Secret is probably as close to a traditional slow jam as there is on this genre defying album. Lithe and melodic, Levine at times uses his voice as a musical instrument filling in the quite passages with his slightly unorthodox lilt. Listen closely or you will miss the underlying (amore filled) message of the song.

Songs About Jane (who is Jane anyway?), is a beautiful, colorful, slightly sexy, sensual wild flower slowly, seductively swaying a field of weeds. I find the Maroon 5’s first offering a welcome change from the me-too cookie-cutter swill passing as music offered to us by men and women who seem to care less and less about real talent. With its smartly written lyric and balanced music, this one is a keeper.

Maroon 5 is:

Adam Levine - Vocals, Guitar
James Valentine - Guitar
Jesse Carmichael - Keyboards
Mickey Madden - Bass
Ryan Dusick - Drums

Track Listing – Songs About Jane:

1. Harder to Breathe
2. This Love
3. Shiver
4. She Will Be Loved
5. Tangled
6. The Sun
7. Must Get Out
8. Sunday Morning
9. Secret
10. Through With You
11. Not Coming Home
12. Sweetest Goodbye



Recommended:
Yes

Great Music to Play While: Driving

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More Songs About Jane reviews
review by . August 04, 2006
The songs on here are simply fantastic. This album mostly consists of relationships either good or bad. This band seems to have absorbed many influences and done a nice job incorporating many of them. Mix a little bit of this and a little bit of that and what do you get...Maroon 5. This band can't be secluded to one genre; they're really all over the musical spectrum. From funk to soul to pop to rock, this band blends everything together creating a fresh new sound. Yes, others are trying this sound, …
review by . July 15, 2006
Those who listen to Maroon 5 are highly likely to be severely mentally handicapped. thus far it is unknown whether being handicapped caused one to listen to Maroon 5 or whether listening to Maroon 5 causes one to be handicapped. mostly likely a little of both.
review by . September 26, 2004
Pros: The group does a good job of mixing rock and funk...     Cons: some tracks don't stick out as much as others, and can be easily forgotten     The Bottom Line: Songs About Jane is a really good album, and Adam Levine's talent is impressive. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from Maroon 5 in the future.     I remember hearing Maroon 5's first single, Harder To Breathe in the summer of 2002. After only one listen, I had the catchy chorus …
review by . December 21, 2003
Maroon 5 seems to be a fine blend of many musical styles. The lead off track Harder To Breathe is a crunchy New Wave Rocker with powerful guitar licks and strong vocals. Not Comming Home is another rocker. Howeer the wah wah guitar licks take on a funkier tone and the stylings somehow are reminiscent of the modern boy bands particularly the Back Street Boys.Other tracks have more of an Rhythm and Blues feel. The Sun seems to ofer a compelling organ track which is somewhat reminiscent of Stevie Wonder's …
About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #188
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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Wiki

Maroon 5 aren't the first band to fuse R&B and rock, but they certainly are one of the most convincing. One can almost hearStevie Wonder's beaded braids clattering in time to their deep, funky grooves. At best, the band conjures up latter-day Motown, complete with a shuddering organ and hyperbolic vocals; at worst, they sound like a stylized boy band, with all the attendant close harmonies and dramatic pauses. But despite these musical schisms, Maroon 5 are a thoroughly engaging outfit, thanks to throbbing bass lines, hooky songs, and lead singer Adam Levin's swaggering delivery.--Jaan Uhelszki
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Details

Label: A&M , Octone
Artist: Maroon 5
Genre: Pop, Indie Music
Release Date: June 25, 2002
First to Review

"An Ecclectic Mix"
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