Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Maroon 5 

It Won't Be Soon Before Long (A&M)

868653.0.jpeg
When Maroon 5 rose from the ashes of Kara's Flowers in late 2001, it was clear that frontman Adam Levine and company had made a very interesting decision: Instead of playing dorky suburban rock à la Weezer, we will play unapologetically poppy white-boy R&B. I attended one of their first gigs in L.A., where my friend and I guffawed at their brazenly commercial new sound. But then came "She Will Be Loved," and I quickly realized the members of Maroon 5 were about to become millionaires. "They sound like Journey," I whispered to my friend.

I stand behind this assessment, just as I stand behind Journey, Huey Lewis, and any other prosaically sexy squad of hitmakers who decide it's their calling to entertain arenas full of potential Survivor contestants. That's a dirty job, and the ones qualified to do it can reliably turn out the hits. You wouldn't chide a bricklayer if he laid a fuckin' sweet wall, which is what 2002's Songs About Jane was: sturdy and functional. But It Won't Be Soon Before Long? Man, it could sprout wings and fly up my ass, and it'd still be as boring as owning a goldfish.

Blame it on expectations. Jane was music made by Maroon 5 for Maroon 5; it was still essentially a garage band at the time. But like an episode of Hannah Montana, this new guy is clearly designed solely for 14-year-old girls, which probably explains "Little of Your Time," a desperate aping of "Hey Ya"; "Won't Go Home Without You," a desperate aping of "Every Breath You Take"; and "Wake Up Call," a desperate aping of R. Kelly, because it finds our hero discovering a cheating lover and then shooting the dude. (See anything you like, Ramona Quimby?)

There's nothing wrong with making music for tweens or lighter-lofting boomers. It's simply a matter of execution, and these chums are scattered and grasping. Their once tightly focused pop&B is dashed on oily pop-rock tricks. Next time, fellas, just focus on building a wall.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Speaking of CD Review

More by Garrett Kamps

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation