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Music / Maroon 5

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This love has taken its toll on me
She said goodbye too many times before
And her heart is breaking in front of me
I have no choice
Cause I won't say goodbye anymore
"This Love"

Maroon 5 is an American band from Los Angeles. Originally forming in 1994 as Kara's Flowers with lead vocalist and guitarist Adam Levine, keyboardist Jesse Carmichael, bass guitarist Mickey Madden, and drummer Ryan Dusick while all of them were still in high school, the band released one album on Reprise Records under the moniker in 1997. Upon the arrival of guitarist James Valentine, the band rebranded themselves as Maroon 5.

In 2002, Maroon 5 released their debut album, Songs About Jane. However, it wasn't until a year later, when their breakout single "This Love" was released, that they were put on the map. Several other singles off the album, including "Harder to Breathe", "She Will Be Loved" and "Sunday Morning", became hits as well, helping the album reach major chart success and ultimately go quadruple platinum.

In support of Songs About Jane, Maroon 5 toured extensively throughout 2003–05, and released two live albums during that period. After the band won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2005, Ryan Dusick left in September 2006, citing injuries sustained by constant touring; he was replaced by their current drummer, Matt Flynn.

After a five-year gap, Maroon 5's second studio album, It Won't Be Soon Before Long, was released in May 2007. Its lead single "Makes Me Wonder" became the band's first number-one single in America, and subsequent singles "Wake Up Call" and "Won't Go Home Without You" were released to decent success. Additionally, a compilation of previously unreleased songs, The B-Side Collection, and a remix album, Call and Response, were also released shortly after.

Their third studio album, Hands All Over, was released in September 2010, launched by the hit single "Misery". In 2011, Adam Levine was named a coach on the American version of The Voice. Capitalizing on the show's surprise success, Maroon 5 recorded the song "Moves Like Jagger" with Christina Aguilera, another inaugural Voice coach. The song became their second #1 single in their home country, and topped the chart for four non-consecutive weeks, becoming their biggest hit yet.

The albums that the band released during the rest of the 2010s and the 2020s (Overexposed, V, Red Pill Blues, JORDI) signified a gradual stylistic shift away from the band's rock roots, leaning into R&B and pop with more electronic production and focusing heavily on other producers and writers. While this has come at the cost of increasingly mixed reception from critics and listeners alike, it has produced some of the band's biggest commercial successes and most popular singles (including "Payphone", "Maps", "Animals", "Don't Wanna Know" and "Girls Like You").

Since debuting in 2002, the band has sold over 120 million records.

Members (Founding members in bold, current members in italic)

  • Jesse Carmichael - keyboards note , rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1994-2012, 2014-present)
  • Sam Farrar - bass guitar note , keyboards, synthesizers, sampler, rhythm guitar, percussion, backing vocals (2012-16 touring, 2016-present official)
  • Matt Flynn - drums, percussion (2004-06 touring, 2006-present official)
  • Adam Levine - lead vocals, lead note  and rhythm guitar (1994-present)
  • Mickey Madden - bass (1994-2020)
  • PJ Morton - keyboards, backing vocals (2010-12 touring, 2012-present official)
  • James Valentine - lead guitar, backing vocals (2001-present)
  • Ryan Dusick - drums, percussion, backing vocals (1994-2006)


Studio albums:

  • We Like Digging? (1995, as Kara's Flowers)
  • The Fourth World (1997, as Kara's Flowers)
  • Songs About Jane (2002)
  • It Won't Be Soon Before Long (2007)
  • Hands All Over (2010)
  • Overexposed (2012)
  • V (2014)
  • Red Pill Blues (2017)
  • JORDI (2021)

Live albums:

  • 1.22.03.Acoustic (2003)
  • Live - Friday the 13th (2005)
  • Live from SoHo (2008)
  • Live from Le Cabaret (2008)


Selected videography:

She Will Be Troped:

  • A Wild Rapper Appears!:
  • All Abusers Are Male: In-Universe in "She Will Be Loved" where a woman is being abused by her husband.
  • Affectionate Parody: The music video for "Don't Wanna Know" is a parody of Pokémon GO.
  • Anti-Love Song: A straight example in "If I Never See Your Face Again", but it's implied in the lyrics of most of Songs About Jane, with maybe the exception of "Sweetest Goodbye" and "Tangled". "One More Night" is another example.
  • Artifact Title: The band's name has become this as they now comprise of six members; P.J. Morton replaced Jesse Carmichael in 2012, but didn't leave when Carmichael returned to the band in 2014; touring guitarist Sam Farrar was promoted to official member in 2017, and bassist Mickey Madden left in 2020 after his arrest following an alleged domestic abuse incident.
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: The "Makes Me Wonder" video, filmed with glowing neon lights and lavish sets at LAX.
  • Audience Participation Song:
    • Anybody could cover "This Love" and get an audience going.
    • This was invoked to a lesser extent in some of the Hands All Over-era songs.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The music video for "She Will Be Loved" shows the daughter, whose youthful looks could indeed possibly pass her for eighteen years old, with Levine first. The line "Beauty queen of only eighteen" is sung. However, it's quickly revealed that the real Love Interest of Levine's character is the mother, who is decidedly middle-aged.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • The music video for "She Will Be Loved" depicts the young male protagonist finding himself torn between his young girlfriend and her older, attractive (and abused) mother.
    • In "Maps", Levine goes to a party with his girlfriend but gets drunk with his friends and accidentally kisses another girl when his girlfriend catches them and she runs out...Things only get worst from there.
  • Beard of Sorrow: In the music video for "Memories" frontman Adam Levine sports one in honor of his late friend and manager Jordan Feldstein.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • Averted in the video for "Payphone". Adam starts out looking pretty good. By the end of the video, he's bleeding, dirty and looks exhausted.
    • In the music video for "She Will Be Loved", Levine finds his distressed love interest (also the mother of his girlfriend) lying passed out on the floor after being beaten into an unconscious state by her deadbeat husband. And even with her hair a mess, her makeup running from crying and her lipstick smeared across her mouth, the mother is still beautiful. Cue the intense kissing scenes that follow...
  • And rather horrifically averted in "Maps". The viewer get a lovely close up of her bloody face after she's hit by a car mid-way through the video. She doesn't get better.
  • Bookends: The video for "One More Night" starts with a shot of two goldfish and ends with a shot of one goldfish.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The conversation at the beginning of the video for "Wake Up Call"- it's a seemingly innocent chat between Adam and his girlfriend, where she apologizes for lying to him and he admits that the whole thing was probably his fault anyway. Then, later, we hear the rest of the conversation, where they agree to work together and start a cover-up of the murder Adam committed- that is, when he shot his girlfriend's lover.
  • Concept Video: Many of their videos have plots.
    • "She Will Be Loved": A man tries to save an old flame from her abusive husband.
    • "Wake Up Call": A fake movie trailer, starring the members of the band wrapped up in a murder conspiracy.
    • "Maps": The dissolution of a couple's relationship, ending in the girlfriend's accidental death. Story presented in reverse.
    • "Animals": A photographer stalking a woman and fantasizing about being with her.
    • "One More Night": A boxer and his fiancée's relationship slowly deteriorates.
    • "Cold": A man takes drugs at a party and hallucinates.
    • "Payphone": A teller flees a bank robbery and is misidentified as one of the thieves.
  • Cover Version:
  • Death by Music Video: In the Director's Cut version of "Wake Up Call", Adam is sentenced to the electric chair.
    • In the "Misery" video, Adam's psychotic girlfriend repeatedly tries to kill him, but ends up killing the other band members in the process. Special mention goes to Matt, who gets blown up by a bazooka.
  • Destructive Romance:
    • "One More Night" is about one, but the guy can't help but come back to her and feel bad about it later.
    • "This Love" has shades of this.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Word of God is that the relationship in "Misery" is not supposed to be a positive one. The video has Adam getting seven kinds of hell beat out of him by his ex, who then proceeds to repeatedly try to kill him. More than a few YouTube commenters have pointed out that if the video was instead Adam beating seven kinds of hell out of his ex, the outcry would be enormous.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The video for "One More Night". Adam plays a boxer that wins a big fight but comes home to see that his wife has left with his child.
    • The video for "Maps" ends with Adam's girlfriend flat-lining after being hit by a car.
    • The ending for "Won't Go Home Without You" shows Levine looking to reconcile with his girlfriend, only to find out she's already moved on and seeing another guy on a dinner date.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: When they were Kara's Flowers, they were more of a Power Pop band. Their first album as Maroon 5, Songs About Jane, has more R&B/soul influences on the sound. In fact, That Other Wiki lists the genre as "blue-eyed soul". The demo versions of "Sunday Morning" and "Harder to Breathe" (released as part of the 10th anniversary of Songs About Jane) are more obviously influenced by R&B/soul than the final product.
    • As Kara's Flowers, their self-released debut (which dates back to 1995) was closer to Grunge of all genres.
  • Epic Rocking: The aforementioned "Kiss" lasts 7 minutes. "Closure" from Red Pill Blues takes this up to eleven, literally. "Untitled" from We Like Digging? (Kara's Flowers' first release) runs for almost 13 minutes.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Singles, which still ignores "Sunday Morning".
  • Had to Come to Prison to Be a Crook: In the video for "Payphone", Adam and his coworker escape from the robbers by stealing one of their guns, threatening them with it and running like hell. The police mistake Adam for an accomplice since he was running out of a bank robbery in progress with a gun in one hand and an attractive woman in the other and he keeps running, steals a car and blows up a police car to escape... an occupied one. And it wouldn't have happened if everyone had just stopped to talk.
  • Intercourse with You: Songs About Jane is this trope.
    • "Hands All Over", "Kiwi", "Sunday Morning" and "Shiver", as well.
    • "Moves Like Jagger" could be heard this way as well.
    • "Lucky Strike" isn't subtle at all, as is "Sugar".
    • "Animals" puts a disturbing twist on this trope.
  • Irony: Wiz Khalifa's verse in "Payphone" is basically "I'm rich, you're not, I made it, you didn't, so fuck off, haters." When he raos it in the video... he doesn't exactly look it.
    • And this is right after Adam steals his car; his final appearance in the video is him watching his car get returned, only for it to blow up. He's left stranded in the same slummy-looking part of town Adam's stuck in.
  • "I Want" Song: "Love Somebody" is about Adam wanting a specific lover in his life who meets his type.
  • Longest Song Goes Last: "Closure," the longest Maroon 5 song in existence, closes Red Pill Blues.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Songs About Jane is proof this trope is true. Word of God is that the album was made and named mostly to get it out of their systems.
  • Love Triangle: In the music video for "She Will Be Loved", Adam is caught in a relationship with his Love Interest and her mother, whose abusive husband rejected her and who needs somebody young to love and console her; over time, Adam is becoming more interested in the mother rather than in the daughter.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: A lot of their songs are catchy and stay with you, but little do most listeners pay attention to the fact that 99% of them are about breakups and domestic abuse.
    • "Payphone" is super catchy, but it's pretty depressing once you start paying attention to the lyrics.
    • "Misery"; if the title of the song itself wasn't obvious enough, the whole video even depicts Adam going through a bunch of physical mishaps.
  • Lyrics/Video Mismatch: "Payphone" is about a relationship that ended badly. The video starts with a bank robbery, then goes into a car chase. Epic, but unexpectednote .
    • The video for "Wake Up Call" is a strange one- it resembles a trailer for a movie. This 'movie' starts out adhering to the video in that a guy shoots his girlfriend's lover, but the subsequent cover-up involves gamblers, strippers, boat chases and abductions.
  • Made of Iron: Adam in the video for "Misery". He somehow survives a variety of fatal/permanently crippling situations whereas in reality, he'd be in a hospital after the first thirty seconds.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: While Adam's singing isn't that varied with Maroon 5, he mimics other voices perfectly.
  • Mid-Vid Skit: There's one in the "Don't Wanna Know" video. The director asks Adam Levine to put on a Pharrell Williams-esque hat, and Levine refuses because it would make him look "silly". He says this as he's still dressed as a Squirtle lookalike.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • "Not Coming Home" - "Through With You" - "Sweetest Goodbye" is of the angry song, angry song, sweet song variety.
    • The video for "Misery" starts out horrifying, as Adam's crazy ex beats the crap out of him, and then gets hilarious as she goes after him with a fucking bazooka.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Adam spends most of their videos either shirtless or wearing something extremely tight.
    • "This Love" - Adam is seen shirtless dressed only in a pair of small black boxer briefs as he rolls around in bed with his girlfriend
    • "She Will Be Loved" as him shirtless in the swimming pool
    • "Makes Me Wonder" features him being groped by various women at an aiport.
    • "Moves Like Jagger" has him parading around shirtless.
    • He's shirtless a lot in both "One More Night" and "Animals".
    • "This Summer's Gonna Hurt" opens with him putting a Modesty Towel on, then taking it off as just as quickly exposing his bare ass for about 5 seconds.
    • And aside from him, the other band members look like models as well.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The viewpoint character of "Wake Up Call" apparently has one of these after he shoots the man his lover was sleeping with.
  • New Sound Album:
    • It Won't Be Soon Before Long structure and music stands out between Hands All Over and Songs About Jane.
    • Overexposed and V subvert the band's Signature Style for straight pop music.
  • Obsession Song: "Shiver", "Can't Stop", "Harder To Breathe", "Little Of Your Time", "Stutter", "Give A Little More", "Secret", "Get Back in My Life" and some parts in "Animals".
  • Ordinary People's Music Video: In the music video for "Sugar", the band crashes the receptions for real weddings and perform their song, showing the bride's and the other attendees' shocked reactions.
  • Percussive Maintenance: In the "Harder to Breathe" video, the lights, wall hangings, instruments, and band members flicker in and out until Adam Levine pounds the wall repeatedly in the bridge, after which everything stabilizes until the lights shut off at the end of the song.
  • Performance Video: "Sunday Morning" and "This Summer's Gonna Hurt".
  • Perma-Stubble: Adam's most distinct feature aside from his tattoos.
  • Precision F-Strike: A lot of their otherwise clean songs abruptly use the F-bomb or some expletive, though most mainstream listeners don't notice since the lines are often redubbed or skipped over in the radio versions.
    • "Not fit to fuckin' tread the ground that I've been walking on" from "Harder to Breathe".
    • "And it really makes me wonder if I ever gave a fuck about you" from "Makes Me Wonder".
    • Downplayed in "Moves like Jagger" with "I don't give a shit".
    • "All those fairy tales are full of shit! One more fucking love song, I'll be sick!" from "Payphone". That's not even getting into Wiz Khalifa's verse...
    • "This summer's gonna hurt like a motherfucker...fucker" from "This Summer's Gonna Hurt Like A Motherfucker."
    • The music video for "Maps" starts with Adam saying "Emergency room! Where's the fuckin' emergency room?"
  • Protest Song: The rare non-Anvilicious one—"Makes Me Wonder", which originally started out as a simple Break Up Song (and was started well before its eventual release and then shelved because Adam couldn't seem to make it work), but there were some lines that seemed to apply to the political climate at the time so it was reworked into a song with two meanings, one about a failed relationship (as originally intended) and the other about "failure to understand or trust" the leadership of his country.
  • Rule of Drama: In the "Payphone" video, Adam's car waits for him to get out and walk about a metre away before exploding spectacularly. Adam himself is somehow unharmed.
  • Self-Deprecation: The title of the album Overexposed seems to be a playful jab at themselves for how much airtime their songs have gotten.
  • Shout-Out:
    • This lyric from "What Lovers Do":
    Drop a house on me, do you love me or not?
    • Many fans have compared the plot of the music video for "She Will Be Loved" to The Graduate, due to its mother-daughter love triangle.
    • In "Animals", the video starts an intro was based on the opening credits of Seven (1995), with a noise of the Kodak 35 camera.
  • Sixth Ranger: PJ Morton joined the band as a temporary replacement for Jesse Carmichael, who took a sabbatical. When Carmichael returned to the band, Morton remained as a permanent member, bringing this trope into full circle. Touring guitarist Sam Farrar would become an official member in 2017.
  • Stalker with a Crush: "Animals", to frightening effect. It uses animals' tendency to prey on other animals as a metaphor for just how far Adam will go to get his lover back.
  • Vocal Evolution: Adam's voice has gotten a lot higher than it used to be. Compare "Harder to Breathe" with "Sugar", and you'll notice a very massive difference.
  • What Happened to the Mouse??: The fate of the woman in the "Payphone" music video that escaped with Levine is never found out. Presumably, she was either arrested by the police or made it out OK.
  • Yandere: "Wake Up Call".

She said "goodbye" too many times before

Alternative Title(s): Maroon Five