Maroon 5 released their new album Red Pill Blues last month and it's an exceptional piece of pop music. The band is bringing songs from the new record to Las Vegas's Mandalay Bay Events Center on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31, so in advance of music fans getting to hear songs from Red Pill Blues live for the first time, AXS has picked our five favorite songs from the record. Get them on your playlist and then get your tickets to see Maroon 5 on New Year's Eve here.
You can also check out 10 Maroon 5 songs we want to hear at their New Year's Eve shows.
This song is a whopping 11 minutes long for some reason, and it's more of an instrumental piece than anything else. Truth be told, it wouldn't be out of place on a smooth jazz record. But what makes it so surprising is also what makes it interesting. Adam Levine gets most of the attention these days when Maroon 5 are discussed, but this song is a reminder of the fact that not only is he also an excellent musician but so are the other band members. The keyboard work from Jesse Carmichael and PJ Morton is a particular highlight. The length of the song may turn off some listeners, but it deserves to be heard at least once.
There's always been a certain funky element to Maroon 5, but Levine goes full-on funk with "Best 4 U," which likewise would fit perfectly in the R&B genre. It's easy to see why it leads off Red Pill Blues because it showcases Levine's distinctive vocals, which are unmatched by anyone else in the business today. At the same time, it has a very groovy sound that will prompt anyone to dance. This is Maroon 5 slowing down their roll, and it shows off yet another side to this band that hasn't found a genre they can't make a song in.
"What Lovers Do" was Red Pill Blues' first single and the song that Maroon 5 have been performing in most of their TV appearances since the album came out. It's a great song, whether Levine is performing it with featured vocalist SZA or by himself, and that versatility is only one reason why it stands out. It's got a catchy chorus that sticks in the audience's ear but it also does a lot musically, and the combination of the two things makes for a radio and playlist friendly single. Plus, it has a ridiculously awesome music video.
One thing that has gotten lost in Maroon 5's many recent collaborations is that the band doesn't need outside vocalists or producers to craft a hit. Levine is a skilled songwriter and as previously mentioned, one can't come up with enough superlatives for his vocal skills. "Bet My Heart" stands out for precisely those reasons. While the song has four writers in total, it's easy to feel Levine's influence on the song, because there's a story going on and the lyrics are more involved than many pop songs. And the focus is on Levine himself, and he delivers.
The second single from the album is first on our list. Levine and Julia Michaels make a good team; they mesh well together when they need to, but there are also parts of the song where we get to hear each of them separately and appreciate their vocal talents individually. There are some instrumentations that we haven't heard from the band before, demonstrating how they keep coming up with new things to try. And there's a quirky bounce to this song that makes it so easy to sing along with and a single that deserves to be played over and over again. Play it again by playing the video above.
Below are Maroon 5's New Year Eve show dates, with tickets now on sale through AXS:
For more on Maroon 5, visit their band page at AXS.