It's a big week for Adam Levine, as the Maroon 5 lead singer celebrates his birthday on March 18 and can be seen as a coach on NBC's singing competition "The Voice" on March 19-20. To celebrate the Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, musician and TV personality, AXS has put together a playlist of Levine's most underappreciated songs, both with his band and as a solo artist. Listen to Adam Levine's 5 most underrated songs below, and get your tickets to see Maroon 5 when their Red Pill Blues Tour stops at Kansas City's Sprint Center on Sept. 11 now through AXS.
After Levine won "The Voice" season 1 with Javier Colon, he appeared as the featured vocalist on "Stand Up" from Colon's post-series album Come Through For You. It continued a successful partnership between two great artists, and even though Levine was only on the track in a supporting capacity, his voice continued to mesh well with Colon's and serve as a perfect complement. Something that Levine doesn't get enough credit for is how he pulls back certain vocal performances to allow other people to be the stars, and this is an excellent example of that, as he shines in a completely different way.
From Maroon 5's Hands All Over album, "Runaway" is one of the band's best songs that people haven't gotten to know. It's catchy from a musical perspective, but there's also an optimistic sense to it, as Levine sings about wanting to hold onto someone he loves who just keeps running away. Audiences can hear the warmth and the hope in the song, courtesy of Levine's pitch-perfect vocals. It's just too bad the song hasn't been played more often and wound up hiding on the same album with their smash hit "Moves Like Jagger."
This was a B-side that didn't make it onto Maroon 5's sophomore record It Won't Be Soon Before Long, but was eventually released on their B-Side Collection EP. Yet the song gets an A in our book. Its title is appropriate because more than any other Maroon 5 song, this one feels like Levine telling a story, explaining the story of a whole love affair even as he's singing directly to the woman he loves. The audience feels like the object of his affection and someone understanding why he cares so much at the same time. Levine's vocals are both upbeat and earnest, impressive and genuine. The song works on every level, and you can watch the accompanying music video by playing the video above.
Many music fans don't know that Adam Levine covered Frank Sinatra. Some probably wouldn't expect him to be good at it. The truth is that he's actually great at it. Levine has made his name on pop-rock, but his vocal ability translates very well to other genres, including this classic ballad. He not only does the Chairman of the Board justice, but proves that he is a crooner in his own right. The only downside to this fantastic cover - the best of its kind - is that Levine hasn't recorded any more big band hits since then. He absolutely should.
This song is a hidden gem because it was never part of any album or concert; it comes from a promotional effort that Maroon 5 did with beverage brand Coca-Cola, where the band had to record a song in 24 hours while also using fan input. The result was one of their best songs, as "Is Anybody Out There" was as addictive and engaging as some of their biggest hits, but never got any of the exposure since its only release was as a free download on the promotion's website. Fans who want to hear Levine at his best should click the title above to enjoy how effortless he makes pop-rock sound, and how much fun he's clearly having that he passes on to the audience.
Tickets to see Adam Levine and Maroon 5 live at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO are on sale now through AXS. Tickets start at just $46.50, and don't forget to check out the AXS Premium ticket options for even better seats; get your tickets now here.
For more on Adam Levine, visit his artist page at AXS.