Review: Maroon 5's 'Red Pill Blues' another step forward for the band

Maroon 5 dropped their sixth studio album Red Pill Blues on Friday, and it represents another move forward for the band, establishing them as pop powerhouses. You can listen to the song "Wait" now by playing the video above.

Red Pill Blues is a far cry from the hard rock edge that Maroon 5 brought to earlier hit songs like "Harder To Breathe" and "Wake Up Call." But the band has constantly evolved their sound with every record, and on this album, they've definitively crossed over into pop territory. There's no thundering break-up song on this record; in fact, it's the exact opposite, with a number of tracks including bouncy, upbeat elements that make it feel like more of a summer album than one releasing in November. There's not anything wrong with that. It turns Red Pill Blues into a fun record that has plenty of charm and a number of catchy hooks. Songs like "Wait" will make an audience want to play them over and over again.

One thing that hasn't changed is Maroon 5's collaborative instincts. As with their previous records V and Overexposed, the band has been bringing on more and more other people to add their talents. Red Pill Blues features the likes of SZA and Julia Michaels, among others, bringing more R&B sounds to play off the pop (while Michaels will also open for the band on their corresponding tour). There aren't any bad guest appearances, but none of them necessarily steal the show either. It would be interesting to see Maroon 5 scale back on the number of featured artists in future, because Adam Levine and his colleagues are more than strong enough to stand on their own, and they deserve more of the focus on their own record.

But that's the only real criticism of Red Pill Blues, which also features the band's previously released singles "Cold" and "Don't Wanna Know", so the record won't be entirely new to longtime fans. It may not be the Maroon 5 some of those fans are used to hearing, but that's the point. The band has successfully moved into a new space where they're completely pop, and it suits them the way rock worked for them in the Songs About Jane era. Maroon 5 are deservedly on top of the world right now, and this record reflects that. Their new music shines through and puts a smile on the listener's face, and that will only get even better for fans who catch them performing it live on their 2018 tour.

Below are Maroon 5's upcoming tour dates:

Dec. 30 - Las Vegas, NV - Mandalay Bay Events Center (Click here for tickets)
Dec. 31 - Las Vegas, NV - Mandalay Bay Events Center (Click here for tickets)
May 30 - Tacoma, WA - Tacoma Dome
June 1 - Oakland, CA - Oracle Arena
June 2 - Sacramento, CA - Golden 1 Center
June 4 - Los Angeles, CA - The Forum
June 7 - Phoenix, AZ - Talking Stick Resort
June 9 - Dallas, TX - American Airlines Arena
June 10 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center
June 12 - San Antonio, TX - AT&T Center
June 14 - New Orleans, LA - Smoothie King Center
June 16 - Tampa, FL - Amalie Arena
June 17 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - BB&T Center
Sept. 7 - Salt Lake City, UT - Vivint Smart Home Arena
Sept. 9 - Denver, CO - Pepsi Center
Sept. 11 - Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center (Click here for tickets)
Sept. 13 - St. Louis, MO - ScottTrade Center
Sept. 14 - Chicago, IL - United Center
Sept. 16 - Milwaukee, WI - Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center
Sept. 18 - St. Paul, MN - Xcel Energy Center
Sept. 20 - Indianapolis, IN - Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Sept. 22 - Louisville, KY - KFC Yum! Center
Sept. 23 - Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena
Sept. 25 - Columbus, OH - Nationwide Arena
Sept. 27 - Toronto, ON, Canada - Air Canada Centre
Sept. 29 - Pittsburgh, PA - PPG Paints Arena
Sept. 30 - Detroit, MI - Little Caesars Arena
Oct. 2 - Washington, DC - Capital One Arena
Oct. 3 - Charlotte, NC - Spectrum Center
Oct. 6 - Newark, NJ - Prudential Center
Oct. 7 - Boston, MA - TD Garden
Oct. 10 - Hartford, CT - XL Center
Oct. 12 - Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center
Oct. 14 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
Oct. 15 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden

For more on Maroon 5, visit their band page at AXS.