ALBUM REVIEW

Band experiences revival with new album

THE RED PILL BLUES ALBUM COVER FEATURES band members with Snapchat filters.

On November 3, Maroon 5 released its sixth studio album, delivering the band’s latest sound wrapped in a quirky album cover and album name featuring references to the 1999 sci-fi action film The Matrix. Red Pill Blues plays with the idea of deciding between a blue pill or a red pill: a safe option permitting obliviousness, or a risk permitting truth. As a result, the album title may hint at the consequences of knowledge, or “blues,” as most tracks on the album have gloomy titles like “Help Me Out” and “Cold.” Regardless, it is no doubt that Maroon 5 has evolved into a whole new animal.

Maroon 5 is possibly best known for its album Songs About Jane, which is a classic album featuring popular songs such as “She Will Be Loved” and “Sunday Morning.” Ever since the widespread recognition they earned since the success of their debut album, Maroon 5 has hinted at producing another similar album. The band has, however, decided to pursue a different sound altogether—one that coincides with electronic and pop beats often heard in trending pop songs.

Red Pill Blues samples a variety of genres with numerous featured artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Julia Michaels, and Future. For example, “Visions” carries a reggae beat with its bounce and base to add layers. On the other hand, “Who I Am,” featuring LunchMoney Lewis, incorporates a catchy melody with a pop beat and a music production controller to add fun sound effects while introducing the old Maroon 5 sound with a bassline, guitar snippets, and smooth vocals.

If you yearn for the old Maroon 5, I would recommend listening to “Denim Jacket.” It adds layers of bass, drums, keyboard, and Adam Levine’s classic ballad vocals. Similarly, the most memorable song on the album is “Closure,” lasting a total of 11 minutes and 29 seconds. This track has the most layered sound from start to finish. The first third of the song has witty lyrics and blends in with the rest of the album. However, at the three minute mark, the song transforms into a jam session with guitar, bass, drums, and saxophone.

Ultimately, Red Pill Blues is Maroon 5’s newest experiment. It’s worth a listen if you’re interested in a refreshing spin on modern pop music.