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10th Anniversary Re-review of Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane

1 July 2012 No Comment

Maroon 5’s debut album, Songs About Jane, was released June 25, 2002 on J Records/Octone
Records. It went quadruple platinum and spawned four hit singles: “This Love,” “She Will Be
Loved,” “Harder to Breathe” and “Sunday Morning.”

10 years later, after two multi-platinum studio albums (Songs About Jane and 2007’s It Won’t Be
Soon Before Long), a slue of hit singles, three Grammy Awards, and selling 15 million albums
worldwide, Maroon 5 have re-released Songs About Jane, which includes never before heard
demos and unreleased tracks from the band.

Songs About Jane wasn’t an immediate success. Its first single, “Harder to Breathe,” only topped
out at No. 18 on the Billboard 100. It wasn’t until two years later when their next single, “This
Love,” was released that things took off. Included in that success was chart domination, a
Grammy win, and the seal of approval from John Mayer, who had told Rolling Stone in an
interview that “This Love” is “one of those perfect songs you always hope to write.”

Songs About Jane is a pop-rock funk-rock fused collection of irresistibly catchy songs. Over the
years, Maroon 5 have grown on me, as well as Adam Levine’s quirky vocals, like a new branch
on a tree. Maroon 5 opened my eyes to a deeper sense of the dynamics of this style of music.

“Harder to Breathe” starts off the album with a nice mix of poppy beats driven by funky rhythms
and vocals. “This Love” takes off where “Harder to Breathe” left off. The funk is still there, but
a bit slower with some swagger. “Shiver” changes up the beat a bit. Less swagger and more
sensual. It makes me want to dance a sexy, sinful dance in sync to the guitars.

“She Will Be Loved” then slows down the tempo. It takes me to a deep spot within my soul
to deceit and old heartbreaks. It’s a song for that sad, rainy, “woe me” day, where you wish
your knight in shining armor would appear to take away the pains. “Tangled” picks the beat up
again, but not with as much poppy funk as before. This time it’s a bit held back. It feels there
could be more substance. It’s lacking the dynamics that is found in “This Love” or “Harder to
Breathe”. “The Sun” has about the same feel as “Tangled”, as well as “Must Get Out”.

“Sunday Morning” though gives me that good feeling of wanting to get up and swagger around
and sing with a group of friends just like in the video. I really like jazzy-Jamiroquai type feel and
vocals on this one. “Secret” continues with the swagger feel, but this time has more of a bluesy
vibe to it then the jazzy feel in “Sunday Morning”. “Through With You” starts of with a deeper,
edgier feel to it, which expresses the lyrics beautifully. “Not Coming Home” adds more funk to
their sound. The guitars add the sauciness to the lyrics where the vocals lacked. And last but not
least, “Sweetest Goodbye” ends on a slower note, with not as much zest as I had expected after
hearing the rest of the album.

Overall, Songs About Jane is a beautifully written album expressing the trials and tribulations of
a relationship. As Maroon 5’s freshman album, it was a great start for the band. Looking back
from their start 10 years ago, I would have to say that they have come a long way as musicians.
Allowing themselves to step out of their norm and collaborate with other writers and composers,
as well as working with Mutt Lange on Hands All Over, Maroon 5 have proven that they can take
their talents to a whole new level and expand their horizons in order to allow them to reach their
fullest potential.


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