With guest appearances by SZA, A$AP Rocky, LunchMoney Lewis, Kendrick Lamar, Future and Julia Michaels, ‘Red Pill Blues’ by Maroon 5 is slick and polished and worth a good few listens. The album is the follow up to 2014s ‘V’, for which the band toured 3 years in support. The album is the first to feature Sam Farrar as a full-time member of the band, although he’s been a touring member since 2012.
You’ll likely already be familiar with the track, ‘What Lovers Do’, featuring US R&B singer SZA, which was released as a the lead single at the end of August, and is still on relatively high rotation. Second single release is the track, Wait’, which has a very enticing bluesy vibe. Deciding which songs to release as singles has clearly been a difficult choice: with 15 tracks on the album, there’s plenty of scope for other strong songs, not least of which is song 5, ‘Bet My Heart’. With its easy-flowing lyrics and Latin-esque instrumentation this track our favourite of many highlights.
‘Help Me Out’ features the incredible Julia Michaels, who although she’s got writing credits for the likes of Demi Lovato, Fifth Harmony, Selena Gomez, and Justin Bieber (Julia was one of the co-writers for ‘Sorry’), it’s only this year she’s branched out on her own, and as a solo artist we’re seeing her everywhere. Her vocals on this track are the perfect adjunct to Adam Levine’s trademark falsetto.
‘Red Pill Blues’ seems to take a lot of inspiration from R&B artists and tracks such as ‘Who I Am’, are prime examples of this. Laid back and easy, there’s a very pleasing bass beat and some fine guitar pulling the track together, ahead of Lunchmoney Lewis’ fine rhyming. It’s just enough and not too much.
‘Whiskey’ rounds off a marvellous collaborative triptych in the middle of the album, this one featuring A$AP Rocky. Mellifluous and again, laid back, there’s some rather appealing auto-tuning added to A$AP Rocky’s rhymes, which are woven seamlessly in with Levine’s vocals.
‘Red Pill Blues’ was released on November 3, on Polydor, and was produced by J. Kash. The deluxe edition includes a second CD, with 6 live tracks. The 15 track standard version however is enough, with the album’s vibe overall being infectious and hypnotic.
Find out more about Maroon 5 from their official website, Facebook, and Twitter. ‘Red Pill Blues’ is out now and can be found here. Maroon 5 are playing in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Events Center on 30 and 31 December, Guatemala City on March 3, and will be touring the US from the 30 May, starting with Tacoma, Washington. Tickets and further details are available from their official website.