Songs About Jane by Maroon 5 (2002)


Best pop/rock album ever? Seriously. I’m sure you (the reader) are way too cool to like a wuss band like Maroon 5, but I’d say you’re just uninformed. And maybe you need to change your perspective on music…I bet you also didn’t like ‘Party in the USA’, you un-American bastard!

Songs About Jane is an absolute bona fide classic music album. I bought the CD on a whim for like $5 in a music store that was going out of business…a historic moment in PA suburbs music purchasing history. It went immediately into the rotation in my car, and didn’t leave for about 2 years. I tried my best to force these songs on my friends, and experienced some success for the first time in my “you gotta hear this” music discovery career. A sign of things to come I guess, because it wasn’t long before ‘Harder to Breathe’ and ‘This Love’ tore up the Top 40 charts. But worrying about which songs got radio airplay is irrelevant…focus on that and you’ll miss a good “I love you but I hate you” story unfolding before your ears. You probably don’t realize that’s going on until ‘She Will Be Loved’ takes over the record, smacking you in the face with pop perfection. I can’t think of a more successful pop love song of the last decade, so perhaps you’ve heard it. I usually stick with smoother tracks like ‘Must Get Out’, which I convinced myself was going to inspire me to move out of my hometown one day. It’s really about a turbulent relationship, but I think it works. You’d have to be dense to miss the fact that Songs About Jane is, well, about a girl. And I dig it. Sure, we’d like to think that our relationships aren’t on the same emotional rollercoaster being talked about here…but you and I both know that’s BS. They capture all the important elements of a relationship on this record, even sweet moments like “I’m breaking up with you, but I still want to bang you” in the song ‘Sweetest Goodbye’.

Look, I’m not saying Maroon 5 isn’t a little weak. As a guy, your favorite band can’t feature a 140-pound pretty boy who sings in falsetto most of the time like Adam Levine. I get it. But put that aside and really dive into Songs About Jane. We need guys like Levine to croon about love and loss so that we look sensitive when iTunes shuffles to ‘Sunday Morning’, the hidden gem on Songs About Jane. The instrumentation throughout the album is perfect for the genre: simple drum kits, slightly creative bass lines, and a lot of piano. And to be honest, none of the songs are clunkers…their worst moment on this record would be the highlight of a lesser band’s work. It’s not quite a concept album, but it comes close by taking the listener on a journey through the phases of a relationship. Literally…the songs follow a relationship chronologically from infatuation to break-up, covering highlights like honeymoon phase and the moment you realize the relationship is heading for disaster. That’s the quality of this record that makes it stand out the best…you genuinely believe that the artist wrote these songs for the girl, and couldn’t care who else is listening.

Give it a listen. If you own this album, you already know what I’m talking about. And in 2040 when Adam Levine is attempting to save the world like Bono (and he will be) you’ll know where he started.

music turtle recommends: BUY IT!

What do you think about this album? Comment below


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