In which we say “uncle” to a triumphant Adam Levine.
Nina Lea Oishi: Repeating the “fucker” part of “motherfucker” won’t make you edgy and cool, Adam. Also, I highly suspect that the lyric “She never posts anything deep” is the motto of current-day Maroon 5.
Patrick St. Michel: Finally, I can yell “fuck her!” at my radio over a cheap beat. So clever!
Katherine St Asaph: The Song of the Summer meets the global warming crisis: Jason Derulo can’t get a cool night’s rest, Britney’s beset by flies, and now Adam Levine and the squinting synth pads that’ve replaced his band dispense with all subtext and just out with it: summer blows. Or, as Levine tells it, summer girls do. “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt” is essentially “Novacane” as told by Dan from Gossip Girl if he directed his energies solely to hatereading. Just look at her: dancing, drinking champagne, never posting anything deep (meanwhile, Levine’s begging followers to retweet The Voice hashtags). The cuss in the hook was obvious when it was in “Fuck You,” and the hook in the hook was better when it was in “Sucker”; between that and the “Fancy” references, if this is Levine’s idea of a subliminal I swear to God it’s not the summer that’s gonna hurt like a motherfucker. The resulting self-flagellating masturbation approaches Judge Turpin levels. From a teenage dirtbag this’d be insufferable enough, but Adam Levine is pushing 40. Save the contempt for your career.
Alfred Soto: If anyone can get an obscenity on the air, it’s Adam Levine, himself an obscenity. Shellback’s metallic surface fits Levine better than electrofunk though; for once his falsetto works. There are moments, actually, when the voice and synth pads suggest he’s open for Moroder-ization — the Moroder of “I Feel Love,” that is.
Rebecca A. Gowns: If she’s so stupid (“her mind is not as sharp as all her diamonds”) and so vacuous (“never posts anything deep”), what does that make you, dude?
Maxwell Cavaseno: Low-key Adam Levine does the stupid Twin Shadow thing really good. Yeah, the chorus is dumb as hell, but the vocal is solid. And let’s be serious, Maroon 5 have been playing the dance-rock game well for years, and no matter what the trend their skills turn any crap into a certified hit that your mom taps her foot to and your dad grumps and mutters about AC/DC over. Much like the debacle of Rihanna stealing garbage-ass seapunk, I hope it teaches you kids to move on and leave it to the bros.
Thomas Inskeep: I’m morally/musically opposed to pretty much all of its elements: the misogynistic lyrics (“her body’s hot/her mind is not,” etc), gratuitous profanity (repeating “fucker” after “motherfucker”), Adam Levine (to be fair, his voice is so heavily processed it could damned near be anyone singing). But Levine’s “vocal” works; so do the “woo woo” callbacks to “Sympathy for the Devil.” Even the song’s nastiness works. It’s refreshing to hear Maroon 5, known for cranking out chirpy top 40 pop, turning so ugly, and this is one of those instances where every element that shouldn’t work does.
Scott Mildenhall: Such an laughable title could have sunk this, but it just about survives beyond even the barren gusto with which it is delivered. Straight from the Peter Sarstedt school of sneery songwriting, Adam Levine introduces an inexplicable element of anger to a tried-and-tested formula. It’s hard to see it as anything but lacking in self-awareness — throughout this gutless diatribe, he is the one getting hurt. The only other explanation is that it’s written from the perspective of a celebrity stalker. Definitely to its credit, however, is the throbbing production that sounds like nothing on the radio. There’s rarely such a thing as a curate’s egg (says the white man).
Mo Kim: An angry hook, maybe Maroon 5’s best in years, so of course it’s wasted on Adam Levine’s ever-expanding ego (the ex-girl in question has committed such heinous crimes as dancing while older than seventeen, eating expensive food, and posting uninsightful content on social media). Forget “motherfucker”: this peddling of casual pop misogyny as a summer radio anthem is a real fuckboy move.
Michelle Myers: I spent over a decade hating Maroon 5 as much as a person can hate a band guilty of no crime save making subpar pop music. Then the Phoenix-lite grooves of “Sugar” destroyed my defenses, and nothing was the same. The other day, I found myself listening to “Moves Like Jagger” and not wanting to tear off my own fingernails off! Once you let Adam Levine into your heart, there’s no turning back. Even this shameless ploy at securing Song of Summer status is more charming than grating. I’ll like it ironically at first to piss off my tasteful friends. By mid-July, I’ll be shouting along in my car at a red-light with the windows rolled down.
Will Adams: Now that Walk the Moon are Top 10 and nigh on inescapable on radio, what use do we have for Maroon 5? They’ve got that similar sandblasted synthrock sound but come off goofy instead of despicable. “This Summer’s Gonna…” has a fantastic base — it’s by far the most bracing production you’ll hear on radio today — yet Adam Levine insists on being an insufferable toolbag all over it, seething at a girl for being fancy. There’s poetic justice, though; the radio edit makes the offending word sound like a sneeze.