Monday, February 19th, 2018

Maroon 5 – Wait

It doesn’t fit the title, but still: you can keep it…


Katie Gill: At least with this song, Maroon 5 have the decency not to force a much more talented guest artist to phone in a verse or chorus. Pity that’s the only thing halfway good about it.

Alfred Soto: Singing in his lower register is the wisest decision Adam Levine’s made since cutting his hair to align with his chakras. Of course this shrivels him into a serviceable vessel for more Miami-bound club fare, for which a grateful city and county thanks him.

Micha Cavaseno: On the one hand, it’s Maroon 5 providing a pretty competent rehash of Purpose-era Bieber with the freedom of not thinking about Bieber to attract or repel listeners (’cause, like, soon to approach two decades in the industry, are there any actual qualities to Adam Levine people are aware of?). On the other hand, it’s a colorless revision of something someone else has already done and made their sound, making Maroon 5’s usual brand of chameleonism a bit too meager to find value in.

Stephen Eisermann: In case anyone needs any more proof that Adam Levine is over releasing music with Maroon 5, here it is. I mean, come on, this is disinterest in musical form. 

Katherine St Asaph: The verses suggest that Adam Levine wants his very own “Passionfruit”; the chorus is more unripe, sharp melon.

Will Adams: So between “Needed Me,” “Now or Never” and this, that pirouetting, impossible-to-sing melismatic hook is definitely A Thing now, right? (What do we call it? The “millennial scalar run?”) It provides a fantastic center to “Wait” after some “I’m not all that bad” bullshit from Adam Levine; it’s the cathartic moment that puts his sorry’s into plain view, giving the downtempo R&B backdrop some much needed drive. 

Jonathan Bradley: Lines like “dirty looks from your mother” and “never seen you in a dress that color” have a piquant specificity, and so does the spare and winding riff accompanying it. Adam Levine sounds oily and his vocal is mixed to overwhelm the delicacy of the arrangement, which might not matter: perhaps the unpleasantness is the point? The intrigue lasts all of twenty seconds, at which point a dollar store drum machine interrupts and we’re treated to three minutes of Levine repeating tediously minimal variations of how sorry he is about everything. Me too, Adam; me too.

Julian Axelrod: The semi-ambient opening feels artificial yet oddly transfixing, like watching the ripples in a puddle after a bus drives through it. Then the chorus devolves into tropical house tedium and the whole thing loses its luster. Still, this is the most I’ve liked a Maroon 5 single in ages. It’s as light and disposable as the Snapchat filters in its video, but it’s nice to see some restraint from a band known for doing the most.

Alex Clifton: Usually I can listen to a song for thirty seconds, enjoy it, get to the chorus and realize, “Oh no, this is by Maroon 5.” Much as they irritate me, it’s not just Adam Levine’s trademark falsetto that sets them apart — there’s something in their melodies that marks a song as Definitely a Maroon 5 Track. This is a hard swerve into generic soft-electro balladry that truly sounds like everything on the radio, losing their distinctive edge (if you can call it that). I wonder what god has allowed Maroon 5’s career to continue both profitably and without interruption, mostly because I don’t want to believe they have earnt it on their own merits.

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