Maroon 5’s main man Adam Levine recently experienced social media’s ability to sculpt a molehill into Everestian proportions, when he suggested in a radio interview: “I feel like there aren’t any bands any more, you know?” Cue an avalanche of music combos angrily pointing out that they exist, even though Levine’s wider context was the correct observation that today’s pop favours the solo artist.
He may also have been feeling nostalgic for his own group, which is still officially a sextet (a seventh member, bassist Mickey Madden, left last year following a domestic violence charge) but on their seventh album, don’t sound like a band at all. JORDI simply resembles a superficial journey through current top 40 radio, with Auto-Tuned vocals, a largely electronic feel, a long parade of big name guest vocalists and an obligatory slice of the sound of the moment, afrobeats, on One Light. Megan Thee Stallion, whose own career couldn’t be hotter, phones in a guest rap on Beautiful Mistakes. H.E.R. has more to work with on the powerhouse soul of Convince Me Otherwise.
The group manage to cater both to fans of recently deceased rappers, with Juice WRLD and Nipsey Hussle appearing, and Fleetwood Mac, with Stevie Nicks wafting past to join the highy catchy chorus of Remedy. The box ticking even extends to a ghastly poaching of the melody from Pachelbel’s wedding favourite, Canon in D Major, on Memories.
Maybe what Levine was missing was bands with a clear identity, that feeling of a gang you’d want to join. He won’t find it under his nose.