The Bottom Line
After the initial relative commercial failure of their album Hands All Over, produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Maroon 5 turned in a distinctly more pop direction with producers Shellback and Benny Blanco for the massive hit single "Moves Like Jagger." Here they continue in that vein with radio friendly pop. Fortunately, Maroon 5 have the solid musicianship to make the song memorable. Nothing particuarly new here, but the work is solid.
- Full band arrangement on second and third choruses
- Adam Levine's soulful vocals
- Melodic pop feel
- Unneccessary Wiz Khalifa rap
- Written by Adam Levine, Wiz Khalifa, and Benjamin Levin
- Produced by Shellback and Benny Blanco
- Released April 2012 by A&M / Octone
Guide Review - Maroon 5 - "Payphone" featuring Wiz Khalifa
Perhaps Maroon 5's Adam Levine should take a seat next to Katy Perry. In the wake of her divorce and bracing breakup hit Part Of Me, Maroon 5 have returned just after Adam Levine's public split with model Anne Vyalitsyna with a breakup song that is not as flashy, but it is just as emotional. The song kicks off with Adam Levine performing an upper register read through of the chorus backed by a simple keyboard. Following the verse, the full band kicks in on the chorus and the song's sadness seeps through.
This is the third high profile single with collaboration between Adam Levine and producer Benny Blanco. They reached #1 working on Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" and reached the top 5 with "Stereo Hearts" by Gym Class Heroes. "Payphone" should follow a similar path. A rap from Wiz Khalifa is added in that might result in Maroon 5 gaining a few new listeners among Wiz Khalifa fans and the vice versa, but this rap is unnecessary for the success of the song.
"Payphone" is the first single from the upcoming Maroon 5 album titled Overexposed. The band has stated it will be their most overtly pop album yet, and "Payphone" helps indicate that is the case. Maroon 5 in the pop mainstream may be a very good thing. "Moves Like Jagger" was a bracing blast of fresh air when it was released, and with the upcoming album the band could have a major smash hit on their hands.