The Bottom Line
All of the usual elements of a Maroon 5 hit are here from the perky pop-soul sound to lyrics of intense conflict in a relationship. However, this time the band takes it all a few steps forward into the category of pop perfection. Quite possibly a key reason for this step forward is the presence of the by now legendary Robert John "Mutt" Lange in the producers chair. "Misery" is instantly the best mainstream pop single of 2010 so far.
- Pure polyrhytmic fun
- Lyrics of quietly seething rage
- Density of the mix
- No missteps here
- Written by Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, and Sam Farrar
- Produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange
- Released June 2010 by Octone
Guide Review - Maroon 5 - "Misery"
Listen to any of Maroon 5's previous hits from "This Love" to "Makes Me Wonder." Then let "Misery" works its magic. All are clearly the same band. There is a funky pop vibe, Adam Levine's blue-eyed soul vocals, and those lyrics that hint at something vicious on its way. However, "Misery" truly stands above the others in musical density and sophistication. Brilliant rhythmic lines intertwine through the song like an intricately woven pop tapestry. The effect is quietly stunning.
Maroon 5 have shifted producers with each album. For Hands All Over, their upcoming third studio release, the band headed into the studio with Robert John "Mutt" Lange. He is one of the most notoriously reclusive figures in pop music, but he does know his way around hit songs. Among "Mutt" Lange's most memorable work are the Cars' 1984 album Hearbeat City, Def Leppard's 1987 collection Hysteria, and most of the hit work by his former wife Shania Twain. The most recent "Mutt" Lange project has been Nickelback's Dark Horse.
Adam Levine tosses off two "Oh yeahs" to kick off "Misery," and with a strong, jazzy bass line things are filled with funky pop fun. By the time the first chorus hits, the instrumental mix is dense and limber enough that the vocals are a bit of a sweet afterthought. Part of the genius of the song is it sounds as if someone took the restraints off Maroon 5 and said, "Sure, thrown in another bouncy line there." The overall effect is loose, fun and sure to put a smile on your face. Just don't concentrate too hard on the lyrics. There is someone clearly not too happy there.