Songs About Jane (Vinyl Review)
Keywords here are Groove & Jahat.
I was lucky enough to win this album off Universal Music Malaysia and what better way to relive my childhood than to review this piece of art.
"There may not be another way to your heart, so I guess I'd better find a new way in" is the chorus on Maroon 5's Shiver which is the third track on the album Songs About Jane which undoubtedly is one of the albums most underrated tracks. Forget everything you know about them know. Try to remember them back in 2002, when Galaxy magazine had their lyrics printed out on every issue for that entire year. Maroon 5 aka Kara's Flowers were a "flop" back in 1995 when they released "We like Digging?" under Reprise Records. With tracks like Buddy Two Shoes Wilson & Give Me Love, Soap Disco & Oliver, I personally never thought they were a flop because the only thing that stuck out was Adam's vocals which till today still is the money-maker for the band. Im not dismissing the rest of the band, its just a fact. Adam Lambert isn't going to make "Tangled" sound like how Tangled sounds, do you know what im trying to say?? ( I'll come back to that in a bit ). Kara's Flowers had flair but no soul & groove. Then came Jane.
In 2002, when I came home from school, snuck into mum's room and turned on the radio, I heard for the first time, "This Love". I remember thinking to myself "Has Jesus returned?", its signature riff will NEVER, EVER, LEAVE ANYONE'S EARS. From there on, I took the liberty of looking up this band that out of nowhere were suddenly blowing up.
Songs About Jane was released in 2002 under Octane & J Records and became the band's biggest sleeper-hit album. Obtaining chart success both within the international & domestic markets. You wanna know why?
Because Songs About Jane had groove & soul ( or as we Malaysians like to say, "Jahat sial") The band had finally found their sound and with that, success. There are 12 tracks on the album and out the 12, 95% of their songs had that "soul" that they've lost over the years. Or should I say, after they were done with "It Won't Be Soon Before Long".
After "Shiver", the band takes a turn into another hit "She Will Be Loved", which in this showcases Adam's "softer" more "loving" side. But let's be honest, the music video for this track was raunchy ( pretty hot yea ) and as a kid, you're obviously going to either raise an eyebrow or just listen for the music lo ( kononnya la ) and then after that, comes "Tangled" which in my opinion, is the best fucking track on this album. This track balances out the entire album but also brings the tenacity it needs. James Valentine brought his A-game with this track on the solo and although Adam Levine can play the guitar, James ups his flair game by 1000% with the solo on "Tangled" and its apparent. Very very apparent. This is also shown in "Not Coming Home" which is track 11 on the album.
Jesse Carmichael however, deserves more credit than given for his contribution to this album. Without Jesse, you wouldn't get that organ sound you hear on "The Sun" which is track 6 on the album, and you wouldn't get "Sunday Morning". Again, the keyword here is soul and what Jesse brings to the table is unsurmountable. The little staccato jumps in Sunday Morning's opening riff to the breakdown in the bridge is what skyrocketed the band to its present day success. In "Sweetest Goodbye", you hear the consistency in his organ while James provides groove and a steady pace along side Ryan Dusick & Mickey Madden both on the drums & bass respectively.
With international success, up to this day, I still am saddened by how far they've fallen. What happened to the tenacity? what happened to the jahat-ness us fans used to crave and long for whenever they released a single or studio album? did it really all go their heads? did they throw that all away for more plays on the radio with shitty new releases? With a new lineup without Jesse & Ryan, Maroon 5 will never be the same.
Songs About Jane is a masterpiece and I think it's a great way to relive that one Maroon 5 phase everyone had by listening to the album in its entirety from "Harder to Breathe", till "Sweetest Goodbye". Having said that, when you come to the end of the album, it's not sweet. It's bitter and upsetting when you recollect your thoughts about the band from the past and the present.
I leave you with Songs About Jane.