Popular Music/Maroon 5/Memories

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Memories" is a song by American band Maroon 5. It was released on September 20, 2019, as the lead single from the band's seventh studio album Jordi. It was written by the band's lead singer Adam Levine. The song was co-written by Jon Bellion, who previously worked on Beautiful Now in 2015 as the vocalist of that song, Jacob Kasher Hindlin, Michael Pollack, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, and Vincent Ford.

This song is quite unpopular among music critics, with both Spin and Rolling Stone India listing it among the worst songs of 2019.

Background and composition[edit | edit source]

The band's lead singer, Adam Levine, explained: "This song is for anyone who has ever experienced loss. In other words, this song is for all of us." This song was written in honor of former band member Jordan Feldstein, who died from pulmonary embolism on December 22, 2017. Feldstein's death was felt hard among the band and throughout the music industry. Maroon 5 and other musical people alike mourned his death. On December 23, 2017, the day after Feldstein's death, R&B singer Miguel, one of the clients of Feldstein's company, took to Instagram with the following powerful message: “I'm grateful to have gotten to know and learn and work [with] Jordan in our short time to get a sense of the rare kind of person he was. If he said it, he made it happen. Man, I didn't think yesterday would be the last time we'd speak. Rest in power Jordan, you're already missed.” Of the song itself, Maroon 5's lead guitarist and backing vocalist James Valentine said, "It's a different kind of song for us. It's an important song for us." James Valentine described Feldstein's death as a significant loss. "We heard the skeleton of this song", Valentine continued, "and thought it matched where we were at."

Critical reception[edit | edit source]

"Memories" has received generally negative critical reception. Writing for The Guardian, reviewer Graeme Virtue takes note of it copying the iconic chord sequence of Pachelbel%27s_Canon (a.k.a. "Canon in D"), going on to criticize its "trite lyrics about how gallons of booze can reactivate bittersweet memories." Virtue concludes his rant about the song by calling it "fun-free dreck". "Dreck" is a synonym for "trash" or "rubbish". Evening Standard reviewer David Smyth called the song's use of "Canon in D Major" a "ghastly poaching".

Spin and Rolling Stone India both listed the track among the worst songs of 2019. Spin described it as "a replica of a replica of a replica, sticky with the residue of borrowed emotion but hollow of anything resembling its own".

"Memories" has received negative reception by its general audience, too. On Album of the Year, it has a rating of only 33/100 based on 73 user ratings. On Rate Your Music, it has a similarly low rating of 1.40 / 5.00 (28%) based on 492 ratings.

Music video[edit | edit source]

The official music video for this song was released at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time (14:00 UTC), October 8, 2019. Like with many other music videos, the song begins as soon as the video begins. The video shows Adam Levine close to the camera singing in front of a dark background. It ends with the words "For Jordi", which are a dedication to Feldstein.

The entire video, barring the last 10 seconds, shows Adam Levine surrounded by a black background and singing into the darkness. Because of this lack of visual content, this is the type of video that is meant to be felt rather than watched. The camera's angle changes throughout the video. Prior to the 1:00 mark, only Adam's head and upper neck can be seen. The tattoo on the right side of his neck comes into view at 1:23. From 2:06 onwards, his upper body and its tattoos are visible on screen.