First Hit #1: May 12, 2007
Maroon 5 reminds me of Santana and Rob Thomas, a generally pleasant but thoroughly middle of the road bit of soft rock. Makes Me Wonder isn’t as good as the earlier song – mainly because nobody in Maroon 5 can play as well as Santana – but it’s the same kind of thing, and honestly don’t feel like songs separated by several years. It’s arguable that the state of soft rock hadn’t really advanced in the previous few years, though it’s more likely that both groups kind of tried for a throwback and wound up in the same rough place – the 70s filtered through the 90s.
Like that earlier hit, Makes Me Wonder is kind of happily mediocre. It’s catchy enough to have appeal, Levine’s frequent trips into falsetto are one of the rare instances where that actually works, but it’s not so catchy one can get really sick of it. In the middle of a year where everything is painfully repetitive, Maroon 5 actually makes something that feels fresh largely because it’s complete, rather than something that relies on the some couple lines until you’re sick of it.
It also reminds me of the soundtrack to the Persona games, completely unintentionally – they came out concurrently in different countries and are mostly tied together by a guitar sound – and I have a great fondness for those titles.