HomeMusicSatan Loves A Hook #9: What A Maroon

Satan Loves A Hook #9: What A Maroon


I’m Greg Kennelty, senior news writer for MetalInjection.net. Long ago, I pitched the idea to Pop Break about having a lifelong metal fan review popular songs outside the realm of “that devil music” every week. Obviously it went well and here we are! The only rule is that while I get to choose the five songs I review, my choices must come from a pool of tunes chosen by the Pop Break staff.

Hey look, I made it to another week! I’d like to thank the Academy, my parents and probably the cashiers at Rook Coffee in Red Bank. They sell me a shit ton of a caffeine and I’d probably be useless all the time if it weren’t for them.

They’re the real heroes. Satan time!

“Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap

For like, two seconds I thought that Fetty Wap had discovered Draper and decided to use his music as a beat to say words over. Unfortunately this was not the case and I was left only with disappointment in my heart and audible sadness leaking out of my ears. Why I expected anything good for even one second is beyond me, so maybe that was my own fault.

On a related note, what is up with rappers lately saying half a word and then sort of making a noise for the other half of the word? Between the mumble-speak and enough auto tune to embarrass Cher, I think I understood roughly 15-percent of this song. Dude slurs his words so hard that every sentence is a phonetically spelled nightmare that spits in the face of any literate human being. It’s just a terrible studio magic melody that happens to contain some dude talking about… something. Hooray? Look at artists like Aesop Rock– the guy strings together words that paint a really abstract picture in your mind or sometimes even just tells it like it is.

Life hack interlude! Rappers or any producer reading this, if you go into the bank of patches you use, you’re allowed to get off the strings sound. That’s why it’s called a bank, and I know you know what a bank is because all I hear about in your lyrics is all the money you wish you had.

So don’t play stupid with me. Change the damn patch.

Now back to your regularly scheduled confusion.

What kind of name is Fetty Wap? Is that some kind of uncommon sound effect used in 1920’s comics books? Is it the wannabe Chinese food creation of a guy who only speaks Gaelic? A car wash that gives you a hand job? He gets credit for not being Li’l Fetty Wap or Fetty Wa$p or some played out shit, so at least there’s that.

I’ll close with this amazing comment thread below the video, which talks about how loyal crack whores are.

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 1.50.39 PM


“Shut Up And Dance” by Walk The Moon

I’m going to get this out of the way right now- I am a sucker for this type of 80’s pop jam. There is something deeply ingrained in my being that cannot deny it and there’s nothing I can do to fix it.

You know what makes this song great? The fact that chorus isn’t this supermassive, domineering thing that sucked all of the good out of the rest of the song. I feel like a lot of the time pop songs have these great choruses, but everything else in the composition of the song is just a vehicle to get there. The members of Walk The Moon clearly decided “nah. We’re gonna write a U2-meets-TheOutfield intro and verse, knock out a pre-chorus that’s just as catchy and then force you to dance along to the chorus.”

It’s subtle, but the contrasting of the beat works wonders in this song. The verse has the standard quarter-note bass drum with some other rhythms going on over it, and then for the pre chorus there’s a lot of unison lines that are worthy of pumping your fist to it… which I’m not guilty of and you can’t prove otherwise. Then the chorus combines the two feels and holy hell you’re never going to stop singing this song.

Walk The Moon did it. Walk The Moon took a modern pop aesthetic and put in some 80’s and 90’s feels to it without beating you over the head screaming for you to pay attention to the subtlety. Instead of going all out with the delay pedal and cheesy keyboard patches, they’re just sort of there in the mix of things for you to dig out. It’s like Walk The Moon was actually trying to write a song or something here instead of just highlighting one member and trying to cash in on it.

Speaking of that…

“Sugar” by Maroon 5

Remember when Maroon 5 was a legitimately good jazzy rock band that actually had some semblance of compositional skills going on within pretty much any given song? Even the fairly over-polished radio jams from albums like 2002’s Songs About Jane and 2007’s It Won’t Be Soon Before Long had viably tasteful playing. Then 2009 rolled around, Hands All Over Came out and I started wondering what was going on with the group. It was a big enough change in sound from that smooth laid back kinda-rock thing to where it was noticeable. Most groups that have one album where things got a little weird though, so maybe this was just Maroon 5 trying to break out of the box a little bit?

Well, the group broke out of the box labeled “Listenable,” got enough trajectory to go straight up into the air and then splatter all over the linoleum floor. 2012’s Overexposed was definitely music that was released, though I only got three or so tracks into it before having to rinse my ears with literally anything else and 2014’s V, specifically “Sugar” in this instance, is just downright shit.

2012 marked the turning point in the band’s career where the group might as well have changed its name to The Adam Levine Band and Other Dudes Who Enjoy Big Paychecks. This isn’t me crying “OMFG SELLOUT” either- I’d gladly play four notes for the kind of cash these guys are making. The point is Maroon 5 isn’t Maroon 5 anymore and “Sugar” is proof. Listen to the composition of the song! It’s just repetitive and in the background like some boring ass backing track you’d download off the Internet you can guitar solo masturbate all over your basement for two hours. There’s absolutely no soul, no credible playing, no anything in this song. It’s Adam Levine saying “HEY EVERYONE I’M ADAM LEVINE. BECAUSE I AM ADAM LEVINE PLEASE DIRECT YOUR MONEY TOWARD THIS POCKET RIGHT HERE. I AM FRIENDS WITH THAT TALL COUNTRY GUY NAMED BLAKE “TALL GUY” TALLGUY WHICH IS HIS NAME. KTHXBAI.”

What a maroon.

Again, I get it- being not poor rules. I’m just expressing how incredibly disappointed I am in this damn band.

Can’t y’all start up a side project and write music again? The band playing the loop of stale funk behind Levine can still play music- strike up some jams please? Anyway, fuck this song. I’ll listen to Mystery Skulls if I want what Adam Levine and the Diarrhea Autotune Nightmare Maroon 5 is attempting to do done correctly.

“Lose My Mind” by Brett Eldredge

Is this even country? I feel like this isn’t country. This is like country showed up to a party with Elbow and Bruno Mars and realized it wasn’t a party at all- it was intervention. Elbow kicked things off by talking about how country needed a better beat and Bruno Mars just sang sweet vocal riffs until country figured out what was up with melodies. Then country called Brett Elredge and explained to him in graphic detail exactly what just happened.

What I’m saying is “Lose My Mind” is a good song. There’s no forced, long intro or bridge for the sake of having a bridge, or even contrived guitar solo that seems to drone on forever and meld with every other country guitar solo that was ever played on the radio in the past few years. This is a song that comes in at a pretty good amount under three minutes and cuts the frills right off. Eldredge knew what was he doing when he wrote this song and it shows- the length basically demands repetition. There’s just enough catchiness floating around in there that one listen gets it in your head… and you’re really just going to listen once? That’s like going out and having an amazing beer for the first time. You’re not just having one, You’re drinking that damn brew until you hate it and you hate yourself for what you’ve done.

Dude has a set of pipes on him as well. I’ve seen videos in my Internet travels of this guy in the past singing live in studio and all that jazz, and he nails it. It’s nice to hear someone with vocal ability pull of some seriously killer melodies complete with a few falsetto-ish notes and tasteful runs.

It’s weird, I know, but I think I actually want to hear more from this guy. He’s got a sound and he knows what the recipe for a good instrumental backing is.

“You’re On” by Madeon

Oh man, Madeon! I forgot about this dude! I picked up his City EP whenever the hell that came out sometime either 2011 or 2012 and I listened to that relentlessly. The guy not only knows how to write a hook for vocals, but his electronics bank runs ridiculously deep. It has to. Everything I hear from this guy sounds totally different than the last thing I heard from him.

“You’re On” is a killer track. This is like a Nintendo version of the funkiness that was “Uptown Funk” with a lot of really weird vocal harmonies. The first time through I was a little confused by the vocals because there was just a lot going on with each line. Outside the standard chopped audio vocals a lot of electronica seems to utilize, thee are actual sung passages! Nice! Within those is where I got lost for my first listen- the harmonies sound like they’re just the same vocal line, but higher, which results in a lot of out-of-key notes.

Not that that’s a bad thing since clearly it’s working and it got me hooked.

Where Madeon gets me, and like I’ve brought up before, is the instrumental backings of his songs. Whereas one song might be completely instrumental and it has more intricate lines, this one isn’t and he compensates for it in his writing. The chopped vocals seem to serve as a keyboard patch, so there’s a lot of room for him to go a little more crazy with everything, but then when Kyan is singing he essentially shuts the hell up.

I’ve dug it before and I sdg it again.



Most Recent

Stay Connected