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Maroon 5, ‘Payphone’ Feat. Wiz Khalifa – Song Review

Maroon 5 Pay Phone Wiz Khalifa

The first sonic taste of Maroon 5‘s new album ‘Overexposed‘ is here in the form of ‘Payphone,’ which features an assist from emcee Wiz Khalifa. Pay phone, huh? While it’s hard to imagine an era before cell phones, the subject matter is a bit more profound and what Maroon 5 covers best: Love. It’s love lost, and wasted, to be more precise. 

The song is anchored by singer (and ‘The Voice‘ coach) Adam Levine‘s airy falsetto and plenty of backbeats. There’s beats and synths, with Levine’s high register asserting itself. It’s a very familiar voice in pop music in the pat year or so, given the massive success of ‘Moves Like Jagger’ and ‘Stereo Hearts’ with Gym Class Heroes.

‘Payphone’ is buoyant and catchy — it’ll have you tapping those toes and singing, albiet Maroon 5’s bitter tone: “I’m at a pay phone trying to call home / All of my change i’ve spent on you / Where are the times gone baby / It’s all wrong, we’re at the place we made for two / If happy ever after / Did exist / I would still be holding you like this / All those fairytales are full of it / One more stupid love song / I’ll be sick.”

There’s a lot of laptop moments here, but Maroon 5 manage to remain organic. The track is airy — but by no means fluffy since the subject matter is a bit heavy — exploring the way a relationship used to be and the way they no longer are. We can’t help but pointing out that it’s almost mirroring Levine’s current romantic situation with former girlfriend Anne V. and their very public split.

Rapper Khalifa shows up to drop his lyrical science in the last minute of the song, throwing in as many shots at a former love as possible in a 30-sec rant. “Don’t need my name, or my show / You can tell it i’m ballin’ / Swoosh, what a shame coulda got picked / Had a really good game but you missed your last shot / So you talk about who you see at the top / Or what you could’ve saw / But sad to say it’s over for it.”

With ‘Payphone,’ Maroon 5 roll out yet another melodically blithe single that will be dominating the airwaves. The song will air on tonight’s episode of ‘The Voice.’

Listen to Maroon 5, ‘Payphone’ Feat. Wiz Khalifa

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