adam levine, maroon 5, this summer's gonna hurt, pop music
adam levine, maroon 5, this summer's gonna hurt, pop music

Will This Summer Hurt Like a Motherfucker?: The New Maroon 5 Single

I have a love/hate relationship with the songs Maroon 5 choose to release as singles. Half the time, the singles are great: “She Will Be Loved,” “Never Gonna Leave This Bed,” and “Payphone” are some of the best pop songs by any artist of the last fifteen years.

But they also release singles that, regardless of chart placings, feel mediocre: “If I Never See Your Face Again,” “Misery,” and “Love Somebody” all fell flat. Exacerbating the matter, they usually have album tracks that should have been singles instead. “The Sun” would’ve made a great fourth single off Songs About Jane instead of “Sunday Morning.” Likewise, “Stutter” should’ve been a huge radio hit from Hands All Over. As such, whenever I buy a new Maroon 5 album, the subsequent singles’ releases can be confusing.
However, none of this has mattered lately, as Maroon 5 have been on a roll. After missing the top 10 with six singles in a row, Adam Levine ended up on The Voice, and the band released “Moves Like Jagger,” a fun, slinky duet with Christina Aguilera, that reignited their chart fortunes by hitting #1 and kickstarting an impressive eight consecutive top 10s in a row.

In sharp contrast, the band had a grand total of three top 10s before “Moves Like Jagger”. With a run this successful, it doesn’t matter if “The Man Who Never Lied” should have been a single off Overexposed; if “Daylight” and “Love Somebody” get released, instead, and go top 10, who cares?

Well, the band might have to reexamine this as their monopoly of top 10s looks to be over with current single, “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like a Motherfucker.”

SingleArt

Tacked onto an upcoming reissue of their V album, the song was released in mid-May, in the hopes that it would be an appropriately-timed smash in much the same way that Calvin Harris’ “Summer” was last year. Unfortunately for the band, the song has only been a modest hit so far; furthermore, it’s just not that good.

One of the main reasons the song doesn’t work is because the lyrics are confusing. What does “this summer’s gonna hurt like a motherfucker” mean anyway? It is because of a bad sunburn from lying out at the beach all day? Because of an epic hangover from too much day-drinking? Because of food poisoning from some dodgy picnic?

No, the song is actually about a girl. And she sounds like a train wreck: while Levine might think she’s “so fancy,” the fact that she’s “sipping champagne on the beach” and “dancing in the street” makes her sound like a tragic, drunk sorority girl, as opposed to a sexy socialite. Levine even acknowledges that she’s not the sharpest crayon in the box when he croons, “she never posts anything deep.” Clearly, Levine is only in it to hit it.

Because the song is about a girl, the natural presumption is that “this summer’s gonna hurt like a motherfucker” because this girl is going to break Levine’s heart. Having something hurt like a motherfucker implies some kind of sharp, agonizing pain, like stepping on a jellyfish at the beach, or getting hit in the face with a baseball. It can also apply to heartache, but how much pain can a hot mess actually inflict?

HotMess

There isn’t any emotional attachment on Levine’s end, and aside from having to get tested for STDs afterwards, he should be able to walk away from this encounter relatively unscathed. Accordingly, saying that “this summer’s gonna hurt like a motherfucker” feels needlessly dramatic, a bit sensationalistic, and kind of pathetic on Levine’s end; he should’ve just stuck with, “Girl, you’re hotter than a Southern California day,” from previous single, “Sugar.”

Furthermore, the internet was abuzz over the fact that the music video would be revealing in both a metaphoric sense (showing us the behind-the-scenes inner workings of the band) and a literal sense (getting to see Adam Levine’s naked ass!).

Sadly, the “revealing” video is pretty standard and boring in terms of what it shows us; we’ve seen this same kind of video countless times before, with Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” setting the gold standard for this kind of life-on-the-road music video, back in 1987.

The video does deliver on the ass-shot (at the 0:25 mark), but it’s really the only part of the video you need to see. And actually, if you want to ogle Adam Levine, you can save yourself the trouble and try any of these pictures from his Instagram, instead:

Oscar ready…too over the top?

A post shared by Adam Levine (@adamlevine) on

 

#ANIMALS

A post shared by Adam Levine (@adamlevine) on

 

Let's party…

A post shared by Adam Levine (@adamlevine) on

 

Somethin's cookin' in Cabo…right @sammyhagar?

A post shared by Adam Levine (@adamlevine) on

So far the song has peaked at #23 in the United States — a modest but not major hit. There’s still time for the song to really ignite and become a late summer smash – a well-received performance at the MTV Video Music Awards could help… but really, #23 is about where this song deserves to peak. They may have gotten away with releasing a few duds and turning them into radio hits before, but Maroon 5′s attempt to create the Song of the Summer for 2015 is going to go down as a misfire in both quality and chart placement.