Residing at the nexus of pop, rock, and R&B, Maroon 5 has been a mainstay on the music charts for almost two decades, serving a pop concoction that is infectious, familiar yet fresh. With instantly recognizable hits like “She Will Be Loved”, “Girls Like You”, and the irrepressible “Moves Like Jagger”, the band, fronted by the charismatic Adam Levine, has permeated the airwaves, crossing boundaries of age, geography, and genre. Their music has blended the poignancy of balladry with the bounce of pop and the edge of rock – a cocktail that continues to intoxicate audiences worldwide.
But peel back the danceable beats and catchy hooks, and there lies a nuanced tapestry of storytelling and emotion; a panoramic view into the myriad hues of love, longing, and life. This list dives headfirst into this sonic universe, unwrapping the layers of 20 remarkable songs that range from the poignant beauty of “She Will Be Loved” to the punchy, adrenaline-infused “Harder To Breathe”. Songs featuring notable collaborations, including Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, Future, SZA, and Megan Thee Stallion, add another layer of richness to this diverse collection.
So let’s get into it. From the classic hit “Girls Like You” to the chart-topping appeal of “Maps”, here are the Top 20 Maroon 5 Songs and Collabs Ranked, from Worst to Best.
20. Girls Like You
It’s a mellow, smooth pop tune that exudes an air of longing and affection. The lyrics drip with raw vulnerability, presenting the quintessential yearning for a soulmate to work through the highs and lows of life together. Our man, Adam Levine, is literally spending night after night, flight after flight, trying to fix things, mend bridges, and keep the love alive. What’s more, Levine echoes the universal dilemma of finding “the one” who can handle our drunk confessions and late-night meltdowns. Sprinkled with a dash of a mutual love for fun, this song captures the spirit of modern romance – exhausting, exhilarating, and desperately hopeful. In essence, “Girls Like You” is a lyrical odyssey of a guy trying to navigate the tricky waters of love.
The song – a heartfelt narrative that blends pop and rock – explores the wringing agony of an imminent goodbye, an immutable reality that is hurtling towards the protagonists with the inexorable approach of daylight. Adam Levine’s vocals convey an urgency and raw emotion, expressing a desperate desire to suspend time and perpetuate the moment. The lyrics reveal a narrator grappling with a beautiful yet dolorous farewell, yearning to hold on to the night, next to the one they love, defying the impending dawn that will inevitably separate them. The chorus swings between a delicate melancholy and a defiant resolve, echoing the universal sentiment of yearning, loss, and the relentless march of time. Acutely aware of the fleeting nature of their happiness, the lyrics capture the essence of ephemeral human connections and wistful longing.
18. Won’t Go Home Without You
The intense magnitude of regret is palpable in these lyrics, underscoring the protagonist’s struggle to make amends. The narrative is a poignant depiction of yearning – yearning for a chance to right the wrongs, to mend the broken bonds. The protagonist’s reluctance to retreat into the cold arms of a lonely night is a testament to the depth of his emotional fidelity. He bemoans the unvoiced feelings that eventually spelled doom for the relationship, vividly capturing the pangs of silent love. The song shines a spotlight on the desperate hope that clings to the protagonist, beseeching a second chance. Amid the star-spangled Maroon 5 discography, “Won’t Go Home Without You” stands as an emotive beacon of love lost and love yearned.
It tells a story of longing and despair, of a protagonist trapped in the throes of a toxic love affair. The track’s brilliance lies in its raw emotional honesty, as Levine’s expressive vocals capture the sting of unreciprocated love and the agonizing silence that follows a breakdown in communication.
In these verses, the lyrics reveal a deep inner struggle. The protagonist is riddled with torment, his pain amplified by the void left by the absence of his lover’s voice. His commitment is unwavering, even obsessive; he’s desperate to win her back, whatever the costs may be. Overall, “Misery” is a potent exploration of love’s dark side, unflinchingly revealing the potential emotional turmoil hidden beneath the surface of romantic relationships. Listen to it once and you’ll be hooked; listen twice and you just might feel the bite.
16. Don’t Wanna Know (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
The track is peppered with direct questions – the ghost of a relationship past interrogating the happiness of the present. It’s the sonic embodiment of scrolling through an ex’s social media updates – a digital masochism many of us have, undoubtedly, engaged in.
The addition of Kendrick Lamar is a smart turn, with his verse focusing on the tensions of living life in the public eye. With lyrics that evoke a palpable sense of desperation, his performance deepens the overarching narrative of the song. Though it’s not Maroon 5’s most uplifting number by any stretch, “Don’t Wanna Know” demonstrates the band’s inclination to fuse catchy pop beats with anguished and introspective lyrical content, a balance that has helped define them in the realm of pop music.
15. Cold (feat. Future)
A delicious cocktail of languid grooves and frosty sentiment, this song takes Maroon 5’s pop-rock DNA and infuses it with a taste of hip-hop, thanks to the guest artist. The lyrics tread on the chilling territory of a relationship turning icy—the warmth replaced with indifference and confusion. Adam Levine resorts to an introspective tone, questioning the growing emotional distance with each breath his partner takes. Hauntingly relatable, we’ve all been there—feeling like we’re sleeping next to a stranger. Then Future steps in, intensifying the cold with tales of lavish expenditures and vacant returns—his frigid verse underlines the disheartening realization when love fades into oblivion. Ultimately, “Cold” confronts love’s winter season—a paradoxically heated lamentation on love grown cold.
14. Harder To Breathe
The rebellious lyrics and punchy beat encapsulate the frustration and desperation of a relationship on the rocks. It’s Adam Levine, the charismatic frontman, confronting a lover’s condescension and heartless behavior, juxtaposed against his own unbearable physical need for them. The song captures the cold reality of loving someone who doesn’t reciprocate in the same way, leaving you gasping for love and affection as if it’s as vital as air.
Visual metaphors pepper the song, like a little girl facing a monster in her dreams, reflecting how overwhelming and scary love can become when it’s unreciprocated. The burst of energy in the chorus underscores the song’s fervent demand for acknowledgment and genuine love. “Harder To Breathe” works as an emblematic breakup anthem and a rallying cry for those on the end of toxic relationships, confidently asserting that there’s no giving up and that the struggle for genuine love, even if it’s daunting, is worth it.
13. Girls Like You (feat. Cardi B) – Cardi B Version
A collab that is combination of hypnotic pop tropes and hip-hop textures, speculating on modern relationship dynamics. The song crystallizes the quintessence of Adam Levine’s longing and Cardi B’s invigorating verse takes this bop to new heights. In the lyrics, which oscillate between an intimate narrative and a catchy commentary, Levine reveals a vulnerable scenario of unquenched desire and regret. He pines for a spirited free soul who loves fun as much as him, the kind he can chase around till sundown. Along this road of rhythmic confession, Cardi B takes over the wheel and injects a dose of empowered realism. Her rap-verse is a startling interjection, a personal manifesto transparent about her wild nature – ‘too crazy.’ She defies conventions, proclaiming that she’s the essential spice for his life. Her fierce declaration still complements the song’s core theme: the undeniable attraction between two complex personalities, consistently reinforcing the intricate ethos of modern love.
12. What Lovers Do (feat. SZA)
This collab presents a clever mix of catchy pop aesthetics and soulful R&B. The song, anchored by Adam Levine’s charismatic vocal delivery, delves into the uncertainties and exhilarations of love. It’s a groovy testimony to the game of love, where the stakes are high and both players could end up lucky or not, depending on the roll of the dice. SZA’s feature spices up the track, her distinctive style adding another layer to the debonair sway of the song.
The lyrics revolve around the delicate dance of a love connection hanging in the balance. It’s a musical narrative about yearning and desire, punctuated by questions about the other’s feelings. The refrain, “tryna do what lovers do”, encapsulates the song’s overall theme; figuring out what it really means to love, and how that is expressed. If you are looking for a song that encapsulates the playful roller-coaster of romance, Maroon 5’s “What Lovers Do” will undoubtedly hit the mark.
11. One More Night
The lyrics present a vivid portrayal of a tumultuous relationship that’s equal parts passionate and destructive, protagonist caught in an addictive cycle of love and regret. Our lead’s heart is trapped in chaos, despite the mind’s desperate plea to retreat. The powerful metaphors of war and tattoos in the lyrics serve to underscore the intensity and permanence of their flawed love. As the lyrics unroll, we see the protagonist succumbing to his heart every time, resignedly admitting that he’ll stay “one more night”. But therein lies the dilemma, as every ‘one more night’ pushes him deeper into their twisted love. Nonetheless, weighed down by guilt, regret, and an unending cycle of passionate yet ultimately regrettable reunions, this infernal repetition serves more as a lament than a pledge of love.
10. Moves Like Jagger
The track, recorded during their appearance on “The Voice,” is arguably the song that identified Maroon 5 as not just a band, but a pop culture phenomenon. The lyrics showcase the band’s sly humor and offbeat charm. It is a playful, flirty narrative centered around seduction and control. The protagonist is confident and assertive, inviting his love interest to take control, promising to show her “the moves like Jagger.” Unafraid to wear his ego on his sleeve, he uses the promise of a good time and a hint of the unknown to draw in his partner. The song encapsulates the essence of pop culture and rock-n-roll cool, with its throwback reference to the iconic dance moves of Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger, the epitome of rock star swagger.
9. Sunday Morning
This track oozes intimacy, emphasized by the lyrics that paint vivid images of a lazy, romance-filled Sunday morning. There’s rain falling, some skin sharing underneath the stolen covers and unforgettable moments, all defended by the cloud’s shroud. Life’s craziness holds no power here; the promise of returning to this bubble of love if things ever go sideways is soothing.
The lyrics delve into the depths of longing and affection, and the charming pull of a love powerful enough to be the only light in darkness. It’s a serenade asking the beloved to unwind, slow down, and relish their shared connection, much like driving leisurely on a serene Sunday morning. The song’s repeated phrase, ‘I never want to leave,’ perfectly encapsulates the desire to hold onto these precious moments of tranquility forever. The imagery is straightforward, but deeply evokes the sentiment of wishing to freeze time when in the throes of passion and connection.
8. Beautiful Mistakes (feat. Megan Thee Stallion)
The song captures the bittersweet anguish of a relationship break-up, underscored by a melodic pop tune. The lyrics keenly illustrate a person grappling with their emotions, clinging to the memories of their past love, dwelling in heartache yet finding beauty in the ill-fated journey. The chorus paints a vivid picture of sleepless nights fueled by a cascade of haunting dreams and memories. Megan’s rap verse introduces a fiercely independent perspective, rejecting toxicity and squarely placing self-worth above all else. It’s a narrative of pain, memory, regret, but also resilience and the power of self-love. This juxtaposition, delivered with their distinct pop sensibilities, makes “Beautiful Mistakes” a track that’s both relatable and catchy as heck. Maroon 5 really knows how to serve a dose of heartache on a shiny pop platter!
The lyrics lay bare the pain of a tumultuous breakup, a far cry from the idyllic love we’re sold in fairytales. Our protagonist is stuck at a payphone, a symbol of his emotional crossroads, his coins spent on a relationship now in tatters. He’s yearning for the cherished plans made for two and grappling with the remorse of love turned sour. As he wades through spectral memories, he’s paralyzed by an unforgiving past, with “all the bridges burned down.” The incorporation of a rap verse echoes the song’s defiant punch, signifying a struggle to rise from the ashes of past loves. Poignant and brutally honest, “Payphone” is a potent exploration of love, loss, and life’s painstaking realities.
This piece is the third single from the band’s fifth studio album, ‘V.’ Raw, animalistic passion oozes from every lyric, painting a vivid picture of undying attraction. It’s the visceral imagery of hunting and prey that sets this number apart, and, just like the lion hunting gazelle, we are taken on a wild ride. Frontman Adam Levine’s lyrics speak to an intoxicating and addictive relationship; it’s a heady mix of fear, excitement, and obsession. The love he sings about is both dangerous and intoxicating, hinting at a darker side of lust. “Animals” tells a tale of a relationship that is tumultuous and heated, yet impossible to deny or abandon. This track is a sharp left from Maroon 5’s sunnier jams, and it shows just how fearless they are as artists, willing to explore the depth of human emotion in all its wild intricacy.
5. She Will Be Loved
Bathed in silky guitar strums and frontman Adam Levine’s plaintive voice, this song explores the raw and vulnerable world of a beauty queen grappling with her inner demons. What stands out is the narrator’s relentless determination to make her feel valued and loved, unconditionally.
The track’s lyrical narrative paints an intimate portrait of a girl trying her best to cope. The lyrics hint at the narrator’s deep-seated love for her – a love that is patient, understanding, and full of empathy. In an industry that frequently skirts gritty realities, Maroon 5 boldly layers the song with relatable struggles, infusing its catchy pop structure with a profound depth. It’s about finding someone who could love you for your flawed self, making “She Will Be Loved” a compelling anthem for all the broken hearts out there.
4. This Love
It’s a heart-wrenching confession of a love that’s become all-consuming and destructive in its persistence. The lyrics delve into the story of a tumultuous relationship that’s cyclic in nature. Built on emptiness as both parties keep whispering painful goodbyes but unwilling to let go.
Adam Levine’s gritty vocals depict a man hopelessly trapped in the cyclical torment of goodbyes and heartbreaks. His desperation crescendos at the point where he voices the need to fix this broken love and restore her faith. He’s prepared to delve deeper and fight harder. However, the continuous emotional toll the relationship takes on him quickly quenches his hopeful sparks.
Ultimately, “This Love” stands a powerful testimony to Maroon 5’s ability to weave poppy hooks around raw and relatable stories, pulling at the heartstrings of listeners while keeping things radio-friendly.
The lyrics, while simple, are a universal cry for love and affection, conveying a palpable sense of longing and desperation. The protagonist in the song is portrayed as someone broken and weak without their significant other’s love. Parallels can be drawn between the metaphorical use of “sugar” as love and sweetness in one’s life, a clear sentiment echoed throughout the lyrics. The protagonist seeks not just love but also sympathy and a sense of security from their partner, further deepening the emotional scope of the song. Sweet and addictive, “Sugar” reflects Maroon 5’s knack for crafting catchy tunes with masses appeal, cleverly using a universally desired commodity – sugar – as a metaphor for love, something equally sought after by human hearts.
The song pulls on the heartstrings, painting a melancholic portrait of loss, regret, but ultimately resilience. The essence of the sprawling lyrics revolves around celebrating the lives of those no longer with us, not with the typical sadness, but through toasting, a much more joyful, reminiscent ritual. It’s about using memories as a healing balm, a heartening reminder of happier times. Musically, it casts a somewhat somber tone, capturing the visceral reality of heartache but offset with an irrepressible, sing-along charm that we know Maroon 5 for. It whispers about the universal human experience of pain, and how it molds us. More importantly, it shouts out the spirit of perseverance, the courage to raise a glass, embrace the wound, allowing our memories to heal and nurture us. In essence, it’s a true Maroon 5 classic, bearing their signature emotional honesty, and resonant sound, that lands it rightfully in our top picks.
The lyrics chart a course of regret and longing, with echoes of promises broken and trust betrayed. They paint a vivid portrait of a man who, amidst the ruins of a failed relationship, goes on a metaphorical voyage using the titular “Maps” that lead back to his beloved. It’s a poignant commentary on the universal human experience of yearning for connection, even amidst the shrapnel of shattered dreams. The heart of the song lies in its relentless pursuit of the elusive specter of past love. Adam Levine’s emotive vocal delivery adds an extra layer of vulnerability, making “Maps” a standout track in Maroon 5’s discography. Unpicking the thematic threads running through the lyrics, it’s a lamentation for lost love, a soulful siren call for reconciliation, and a testament to the power of perseverance in matters of the heart.