Red Pill Blues

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Red Pill Blues
A series of photos of the band member's faces with cartoonish filters added to them.
Studio album by Maroon 5
Released November 3, 2017 (2017-11-03)
Studio Conway Recording Studios (Los Angeles, California)
Genre
Length 42:09
Label
Producer
Maroon 5 chronology
Singles
(2015)
Red Pill Blues
(2017)
Singles from Red Pill Blues
  1. "What Lovers Do"
    Released: August 30, 2017
  2. "Wait"
    Released: January 16, 2018[5]

Red Pill Blues[6] is the sixth studio album by American pop rock band Maroon 5. It was released on November 3, 2017, by 222 and Interscope Records. This is the band's first release to feature multi-instrumentalist Sam Farrar as an official member after becoming a touring member in 2012. The title of the album refers to the science fiction term of taking the red pill or the blue pill, which originated from the 1999 sci-fi film The Matrix.[6]

The album is supported by the lead single "What Lovers Do", featuring American singer SZA. The band will embark on the Red Pill Blues Tour in support of the album in 2018.

Background[edit]

After touring in support of their fifth studio album V (2014) for over three years, Maroon 5 began planning a follow-up to V. Previously, the band had released two commercial singles. On October 11, 2016, the group released the tropical house single "Don't Wanna Know", featuring American rapper Kendrick Lamar. Another single, entitled "Cold", featuring American rapper Future, was released to digital retailers on February 14, 2017 and to Top 40 radio on February 21. After embarking on a short rescheduled headlining tour in North America in March 2017, the band began to finish recording new material for a sixth album at Conway Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California. The band began posting teaser gifs and videos on their social media accounts of members in the studio in late March.[7]

At the 2017 Teen Choice Awards, held on August 13, 2017, Maroon 5 was honored the Decade Award. In his acceptance speech, frontman Adam Levine confirmed that their sixth album would be released in November.[8] Levine later confirmed this in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music radio station Beats 1.[9] On October 4, 2017, the band revealed the name "Red Pill Blues" and announced the pre-order for the album to begin October 6.[10]

Artwork[edit]

The album cover art is inspired by filters featured on the mobile app Snapchat.[11] The cover depicts all seven members of Maroon 5 pictured on polaroid photographs with a filter on their faces. "We all use Snapchat, and the filters have become a huge part of the culture", frontman Adam Levine told Billboard in an October 2017 interview.[12] "We thought it would be funny to take some more straight-ahead band photos and sprinkle in a little fun." Guitarist James Valentine added by saying "It's like, a part of the zeitgeist now. Adam [Levine] and his wife, they just love trading photos when we're touring and stuff. They're always doing those filter faces to each other, so I think it rose out of that. Adam always has fun with that."

Singles[edit]

The album was preceded by two commercial stand-alone releases. "Don't Wanna Know", featuring American rapper Kendrick Lamar, was released to digital retailers on October 11, 2016, and charted at No. 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Adult Top 40, Adult Contemporary, and Hot 100 Airplay charts.[13] A music video for "Don't Wanna Know" premiered on October 14 on The Today Show.[14]

A second stand-alone single, "Cold", featuring American rapper Future, was released on February 14, 2017, and charted at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 5 on the Adult Top 40 chart.[13] The music video for "Cold" premiered on February 15.[15]

On August 30, 2017, the band released "What Lovers Do", featuring American R&B singer SZA, as the lead single from the album.[16] A lyric video was uploaded on September 15, 2017, while the music video for the song premiered on September 28.[17][18]

James Valentine announced on Twitter that "Wait" would be the second single from the album.[19] The song was officially released to US contemporary hit radio on January 16, as the album's second single.[5]

Promotional singles[edit]

"Help Me Out", featuring American singer-songwriter Julia Michaels, was released on October 6, 2017, as an instant grat along with the pre-order of the album.[10] Another song, titled "Whiskey", featuring American rapper ASAP Rocky, was released to digital retailers on October 19, 2017. "Wait" was released as a promotional single on October 31.[20]

Tour[edit]

Maroon 5 announced dates of the Red Pill Blues Tour on October 26, 2017.[21] The tour set to begin on March 1, 2018.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 58/100[22]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[23]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[24]
Entertainment Weekly B
Slant Magazine 2/5 stars
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars

On Metacritic, Red Pill Blues has a score of 58 from eight reviews, indicating "generally mixed or average reviews" from music critics.[22]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, Red Pill Blues debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 with 122,000 album-equivalent units, of which 94,000 were pure album sales, becoming the band's sixth top ten album in the country.[25] On November 14, 2017, Red Pill Blues was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for combined sales and album-equivalent units of over 500,000 units in the United States.[26] By the end of 2017, Red Pill Blues had accumulated 596,000 album-equivalent units in the United States, with 185,000 being pure sales.[27]

It is also Maroon 5's sixth top ten album in Australia, opening at number seven on the ARIA Albums Chart.[28] The album entered the Canadian Albums Chart at number two, becoming their sixth top five entry in Canada.[29] Elsewhere, it debuted at number six on the New Zealand Albums Chart,[30] and at number 12 on the UK Albums Chart.[31]

Track listing[edit]

Red Pill Blues – Standard edition[32]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Best 4 U"
  • Bunetta
  • Afterhrs
  • Noah "Mailbox" Passovoy
3:59
2. "What Lovers Do" (featuring SZA)
  • Evigan
  • Sam Farrar[a]
  • Passovoy[a]
  • Ben Billions[b]
3:19
3. "Wait"
  • Ryan
  • Passovoy[a]
3:10
4. "Lips on You"
  • Puth
  • Evigan
3:36
5. "Bet My Heart"
  • Levine
  • Ryan
  • Hindlin
  • Phil Shaouy
  • Ryan
  • Phil Paul
  • Passavoy
3:16
6. "Help Me Out" (with Julia Michaels)
3:13
7. "Who I Am" (featuring LunchMoney Lewis)
3:03
8. "Whiskey" (featuring ASAP Rocky)
  • Ryan
  • Hindlin
3:30
9. "Girls Like You"
3:35
10. "Closure"
  • Levine
  • Ryan
  • Hindlin
  • Malik
  • Shaouy
  • Ryan
  • Paul
  • Passavoy
11:28
Total length: 42:09

Notes

  • ^a signifies an additional producer
  • ^b signifies a co-producer

Sample credits

Personnel[edit]

Maroon 5

Additional personnel

  • The Arcade – songwriting, production (credited individually as Kurtis McKenzie and Jon Mills for songwriting)
  • Afterhrs – production
  • Nick Bailey – production
  • Alex Ben-Abdallah – songwriting
  • Ben Billions – production
  • Benny Blanco – songwriting, production (credited as Benjamin Levin for songwriting)
  • Julien Bunetta – songwriting, production
  • Dustin Bushnell – songwriting
  • Cirkut – production
  • Diplo – songwriting, production
  • Jason Evigan – production
  • Ian Franzino – songwriting
  • Teddy Geiger – songwriting
  • James Alan Ghaleb – songwriting
  • Andrew Haas – songwriting
  • Brittany Talia Hazzard – songwriting
  • King Henry – songwriting, production (credited as Henry Agincourt Allen for songwriting)
  • Alexander Izquerdio – songwriting
  • Jacob Kasher Hindlin – songwriting, production
  • J Kash – executive production
  • Kendrick Lamar – guest vocals, songwriting (credited as Kendrick Duckworth for songwriting)
  • Louie Lastic – production
  • LunchMoney Lewis – guest vocals, songwriting (credited as Gamal Lewis for songwriting)
  • Ammar Malik – songwriting
  • Julia Michaels – guest vocals, songwriting
  • Ryan Ogren – production
  • Oladayo Olatunji – songwriting
  • OzGo – songwriting, production (credited as Oscar Görres for songwriting)
  • Noah Passavoy – production
  • Phil Paul – songwriting, production (credited as Phil Shaouy for songwriting)
  • Victor Rådström – songwriting
  • Charlie Puth – songwriting, production
  • Ricky Reed – songwriting, production
  • ASAP Rocky – guest vocals, songwriting (credited as Rakim Mayers for songwriting)
  • John Ryan – songwriting, production
  • Tinashe Sibanda – songwriting
  • Gian Stone – songwriting
  • Elina Stridh – songwriting
  • SZA – guest vocals, songwriting (credited as Solána Imani Rowe for songwriting)
  • TMS – songwriting, production (credited individually as Peter Kelleher, Tom Barnes, and Ben Kohn for songwriting)
  • Justin Tranter – songwriting
  • Jared Watson – songwriting
  • Isaiah Tejada – keyboards, synthesizers

Charts[edit]

Chart (2017–18) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[36] 7
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[37] 31
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[38] 47
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[39] 31
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[40] 2
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[41] 11
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[42] 5
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[43] 21
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[44] 24
French Albums (SNEP)[45] 24
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[46] 44
Irish Albums (IRMA)[47] 21
Italian Albums (FIMI)[48] 15
Japanese Albums (Billboard Japan)[49] 6
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[50] 10
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[30] 6
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[51] 8
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[52] 33
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[53] 21
Scottish Albums (OCC)[54] 12
Slovak Albums (IFPI)[55] 16
South Korean Albums (Gaon)[56] 19
South Korean International Albums (Gaon)[57] 1
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[58] 14
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[59] 12
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[60] 21
UK Albums (OCC)[61] 12
US Billboard 200[25] 2

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[62] Gold 40,000^
Sweden (GLF)[63] Gold 20,000^
United States (RIAA)[26] Gold 500,000double-dagger

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

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