Maroon 5, ‘Help Me Out’ | Track Review
Maroon 5 and Julia Michaels combine pop forces for “Help Me Out,” the fourth single from the band’s long-awaited album, ‘Red Pill Blues.’
Tsk, tsk, tsk. Some years ago, something happened to Maroon 5. Once a proud band that sang Song About Jane, something changed. That something was assimilating to pop clichés, for better or for worse. Sometimes, the embracement of pop trends has worked out for Adam Levine and company. Other times, not so much. The promo campaign leading up to Help Me Out has been rough. While Maroon 5 has experienced some success, none of the three singles – “Don’t Wanna Know,” “Cold,” or “What Lovers Do” – feel remarkable. Unfortunately for fourth single, “Help Me Out,” it’s unremarkable too – no offense Julia Michaels.
Starting with the pros. Adam Levine can sing. His falsetto remains top-rate, even if he’s drenched in vocal effects. Over the years, this hasn’t diminished. Also, Julia Michaels can sing. Her upper pipes, coupled with Adam’s makes a formidable combination. Vocally, hence, “Help Me Out” has some nice moments.
Unfortunately, there are cons. The production work is slick, like any other pop song, but it’s not particularly alluring. From the opening, it makes you grumble because the cards are already revealed. It’s cliché and not even really good cliché. The songwriting is also forgettable. The title tells us everything we need to know about the track, and it’s repeated a few too many times. While the vocals represent one of the better aspects of “Help Me Out,” they shouldn’t be overpraised. The song is just not strong enough to make this a ‘vocal showcase’ for either Levine or Michaels.
Ultimately, “Help Me Out” is a dud, period. Honestly, it sounds as if Maroon 5 are approaching things as if they need to release an album (Red Pill Blues), no matter how mediocre the material they are issuing is. There’s just little that makes “Help Me Out” noteworthy. This doesn’t compare to the crème de la crème of their discography. V may not have been vintage Maroon 5, but there were surefire hits with “Animals” and “Sugar.” Does “Help Me Out” come close to those gems? No.