15 Best Maroon 5 Songs: Discover the Pop Rock Mainstays

maroon 5 band posing on the red carpet for a photo in 2011
Maroon 5 at the 16th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards Arrivals, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA. 01-14-11. Image from Shutterstock

Since breaking out in 2002, Maroon 5 has forged a rep as one of the biggest hit-makers in popular music.

Never one to rest on their laurels, the band switches up styles from rock to pop, hip hop to soul, without missing a beat.

In this article, we count down the 15 best Maroon 5 songs.

Best Maroon 5 songs

15. “Sunday Morning”

“Sunday Morning” is one of many great Maroon 5 songs from their debut album Songs About Jane.

The mid-tempo track mixes pop rock with a soul vibe. The band’s original drummer Ryan Dusick drives the song with a peppy beat, while Adam Levine’s big chorus hook is the main event.

Keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Jesse Carmichael and Levine wrote the track. 

Carmichael drops a big alt-rock riff in the bridge, showcasing the band’s harder edge before transitioning into a pop-focused sound.

14. “Beautiful Mistakes” (feat. Megan Thee Stallion)

Like many of the best Maroon 5 songs, “Beautiful Mistakes” includes a featured artist, Texan rapper Megan Thee Stallion.

Adam Levine provides the R&B-tinged vocals on top of a hip-hop beat. The track is a relatively new single for the band, having been cut from their latest album Jordi.

Megan Thee Stallion brings the ‘tude in her verse with a hard-edged flow, contrasting with Levine’s chilled-out approach to his vocal take.

Levine reflected on the rapper’s contribution, stating that “the way she built her part… it couldn’t have been a more epic kind of climax for the song. It really is absolutely perfect. What she did was just miraculous, and it brought the song to a whole new level.”

13. “Cold” (feat. Future)

“Cold” is another Maroon 5 track with a feature from a big-name rapper, Atlanta star Future.

The track is from the band’s sixth album Red Pill Blues, released in 2017.

Future drops a nimble verse over a minimalist hip-hop beat. 

At the same time, Adam Levine stretches his vocal range to add a high register vocal over a pop beat with a tropical feel, with his lyrics exploring a frozen romance on its last legs.

12. “One More Night”

“One More Night” is a pop blast with an offbeat reggae and funk vibe provided by Maroon 5’s guitarists Jesse Carmichael and James Valentine.

Levine also adds a touch of a laid-back reggae feel to match, while lyrically he explores staying with a woman “for just one more night” while his big head battles with his little head about whether to stay in the toxic relationship.

The song went to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was the 18th highest-selling track in the US in 2012. 

11. “Don’t Wanna Know” (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

Like many Maroon 5 songs, “Don’t Wanna Know” includes a big feature, and they don’t get much bigger than Compton rap superstar Kendrick Lamar.

Maroon 5 explores a tropical house vibe on the track. Lamar adds his verse over a sparse tropical rhythm with a lighthearted flow, which is a contrast to his usual intensity.

The track was released in a three-minute version without Lamar and an extended cut with his feature. 

With the benefit of hearing both versions, it’s clear Lamar brings a lot to the track by switching up the flow, even though his verse is fairly brief.

Related: The 14 Best Rappers of All Time 

10. “This Love”

Back in the day, this was one of the Maroon 5 songs you heard non-stop while they were breaking out commercially with their sleeper hit debut album Songs About Jane.

The track features an upbeat funk rock groove, while Levine taps a recent raw breakup for the lyrics.

“I was in a relationship that was ending,” he explained. “But I was really excited on the other end because the band was about to go make the record and I was ecstatic to go in the studio. 

“She was literally leaving town within days of me writing the lyrics, so I was in prime emotional condition to write a song with that kind of conflict.”

9. “What Lovers Do” (feat. SZA)

“What Lovers Do” pairs R&B star SZA with Levine on the mic, and the singers create a stunning duo vocal track.

Cut from the band’s 2017 album Red Pill Blues, it’s another one of Maroon 5’s pop songs that mixes funk grooves with tropical synth melodies.

8. “Moves Like Jagger” (feat. Christina Aguilera)

“Moves Like Jagger” is, without a doubt, one of the best Maroon 5 songs.

The hit song from their 2010 album Hands All Over spent four weeks at the top of the charts in the US and remains one of the band’s most recognizable songs.

The opening whistling melody is insanely catchy, and the modern disco groove of the track made it a hit on dance floors worldwide, along with the clever lyrics inspired by the dance moves of Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger.

Maroon 5’s guitar duo add tight funk rhythms over which Adam Levine provides one of his most iconic vocal performances, while pop queen Christina Aguilera drops a powerhouse soul vocal in the second half of the track.

Related: Mick Jagger’s Net Worth: The Incredible Wealth of the Rolling Stones’ Lead Singer 

7. “Animals”

“Animals” was the second single from Maroon 5’s fifth album, V, and remains one of the most popular Maroon 5 songs.

The track peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, the band’s tenth top 10 hit in the US.

Typical of late-career Maroon 5, Adam Levine recruited songwriters Shellback and Benny Blanco to co-write the funk-pop jam, with Shellback also providing production.

6. “She Will Be Loved”

“She Will Be Loved” is one of the best Maroon 5 songs from the band’s early career when they debuted with their first album.

The catchy anthem sees Levine providing a massive hook over a guitar-driven arrangement.

The ballad was responsible for alternative rock stations ditching Maroon 5 from their playlists because their output was becoming too commercial, something the band would lean into on subsequent releases.

5. “Maps”

The breezy vibe of “Maps” is one of Maroon 5’s many pop hits, with the track leading the charge as the debut single from their 2014 studio album V.

A dance drum beat propels the song along with the lithe guitar melody. Levine’s vocals are in his signature high register style, and he explained the lyrical background of the song as such:

“People go through a lot of things and get stepped on and step on others and we all make mistakes. It’s kind of more about not giving up on something, even though maybe you should.”

4. “Payphone” (feat. Wiz Khalifa)

Maroon 5 often team up with rappers to help create their best pop songs, and “Payphone” is no exception.

Producer Benny Blanco enlisted Wiz Khalifa to rap on the dance-pop song, explaining: “I love when things don’t make sense, like, ‘Holy f***!’ You don’t hear him on the song at all. I like when bands dip into a whole different genre.”

“Payphone” was the first single from the band’s fourth album Overexposed, and the track peaked at number one in the UK and number two in the US.

Related: The 21 Best Rap Songs of All Time 

3. “Girls Like You” (feat. Cardi B)

“Girls Like You” is one of many Maroon 5 songs to become hit singles, with the insistent acoustic guitar groove clocking up 10 million copies in sales and being certified Diamond in the US.

The band’s collaboration with rapper Cardi B for the track also won them a Grammy for best pop performance for a duo/group in 2017.

The video for the song features Cardi B performing as well as cameos from numerous big-name female entertainers, including Millie Bobby Brown, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lopez, and Mary J. Blige.

Levine made the following observation about the final product: “The world is so heavy right now, and there’s so much going on, so I kind of love the fact that the song and the video are a bit lighter… the main mission behind the video is helping people to realize that we have to have each other’s backs.”

2. “Sugar”

“Sugar” is known as one of Maroon 5’s best songs, and with 3.8 billion streams on YouTube, it’s no secret why.

The summery disco pop tune became the group’s third Diamond single in the US and picked up a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

Co-writer Mike Posner said the song’s beat was just sitting on his laptop, so he sent it to Maroon 5 and “when they recorded the song, Adam added his flavor to it and he wrote on it as well, lyrically and some melodic things, and he really sang it well. I’m a big fan, so I’m glad they did it.”

1. “Memories” (feat. Nipsey Hussle & YG)

“Memories” is one of the best Maroon 5 songs, and the downtempo arrangement really brings out the nuances in Adam Levine’s flawless vocal performance.

The 2019 single shows that Maroon 5 are still a potent creative force, as they’re able to make one of their new songs stand up so well against their most popular songs from earlier in their career.

The music in “Memories” is based on “Canon in D Major” by German composer Johann Pachelbel.

Levine explained the motivation for writing the single: “This song is for anyone who has ever experienced loss. In other words, this song is for all of us.”

Guitarist James Valentine elaborated, saying “It’s a different kind of song for us… It’s an important song for us. You know, we experienced some loss in the last couple of years. We lost our longtime manager Jordan Feldstein. We heard the skeleton of this song and thought it matched where we were at.”

The loss of their friend is also reflected in the album title, Jordi, which was the band’s nickname for Feldstein.

The track is available in two versions – “Memories” and “Memories Remix,” with the latter featuring rappers Nipsey Hussle and YG. The remix is faithful to the original musically but rearranges the vocal parts to highlight the features.  

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Written by Erik Ritland

Erik Ritland is a songwriter, musician, journalist, and podcaster based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released over a dozen albums since 2002, most recently Old Dog Almost Gone (2021), the first-ever multimedia album, and his latest collection of all original material, A Scientific Search (2020). During his 15+ years as a music journalist, Erik has written hundreds of articles for Music in Minnesota, Something Else Reviews, his own blog Rambling On, and more. In addition to continuing his music career, Erik currently runs The Cosmic American, a music journalism website, and is the editor of Music in Minnesota.


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