Maroon 5 have released another song and video from their new album entitled ‘V.’ Most of us will remember them from our teenage angst years; singing ‘she will be loved’ over the CD playing whilst doing our best moody impressions. A lot of music phases have passed, but Maroon 5 have stood the test of time and have remained a firm favourite of many.
Their new single, ‘Animals’ follows their debut single ‘Maps,’ which topped at number two in the UK singles chart. Maroon 5 have become more appealing to mainstream audiences, even though they are still referred to as a punk-pop band; which conjures up images of dyed hair and piercings.
The video for ‘Animals’ is however a far cry from anything remotely indie or pop. It shows frontman Adam Levine playing a butcher-come-stalker with serial killer type fantasies. The whole video is shot like a horror film, with blood and meat carcasses as regular backdrops to Levine.
This has stirred up some debate as it depicts controversial and shocking topics alongside masculinity and sexual gratification through the lyrics. In the video Levine stalks a female and then fantasizes being with her whilst covered in blood.
The whole thing is disturbing and creepy and I believe this is exactly what the band wants us to feel. Maroon 5 have been around for ages as a solid, thoughtful band and they are not suddenly now revealing they are misogynistic and anti-feminist, like a Miley Cyrus U-turn.
The video makes you question masculinity and the so-called stereotypical notions that men follow animalistic urges and express their passion this way. It shows carcasses and blood as they are: no glorifying or prettifying anywhere. If Levine and his new wife, the Victoria’s Secret supermodel Behati Prinsoo, weren’t so attractive the video could be a trailer for the next sociopathic thriller.
Now I understand that this subject matter is a bit full on for a music video, especially with its graphic content. The video shows that the whole idea of objectifying women; whether that is through a stalker’s perspective or ours watching it, is completely and utterly creepy, unsettling and wrong.
Lex Griffiths, a third year Creative writing and Journalism student said, ‘I didn’t read it [the video] as stalker-like behaviour being excused as animalistic, so much as that the male character used so-called “male instinct” to try and justify his actions. He was quite clearly disturbed.”
Often predators use the excuse of having ‘urges’ or animalistic tendencies as excuses to sexual assaults they have committed. This is plain wrong. The song lyrics themselves repeat over and over the same three or four verses, all gender neutral, with lying a key topic.
Compared to other music videos out at the moment, the blood and nudity is quite placid. The idea of objectifying women is so creepily depicted in the video that you cannot justify it in anyway. Whilst in many other videos, ‘Anaconda’ by Nikki Minaj being an example that straight away rings bells, is objectifying, degrading and belittling all with a neon sugar coated finish.
‘Animals’ is shocking because of the crazy, psycho performance from Levine and the excess amount of blood, but I think the problem most people are having is that Maroon 5 have chosen a real and terrifying theme to base their video on.
Maybe raising awareness might help. Men are not like animals, and they should not have urges like this. The theme of ‘big butts’ or very explicit lyrics are in so many videos now that we seem to be de-sensitised, or we just seem to put up with it.
Now it could be that Maroon 5 are not being all Meta with this video, and it is just some of us that are hoping they have not jumped on the synthesised, sexual pop bandwagon. I guess this controversy is what we expect of musicians, ‘pop stars’ and bands nowadays. Is the video really that bad? Have a look for yourself:
Take a look at the alternative opinion – ‘Yes: Maroon 5’s new music video, ‘Animals,’ really is that bad…’