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This Love (Maroon 5 song)

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"This Love"
Single by Maroon 5
from the album Songs About Jane
Released January 27, 2004
Format CD single
Recorded Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:27
Label Octone
Maroon 5 singles chronology
"Harder to Breathe"
"This Love"
"She Will Be Loved"

"This Love" is a song by the American rock band Maroon 5. The song was written by frontman Adam Levine and keyboardist Jesse Carmichael for their debut album, Songs About Jane (2002). The track is built around a piano-led strut, which is immediately followed by synth percussion, and a repeating guitar sound.

The song's lyrics are based on Levine's break-up with an ex-girlfriend. He revealed that the song was written in the "most emotionally trying time" in his life.[1] He has also described that the lyrics in this song are extremely erotic.[2] "This Love" was critically acclaimed by music critics, who noted the track's musicscape. It was released on January 27, 2004, as the second single from Songs About Jane.

The single entered the top ten on most charts, topping several of Billboard magazine's component charts, including reaching the number one spot on the Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks chart. The music video was met with controversy, regarding extended intimate scenes between Levine and his then-girlfriend. "This Love" helped Maroon 5 win the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist and was the third most played song of 2004. The song won Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 2006 Grammy Awards, and, to date, is one of Maroon 5's most successful songs.[3]


"This Love" was the second single from Maroon 5's 2002 debut album, Songs About Jane. In an interview with MTV News in August 2002, Maroon 5 vocalist Adam Levine revealed that he wrote the song the day his girlfriend moved away when they broke up.[4] In another interview, Levine revealed that the song was written in the "most emotionally trying time" in his life. He also added, "I was in a relationship that was ending, 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 to 'This Love,' so I was in prime emotional condition to write a song with that kind of conflict."[1]

Music and lyrics[edit]

During development of "This Love", the band stated that the song was influenced by musician Stevie Wonder.[5][6] The verses being written in the key of C harmonic minor and the chorus being written in the key of Eb Major, the beat is set in common time and moves at a moderate 95 beats per minute.[7] The introduction of "This Love" features a piano-led strut.[8] Maroon 5 have called "This Love" a prime pop-rock song.[9] The music featured in the song has a lot more rock-guitar crunch,[5] and is considered a soulful[3] and pop/rock song.[10] According to Johnny Loftus of Allmusic, the music featured in the song has "a slick channeling of vintage R&B rhythms into punchy pop dynamics".[11] Loftus felt that the song features "Levine's wry falsetto around strutting, bottom-heavy piano and percussion both programmed and live; chirping backup vocals and washes of sunny synth and flute acted as counterweights".[11] Loftus also noted that the band has a "sexual charge" with the lyrics, "I tried my best to feed her appetite / To keep her coming every night / So hard to keep her satisfied".[11] The Boston Globe's Steve Morse described the single's sounds as "a rocking yet soulful tale about the breakup of a relationship".[12] Meghan Bard of The Daily Campus adds that the song has "Stevie Wonder-esque vocals and a funky R&B beat".[6] In the extended version of the song, which is 4 minutes and 26 seconds long, the chorus of the band's next single, "She Will Be Loved", can be heard from 3:21 to 3:42, during the outro.[13]

In an interview with Rolling Stone, when asked about the lyrics "Keep her coming every night" and "Sinking my fingertips into every inch of you", Levine said: "Yep, that's sexual, all right. I was so sick of typical lyrics like 'Ooh, baby' and 'I love you' and all this vague shit. I thought the more explicit I got without being totally explicit was a nice approach. The little girls would enjoy them, and it would go right over my grandparents' heads. But it would hit my ex-girlfriend like a ton of bricks. It was perfect."[2] He also comments on how MTV played an edited version of the song for the music video, with the word "coming" edited out of the line "keep her coming every night".[5] Levine noted, "MTV has now edited the language. They won't let me say, 'Keep her coming every night', and they took the sinking out of 'sinking my fingertips'. It's like communist China. It's totally bizarre."[2]


The song received critical acclaim from critics. In the Rolling Stone review of the album, critic Christian Hoard wrote: "Adam Levine's urban-romantic swoonings work best when his band really gets up on the good foot, as on 'This Love', which uses piano and James Brown-like guitars to create a foundation on which Levine can obsess about beauty (including his own)."[14] Jason Thompson of PopMatters noted that on the songs "This Love" and "Must Get Out", keyboardist Jesse Carmichael "manages to conjure up both the productions of Britney Spears and The New Radicals respectively".[15] C. Spencer Beggs of The Observer wrote: "The second track, 'This Love', is sure follow. The two singles ['Harder to Breathe' and 'This Love'] are the most poppy on the album, showing off Maroon 5's characteristic clean, crisp and upbeat sound."[16] Sam Beresky of the Daily Lobo, who was less enthusiastic about the album, complimented the band on "This Love", in which he noted, "...'This Love', is a happier version of the first with a great backbeat reminiscent of Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition'. It might make a foot tap, a head nod or even a booty shake if played at a loud volume."[17]

In May 2004, musician John Mayer told Rolling Stone that he liked the band's album Songs About Jane. Mayer was also positive towards the song. "Once I heard 'This Love,' it was a light-fuse/stand-back kind of situation. It's one of those perfect songs you always hope to write."[5] The single also strengthened Maroon 5's appeal, and helped position them as one of the year's break-out bands in 2004.[3] It has since been remixed by Kanye West, titled "This Love (Kanye West remix)", in May 2004.[18] The band released an EP titled 1.22.03.Acoustic, which features "This Love", however, in an acoustic version.[19] The song was featured in the video game Guitar Hero: On Tour in 2008.[20]

Chart performance[edit]

The single was officially released to radio in North America in January 2004, although the music video was released six months later.[21] "This Love" appeared on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #5.[22] The track's Junior Vasquez Mixes remix topped the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.[23] It also appeared in the Hot Dance Airplay chart at number eighteen.[24] "This Love" reached number one on Billboard's Top 40 Mainstream.[11] It also reached the top spot on Billboard's Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks at the one spot,[11][23] it stayed there for 10 weeks.The song was the top digital download of 2004. In 2007, the song re-entered the chart at the number 36 position on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs.[24] As of June 2014, the song has sold 2,120,000 copies in the US.[25]

"This Love" reached the top ten in twelve countries. In the United Kingdom, it reached the number three spot in the UK Singles Chart on May 1, 2004.[26][27] It entered the top ten in France, Belgium, and Australia.[28][29] The single reached the top five in Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, and New Zealand.[28] Elsewhere, "This Love" appeared on the Italy, Swiss, Germany, and Ireland music charts.[29]

Music video[edit]

Uncensored (top) and censored (bottom) music video for "This Love"

The music video for "This Love" was directed by Sophie Muller. The video combines performance footage from the band in a courtyard built at Mack Sennett Studios and scenes of Adam Levine parting ways with a woman.[1] According to Levine, the concept behind the music video was based on Prince. "An overt sexuality confuses people, too. That video was a very 'pop star' thing to do."[30]

The music video for "This Love" also features Levine and his then-girlfriend, model Kelly McKee, in a few intimate scenes. The video used creative camera angles, thereby avoiding possible FCC action.[31] A version of the video where a stream of computer-generated flowers cover up more was created for more conservative markets.[32] When asked about the video, Levine said: "It was surprisingly not weird and surprisingly not sexual. It was totally comfortable. I didn't get horny or anything, which was weird since I shot it with my girlfriend."[33]

The video was controversial enough to cause critics to comment on it.[33] Sylvia Patterson of The Daily Telegraph described the video as a "porno-pop video".[30] Bass player Michael Madden, asked to comment on the controversy, said that it was "an absurd over-reaction."[34]

Live performances and cover versions[edit]

Adam Levine singing "This Love" at the 2009 Neighborhood Inauguration Ball

Maroon 5 performed "This Love" live on Saturday Night Live (SNL) in February 2004.[35] The band won the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist for the music video of "This Love" in 2004.[36][37] Also in 2004, the song was nominated for Choice Rock Track at the Teen Choice Awards.[38] In the Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, "This Love" was the third played song of 2004, having 438,589 total plays.[39] At the 48th Grammy Awards, the song won a Grammy Award in the category for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.[40][41]

Blake Lewis, the runner-up on the sixth season of American Idol, performed the song on the show on May 15, 2007.[42] Lewis' studio version was later released on the American Idol's official website and in the American Idol Season 6: The Collector's Edition, the compilation of the studio versions of song performed by the finalists of Idol.[43] British artist Limahl also covered the song on the reality show Hit Me, Baby, One More Time.[44] Former American Idol finalist John Stevens did a cover of the single in his 2005 debut album Red.[45] Canadian singer-songwriter Michael Bublé did a cover of the song on his DVD called Caught in the Act.[46] A kid-friendly version of "This Love" was covered by the Kidz Bop Kids from their 2004 album Kidz Bop 6.[47]

The song appeared as a track in the Nintendo DS video game Guitar Hero: On Tour as well as being a part of the downloadable content library for Guitar Hero 5 (and by association, Band Hero as they share the same catalog).

Track listing[edit]

CD single
No. Title Length
1. "This Love" (Album version) 3:27
2. "This Love" (Video) 3:24
3. "Harder to Breathe" (Acoustic)  
4. "The Sun" (Acoustic)  

Chart performance[edit]

Other versions[edit]


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External links[edit]