Misery (Maroon 5 song)

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Misery-maroon 5.jpg
Single by Maroon 5
from the album Hands All Over
ReleasedJune 22, 2010
LabelA&M Octone
Producer(s)Robert John "Mutt" Lange
Maroon 5 singles chronology
"If I Never See Your Face Again"
"Give a Little More"
Music video
"Misery" on YouTube

"Misery" is a song by American band Maroon 5. It was released on June 22, 2010 by A&M Octone Records via the iTunes Store. The song is the first single from their third studio album, Hands All Over (2010).[1]

Background and writing[edit]

Written by Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, and Sam Farrar, the song is about the narrator finding himself in a difficult situation when a relationship fades.[2] "Why won't you answer me? / The silence is slowly killing me / Girl you really got me bad," he states in the lyrics.[3] The song documents the decay of a relationship, familiar territory for the band. Frontman, Levine told MTV News: "'Misery' is about the desperation of wanting someone really badly in your life but having it be very difficult. Kind of what all the songs I write are about. I'm not treading on new ground, but I think a lot of people – including myself – deal with that all the time. Relationships are difficult, and it's good therapy to write about them."[4]

Critical reception[edit]

The song received positive reviews from music critics. Bill Lamb from About.com, while reviewing the single, awarded it with the maximum of stars (5 out of 5), saying: "All of the usual elements of a Maroon 5 hit are here, from the perky pop-soul sound to lyrics of intense conflict in a relationship. However, this time the band takes it all a few steps forward into the category of pop perfection. Quite possibly a key reason for this step forward is the presence of the by now legendary Robert John 'Mutt' Lange in the producers chair. 'Misery' is instantly the best mainstream pop single of 2010 so far."[5]

MTV Buzzworthy stated that the single was "pretty classic Maroon 5", and "a buoyant, poppy affair that has a dark underbelly."[2] AOL Radio stated that it was a "falsetto-pleading, yet upbeat, keyboard-popping track" with a chorus similar to Maroon 5's 2004 single "This Love".[3] The New York Post stated that the single was "exactly the kind of up tempo, falsetto-filled single we've come to expect".[6] Rolling Stone reviewers called the song a "funk-rock singalong"[7] that "some people might have a hard time picking out... from a police line-up of Maroon 5 songs."[8]

Music video[edit]


The video was filmed in May 2010.[9] Levine stated to MTV News that the song's music video, directed by Joseph Kahn, focuses on violence, rather than sex, where the female decides to assault, assassinate, rape, maim, humiliate, injure, and bruise her own significant other. The music video stars Russian model Anne Vyalitsyna. The various members of the band appear as bystanders or passersby who get variously hit by cars, etc., as they wind up becoming casualties of the female lead's violence towards Levine's character. The video premiered on July 1, 2010 on MTV and VH1.[10] The UK version censors the majority of the violence with cartoon-like graphics, and adds shots of the band (wearing the same outfits as they do in the rest of the video). [1]

Levine told MTV News about the Joseph Kahn-directed video. "The cool thing is, when Joseph wrote the treatment after reading a few sentences, I thought it was really amazing," he said. "Because it kind of turns the whole idea of the sexual energy between two people – a guy and a girl, a music video, you've seen that a million times – that exists in this video, but it's turning it on its ass and having the girl be the more domineering one who's trying to kill me." Levine admitted to MTV News: "I'll tell you a little secret... the stuntmen were so great, but they probably weren't too happy because they had to dress like us [for the video], which was hilarious, because we aren't the most masculine dressers. This dude who was [keyboardist] Jesse [Carmichael]'s stunt double was, like, really buff, and he has Jesse's little low-top Converse and skinny jeans on. The shoes were, like, falling off his massive ankles."

Levine added: "I did a lot of stuff, a lot of stuff is me! But most of it wasn't very dangerous. Although, by the end of the day, even not being hit by things is such a physical thing that I was really kind of beat up. I was like, 'Man, even thinking I got my ass kicked feels like getting my ass kicked.'"[11]


Robbie Daw from Idolator called director Joseph Kahn a "visual maestro".[12] MTV Buzzworthy also reviewed the video positively, saying: "Adam Levine and model Anne Vyalitsyna make a love-hate relationship look so sexy in Maroon 5's new video, "Misery".[citation needed]

Live performances[edit]

The band performed it live on the Late Show with David Letterman on September 21, 2010.[13] They were also on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on September 28, 2010.[14]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The song was nominated in the Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal category at the 53rd Grammy Awards.[15]

In other media and cover versions[edit]

"Misery" was featured in the television shows, Love Bites, Beat Shazam, The Voice and Dancing with the Stars. The song was covered by Glee actor Darren Criss and was included on the soundtrack album Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers (2011).[16]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format
United States June 22, 2010 Digital download[59]
June 29, 2010 Mainstream radio[60]
Australia[61] June 22, 2010 Digital download
France[62] June 23, 2010 Digital download
United Kingdom September 1, 2010


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  2. ^ a b Ryan, Chris (June 21, 2010). "Song You Need To Know: Maroon 5, 'Misery'". MTV Buzzworthy. MTV. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
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  13. ^ Late Show with David Letterman Episode #18.9 IMDB Retrieved 2011-01-21
  14. ^ Jimmy Kimmel Live! Episode #9.15 IMDB Retrieved 2011-01-21
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External links[edit]