For personal sanity reasons I can not allow myself to go see Maroon 5 at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Friday night. It has nothing to do with any feelings of disdain I might have for the Los Angeles pop rock quintet.
Quite the contrary, actually.
The truth is that lead singer Adam Levine and Co. are too good at writing perfect power hooks. The minute I hear Levine hitting those impossible falsetto notes on the group's biggest hits I can't get the song out of my head for weeks. Hearing every hit the band has had since breaking big with debut single "Harder to Breathe" seven years ago at one concert might make my brain spark and fry like some sort of faulty flash drive.
It was the band's second single, former top 10 hit "This Love," that really got my eardrums swirling in a way that — I imagine — was akin to Mowgli's eyes in Disney's The Jungle Book just as Indian python Kaa was about to put the squeeze on him. That song had a grip on me that, for a brief time, cost me the company of friends, families and pets.
Everywhere I went for months the chorus hook, "This love has taken its toll on me. She said 'Goodbye' too many time before-or-or-or-or..." kept coming out of my mouth with the repetition and frequency of Geico commercials.
Even now, as a I review the lyrics for accuracy, I feel like I have unleashed a repressed memory that I'm gonna pay for by singing in the car ... in the shower ... and in the office. Sorry in advance, dear co-workers.
Others in the music biz and the listening public must have felt the same lingering effects, because Maroon 5's debut album, Songs About Jane, came out in 2002, but it took three years for everyone to stop singing those hooks and award the band Grammys for best new artist and best performance by a duo or group for "This Love."
The singles repetition affliction subsided a bit for Maroon 5's last album, 2007's It Won't Be Soon Before Long, but the just released Hands All Over offers a whole new wave of uncontrollable sing-a-longs. The set debuted at No. 2 last month and early singles "Misery" and "Give A Little More" are already dancing in my brain the more I hear them.
No, it's best if I sit this one out. You go and let me know how it was.
But, please... no singing when you get home.
Maroon 5, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Tickets: $30-$75 ($150 select reserved pit seating)