Maroon Five, a band originally known as "Kara's Flowers," is a Los Angeles-based alternative rock band best known now for their hit single "Harder to Breathe," which is on their most recent album Songs About Jane.
The band is fronted by Adam Levine (lead vocals, lead guitar), a talented guitarist with a fun and enjoyable voice. He is backed up by James Valentine at guitar, Jesse Carmichael on the keyboard, Mickey Madden on bass, and Ryan Dusick on the drums.
The Maroon Five boys have been chums since junior high school and played their very first gig, then as Kara's Flowers, in September of 1995 at a dive called The Whiskey in LA. They had a talent and energy on stage that hundreds of rock lovers enjoyed. This success led to them releasing their first album, The Fourth World, on Reprise Records, a recording that garnered critical acclaim, but not a huge commercial success. While basking in the success they did get from World, they toured with bands like Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger.
In 1999, Maroon Five left Reprise to go in a new direction. With the subtraction of Reprise came the addition of James Valentine and hints of R&B into their style. Eventually Maroon Five experimented and evolved into the band they are today. They signed with Octone Records to record Songs About Jane with Matt Wallace, a producer/mixer that had worked with the likes of Train, Blues Traveler, Third Eye Blind, and Faith No More. Currently, Maroon Five is playing sold out clubs like the House of Blues and the Viper Room in LA and enjoying the commercial success of Jane.
The combination of rock, funk, soul, and R&B into Maroon Five's style works well and adds a real depth to their music. It has allowed them to grow beyond the typical "alternative" rock style that characterized Weezer and Radiohead. Their music has a catchy beat that makes you want to get up and dance a little, the great song "Harder to Breathe" in particular. Some of their songs, indeed, sound like they could be played in tandem with a dance number ala "boy" bands like N'Sync. But don't let that notion tarnish your image of Maroon Five: they have essential things like musical talent and enjoyable that those boy bands are lacking.