Photo Credit: Mick Hutson/Redferns via Billboard
It feels kind of absurd to recommend “She Will Be Loved”. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who didn’t like it, including (possibly even especially) people who don’t like Maroon 5. But the song has reached a kind of bland, paradoxical saturation in which people like it, but don’t love it. It’s like recommending pizza or a picturesque beach. It’s one of those pop songs that no one thinks of right away, but everyone knows by heart. It was a staple of the light rock station my mom always had on in the car when I was growing up. It’s even included in the horrendous corporate-curated playlist at the grocery store. It’s so permanently embedded into my brain that hearing it should be nothing but background noise.
And yet, when I listened to it with fresh ears recently, I realized I absolutely adore it. I find myself humming it on summer days. There’s something about the June thunderstorms that have been passing through lately that conjures it up. Contradictory feelings bubble up — something sweet and sultry at the surface, golden light through raindrops. Simultaneously, a nostalgic sadness, a familiar aroma, and a picture faded at the edges. The sound of a needle scratching a record at the beginning almost subliminally makes it feel oh so real.
The simple storytelling takes me into a warm, intimate space where two lovers are just trying to figure it out, though inevitability it won’t work. The chorus plays as a declaration, but the realistic approach to love that is almost universally left out of radio fodder. There’s something deeply personal about the image that the song leaves you with; it almost feels like I ought to look away, leave them to it. But the image plays and replays, impossible to forget.
(Song recommendation by Brianna Suazo)