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“Sugar” by Maroon 5

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    “Sugar” by Maroon 5 (official video) is a pop song.

    Song Title: Sugar (official video)
    Artist: Maroon 5
    Album: V
    Genre: disco, funk-pop, soul, pop, adult pop, adult contemporary
    Composer: Copyright © 2015 Adam Levine, Joshua Coleman, Lukasz Gottwald, Jacob Kasher Hindlin, Mike Posner, Henry Walter
    Lead Vocals: Adam Levine
    Backing Vocals: Mike Posner
    Instruments: Maroon 5, Dr. Luke, Ammo, Cirkut
    Guitar: James Valentine
    Keyboards: PJ Morton, Jesse Carmichael, Dr. Luke, Ammo, Cirkut
    Programmer/programming: Maroon 5, Dr. Luke, Ammo, Cirkut
    Bass: Mickey Madden
    Synth bass: Dr. Luke
    Percussion: Cirkut
    Director: David Dobkin
    Producer: Ammo, Cirkut
    Recorded: 2014 at Conway Recording Studios, Hollywood, California, and Luke’s in the Boo, Malibu, California, and The Mothership, Sherman Oaks, California
    Released: 13 January 2015
    Label: 222 / Interscope
    Number of listens: 31360

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    Summary quotation from Wikipedia:

    “Sugar” is a song recorded by American pop rock band Maroon 5 for their fifth studio album V (2014). It was written by Adam Levine, Lukasz Gottwald, Jacob Kasher Hindlin, Mike Posner, Joshua Coleman and Henry Walter; the production was done by the latter two under their respective production names Ammo and Cirkut. It was sent to contemporary hit radio in the United States, as the third single from the album on January 13, 2015. “Sugar” is a disco, funk-pop, and soul song that features wide range of instruments including percussion, keyboards and guitars. Musically, it is reminiscent to the works of American recording artists Bruno Mars and Katy Perry.

    “Sugar” received generally positive reviews from music critics who praised its catchy feel and retro vibe. Following the release of V, the song debuted in South Korea and peaked at number 13 on the international Gaon Digital Chart and 77 on the main chart. In the US, it peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming their third consecutive top ten single from V, and eighth consecutive top ten hit. Film director David Dobkin shot the accompanying music video for the single in Los Angeles in December 2014. Inspired by the 2005 romantic comedy, Wedding Crashers, it features Maroon 5 crashing and coming uninvited on weddings happening in the city on that day. The video premiered on January 14, 2015, and had is first television air on January 17.

Production and release

    “Sugar” was written by Adam Levine, Lukasz Gottwald, Jacob Kasher Hindlin, Mike Posner, Joshua Coleman and Henry Walter. The production of the song was done by the latter two under their respective production names Ammo and Cirkut. The lead vocals were sung by Levine, while additional vocals provided singer Posner who co-wrote the track. “Sugar” was recorded at Conway Recording Studios in Hollywood, Dr. Luke in the Boo in Malibu and The Mothership in Sherman Oaks while it was mixed at MixStar Studios in Virginia Beach. Doug McKean, Clint Gibbs, Noah Passovoy and Jonathan Sher all served as engineers of the song, while John Armstrong, Eric Eylands, Rachael Findlen and Cameron Montgomery helped them finish the engineering, serving as additional engineers. John Hanes was the mixing engineer while all the instrumentation and programming was provided by Maroon 5, Dr. Luke, Ammo and Cirkut. Artie Smith was the instrument technician. Interscope Records serviced the song to contemporary hit radio in the United States on January 13, 2015. The same day, the band unveiled the official artwork for the single that features red-colored lips holding a sugar cube; Mike Wass of Idolator called it “candy-colored”.

Composition and lyrical interpretation

    “Sugar” is a disco, funk-pop, and soul song with a length of three minutes and fifty-six seconds. It features a wide range of instruments including, a guitar provided by James Valentine and Dr. Luke, bass played by Mickey Madden and synth bass provided by Dr. Luke. The producer Cirkut provided the core percussion while PJ Morton, Jesse Carmichael, Dr. Luke, Ammo and Cirkut contributed to the keyboards. Musically, “Sugar” combines the grooves of the funk and “synth-driven” of the 1980s music nostalgia feeling.

    Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly noted the reminiscence of “Sugar” to the works by singer Bruno Mars. Brad Wete of Billboard magazine compared the song’s production to that of Katy Perry’s 2014 single “Birthday”, which was also produced by Cirkut, together with Dr. Luke. Similarly, Rolling Stone’s Jon Dolan compared the song to the works of Perry and wrote that the “funk-guitar licks zip across a spry, sun-drunk groove as Levine sings…”

    Lyrically, Levine sings the lines to his romantic interest, “I just wanna be there where you are/And I gotta get one little taste”. Jon Caramanica of The New York Times wrote that on the Levine sounds most lecherous while singing the lyrics, “I want that red velvet, I want that sugar sweet.” According to him “he croons so cleanly it’s possible to imagine that he is truly singing about cake.”



    In a review of V, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic wrote that the best moments on the album “are when Maroon 5 embrace the tuneful, slightly soulful adult contemporary pop band they’ve always been, as they do on ‘Sugar’” among other songs. Alexa Tietjen of VH1 stated that the song a “radio-friendly pop song”. Mike Wass of Idolator labeled the song a “ridiculously catchy jam”. PopMatters’ Annie Galvin praised the song and wrote that “hits a sweet spot by layering a subtly funky guitar pulse over gossamer synths and multiple tracks of Levine’s easy-on-the-ears upper range.” Anderson of Entertainment Weekly was more critical and called the song “simultaneously empty and cluttered”.


    Following the release of V, “Sugar” debuted and peaked at number 13 and number 77 on the South Korean International and South Korean Gaon Chart respectively. After the song and its accompanying video was released, it gathered attention at the digital media outlets. Billboard predicted that in its first week the song is set to debut in the top 25 with digital sales of over 150,000 copies. For the week dated January 31, 2015, “Sugar” debuted at number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It became Maroon 5’s third song to debut in the top ten of the chart; their previous singles “Moves like Jagger” (2011) debuted same at number eight and “Payphone” (2012) debuted higher, at number three. Subsequently, it became the band’s 11th top ten hit and their eighth in row.

Music video

Background and development

    The music video for “Sugar” was directed by filmmaker David Dobkin and was shot in December 2014 in Los Angeles. Dobkin previously directed the 2005 romantic comedy film Wedding Crashers and based the video on its plot story. Dobkin, who was an old friend with Maroon 5 explained how they wanted to work together over a decade ago. While Dobkin was in Rome for the premiere of his 2014 film The Judge, Levine e-mailed him asking whether he wanted to direct the video for “Sugar”, on which the director accepted, “It was one of the great experiences of my career making the ‘Sugar’ video with Adam and the boys. Literally lightning in a bottle.” Before filming the video, via Twitter the band invited their fans to take part in the shoots. In a press release for the video, Levine stated, “It was an out of body experience. I had no idea I would be affected by the overwhelming reactions we received from the couples and guests. Being able to create an unforgettable experience for several people was the highlight of it all.” A representative for Duke Photography, who photographed the weddings has said, “It was an incredible surprise and everyone at the wedding is going to cherish those memories.” The video for “Sugar” premiered on January 14, 2015 via the band’s Vevo channel on YouTube. It received its first television premiere on January 17 at 9 a.m. EST on VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown.


    The video starts with the members of the band getting out of a location, with Levine saying that is December 6, 2014 and that they are driving across Los Angeles, with a purpose to hit every wedding happening in the city on that day. After the speech he gets into the car and starts driving. Subsequently, a van parks near the Park Plaza Hotel where a wedding is happening in its ballroom. A group of people get out of it, enter the building and start constructing a secret scene while the guests are surprised and start wondering what’s happening. One guest stands up and starts arguing with the builders, while scenes are intercut with Maroon 5 driving around the city and Levine singing the lyrics of the song. The band gets in front of the hotel and sneaks into the building while the whole situation is happening; they are getting into the white sheets where the instruments are set in. As they are set they call the bride and the groom to stand in front of them and get the curtains down; when they see them the bride starts to scream happily, while the groom gets confused. After that they start smiling and all the guests get up and start dancing to the song.

    Scenes are intercut with the band driving again, getting to another Asian wedding and are sneaking inside the building where its happening. Similar situation happens there when they show to the guests which are both surprised and happy. While driving around Los Angeles, some girls recognize the band and take picture with Valentine. During the last of the video, the band crashes in five more weddings leaving the people surprised. The video ends up with the guests of the weddings giving applause to the band, while Maroon 5’s members cheer with the newlyweds.

Analysis and reception

    Levine spoke with Kevin Frazier of Entertainment Tonight and told him how it was stressful to arrange the whole video, however, the brides and grooms were shocked that the band crashed their wedding. He added, “It was a lot of fun. It felt good to kind of surprise these people and make them happy. Happy that they liked our band too. It would have been a total disaster [if not].” According to Ryan Reed of Rolling Stone, in the video the band channels the roles of actors Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers while surprising the audience with their performance of “Sugar”. Elias Leight of Billboard noted that the reaction of the people ranged from screaming, pointing, then shouting, while in the end they were finally dancing. He also noted that the girls were quicker to recognize Levine than the boys. Jennifer Maas of Entertainment Weekly noted how every groom should be embarrassed of Levine hugging his bride after the end of performance and wrote, “All in all, if this is somehow an authentic stunt, the music video director totally stole the thunder of those couples’ wedding videographers.” Time’s Laura Stampler reviewed the video and wrote that although the video will not make you mad like Maroon 5’s previous visual for “Animals” in which Levine stalks a woman who is played by his real-wife, model Behati Prinsloo while covered in blood, “but you’ll probably still be annoyed”. She further stated that “I do” is the happiest moment in your life, but seeing Levine singing the lyrics “hotter than southern California Bay” to the new wife “is the happiest moment in your life”.

Staging accusations

    Several online magazines including, Life & Style, Rolling Stone, and Cosmopolitan, reported that the video was allegedly staged and filmed over a course of three days on the same location. According to them, the first groom was played by New Zealand actor Nico Evers-Swindell, while actor, Eric Satterberg and a former ‘America’s Next Top Model’ contestant, Raina Hein also played the role of a guest and bride respectively. According to Cacich, two of the actors who played the role of parents said “The Buzz on the internet is whether the Maroon 5 ‘Sugar’ music video is real or staged. We played the parents of the Asian bride and yes, everything was staged”.

—from Wikipedia (the Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License applies to Wikipedia’s block of text and possible accompanying picture, along with any alterations, transformations, and/or building upon Wikipedia’s original text that applied to this block of text)


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