BY KELSEY BURKE

Summertime has always been about fun and relaxation, outdoor games and climbing trees, catching up on books or TV series, or kicking back by the bonfire or the beach. This summer, in addition to working everyday, I wanted to incorporate as much classic summer fun as I could. So, besides beachside drinks, swimming with sharks, stargazing, and building sandcastles, I laid out in the sun with my best friend and we listened to cliché beach music. Though I skipped over Jack Johnson, I let my friend’s phone play through all of “Smooth” by Rob Thomas, “Mr. Jones” by the Counting Crows, and every Maroon 5 and Train song released before 2010.

After some quality iPod time, my friend’s mom got sick of it and turned on her Sirius satellite radio to the only station she listens to… the Pulse. I had never heard the Pulse before this summer, for those who don’t know it’s very typical, very cliché, and very overplayed. So, unfortunately, while the sounds of seagulls, waves, and excited children danced around the background, the music itself was still loud and clear. A few good songs played, classics from the 2000s, but then Maroon 5’s newer songs came on, sparking a serious conversation about the quality of music and what the hell ever happened to the Jane days.

Maroon 5 used to be great, according to everyone in the world. Personally, I think their older stuff is better acoustic than studio because it sounds to me like they took one background track and only added one slight change for each song. (Fun fact: they actually wanted it to be this way so they could sing the choruses of their own songs in other songs as well… cool concept, but it annoys me.) Their lyrics are great and have catchy beats, not to mention Adam Levine having such a unique voice. Now, though? All of their older fans dislike them. They aren’t growing much as a band and may be better off going back to their similar musical tracks and clever lyrics.

The Pulse has another song that is frequently played, and let me tell you, once was enough – Train’s newest song “Bruises”. It’s basically about finding a random person from your high school and connecting with them a long time later; it falls somewhere between pop and folk music and injured my soul a little bit. It’s just terrible, and this is coming from a Train fan. Let’s look at their past: they had witty, adorable, lovely, and crazy songs. Personally, I lost interest around “Hey, Soul Sister” even though it was one of their biggest hits.

Am I the only one to think that bands like Maroon 5 and Train who had hit after hit are getting worse the more popular of a band they become? It seems like because they’re catering to the masses, these bands are losing quality, similarly to small-town companies that have become chains. Maybe my friend and I are music snobs, or maybe we just miss the raw quality of “Sunday Morning” or “Drops of Jupiter.” Either way, whether I’m a snob or reminiscent, these two bands need to seriously step it up. I recommend they both take a moment to go back to the music and ignore the Top 40. Classic beach music for our generation has started to include Maroon 5 and Train, and I for one would really like to put a black spot on their 2011-2013 singles. Here’s to 2014 going back to 2005.

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