Maroon 5 are like a poppier version of Nickleback, in terms of the ire they seem to conjure in people, but despite the fact they are no different from bands like Rooster or Jonas Brothers or McFly or Lawson or any other group of “hot boys who play guitars” they have always managed to escape the “dreaded” boy band tag and there is literally only one reason for that: Adam Levine is really, really fucking sexy.
It’s an interesting positioning that may or may not have been intentional but definitely gets the job more than done. How can you possibly dismiss Maroon 5 as a boy band when Adam Levine is fucking his girlfriend on a bed, or getting beaten up by a girl in the street, or having a affair with an older woman or playing sexual tension chicken with Rihanna? You can’t. While 5 Seconds Of Summer and all the other little boys of pop are running round in superhero costumes and looking misty-eyed to camera as they emote about their feelings, Adam Levine is getting his rocks off like a man.
When People magazine named Adam Levine the Sexiest Man Alive 2013, there was a backlash that can only be described as ridiculous. If anyone tells you they don’t find Adam Levine sexy – even a tiny bit – don’t ever trust them with anything, because they are a lying liar and they will never stop. If Adam Levine wasn’t sexy, his good looks would have been an insurmountable hurdle that would have ended Maroon 5’s career long ago. When it comes to men + guitars you can be ugly or you can be sexy but everything else is boy band.
To date, here is the definitive ranking of least Most Sexy to most Most Sexy Maroon 5 videos, not including ‘Daylight’ because he isn’t in it.
Um… it’s just Adam (and the rest of the Maroon 5) smeared in black gunk. This has only ever worked for Shakira and Christina Milian and even then it wasn’t very sexy. Sorry, boys.
‘HARDER TO BREATHE’
The very first Maroon 5 video. We can blame Adam’s “lack” of sexiness here on the fact that he probably hasn’t quite figured out how to fully work his angles and flaunt his front man status to maximum capacity.
‘WON’T GO HOME WITHOUT YOU’
Ehhh, this video is too Mumford, too fuckboy, too “I think smart-casual means put a waistcoat on over a t-shirt for a real classy look”. Adam Levine being Sad means Adam Levine is not Being Sexy.
Cute, in a bookish, nerdy kind of way but not really very sexy. More rom-com than thriller, y’know? But points for all the adorable smiling he does in the end minute. There are worse boys to sing karaoke with, sexy or not.
‘PAYPHONE’ ft. WIZ KHALIFA
See above: conservative hair cut, wire-framed spectacles, bank teller Adam just doesn’t do it for me. The scenes where he strips down to his vest and his face is all cut up are nice though.
‘MOVES LIKE JAGGER’
The sexiness of this video relies primarily on the idea that you found, or find, Mick Jagger sexy – which I do not. On the plus side, Adam has his shirt off, but all those weird… moves like Jagger… kinda negate the attraction.
‘SHE WILL BE LOVED’
This video is not the sexiest performance but it is so quietly intense and incredibly cinematic it is easily Maroon 5’s best video under all other criteria. It’s no wonder it is their third most viewed video (an amazing feat considering it predates YouTube and VEVO) because both song and video are A+
‘NEVER GONNA LEAVE THIS BED’
There are few men that can make a white t-shirt and jeans look better than a white t-shirt and jeans should reasonably look. David Beckham, of course, is the master, but Adam Levine is somewhere in the top 10 for sure. This video basically shows the “in bed with Adam Levine” fantasy would pretty much match your expectation, but it’s sweet rather than sexy really.
‘IF I NEVER SEE YOUR FACE AGAIN’ ft. RIHANNA
The disappointing thing about this video is that it could probably have been 50x as hot as it is. Adam in a suit: check. Rihanna being a tease: check. Lots of sexually tense situations: check. The problem is that Adam and Rihanna do the “I’m not interested in you” act so well that you actually believe it. There’s no real chemistry between them until the final 40 seconds or so (or whenever it is she suggestively runs her hand up the neck of his guitar) and for the rest of it Adam looks hot but bored. Must do better, guys.
Double Adam, for a double-helping of sexy.
‘ONE MORE NIGHT’
He’s a boxer and he has facial hair and a baby. It’s like a sexy bingo full house. What is it about babies that make boys so much fitter? It’s a weird, primitive, hormonal thing, I think. Plus I’m always here for white vest tops.
Back in 2003, my family got a Freeview box and for the first time in my life I could watch music videos in the comfort of my own home rather than only at the houses of friends whose parents had Sky subscriptions. We only had TMF and The Hits but that was enough for the video for ‘This Love’ to be on twice every hour and more than enough for me to fall in love with Adam Levine. Objectively this is not his sexiest video, but for most of my teenage years this Adam, with his hair and his hoodie and his scarf round his wrist and his slim physique and baggy jeans and all-around hotness, was my prototype Ideal Boyfriend. I’m also into the way he manhandles his girlfriend. Scientifically, not #1 on this list, but emotionally #1 in my heart.
‘GIVE A LITTLE MORE’
I can’t remember what happens in this video other than Adam Levine’s hips as he plays guitar.
‘WAKE UP CALL’
Anyone who has followed me on twitter mostly forever will know about my “gun thing”. As in, I have a thing about guns. In real life, that thing is that they are horrible tools of human evil. But in not real life, that thing is that guns are quite hot and when people who are already attractive handle them, they get exponentially more attractive. Please, don’t ask. Anyway, in this video, Adam Levine does his whole angry, jilted boyfriend act which is hot, then he whips out a gun which is Very Hot, and then he blows up his car and walks away from it with the big fiery explosion behind him which is the point where I pass out.
In a nutshell: Adam Levine, in 50s greaser costume (certifiably one of the sexiest male looks of all time) grinds on and gets beaten up by a tough chick who bites instead of kisses. No, it’s not the greatest advert for healthy relationships that don’t advocate domestic violence, but it is really hot.
‘MAKES ME WONDER’
So, it’s been like three or four years since Maroon 5 released music and I’m still into Adam Levine, but he’s not exactly a fixture in teen press and besides, Justin Timberlake just released the FutureSex/LoveSounds album so my attention is pretty much all routed to him… and then. The ‘Makes Me Wonder’ video still takes me out of my head when I see it because it’s just. too. much. Adam’s dead-set, straight ahead gaze, the very slightly arrogant turn of his lip because he’s looking through everyone because they are Not Worthy, him playing a guitar so relaxed in a suit, getting frisked by the flight attendants and not giving a shit. I mean… – This was definitely the first time I truly appreciated what women mean when they say “men in suits“, so thanks, Adam, for making my taste so much more sophisticated.