Track Review: Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa, 'Payphone'

Maroon 5 ­featuring Wiz Khalifa
"Payphone" (3:51)
Producers: Shellback, Benny Blanco
Writers: various
Publishers: various

"Payphone" confirms what 2011 smash "Moves Like Jagger" hinted at: Maroon 5 is now the Adam Levine show. Though all members get billing, the first single off Maroon 5's forthcoming album, "Overexposed," marks another step in Levine's journey toward solo stardom. Debuted on NBC's "The Voice" (April 16), the track shelves Maroon 5's familiar funk guitar licks for a more streamlined pop beat, courtesy of co-producers Shellback and Benny Blanco. Lyrically, Levine is still in misery ("I'm at a payphone trying to call home, all of my change I spent on you"), though rapper Wiz Khalifa drops by to offer a much-needed pick-me-up. The pop/R&B fling is far from a classic Maroon 5 cut, yet it serves as a testament to the band's continued rebranding and a reminder of how much the airwaves have changed since "This Love" hit in 2004.

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