When Maroon 5 finds a formula that works for them, they stick to it. Post-V, the album that housed such hits as “Maps,” “Animals,” and “Sugar,” Maroon 5 decided to start teaming up with rappers and R&B singers. This move simultaneously helped the band remain musically relevant across consumption mediums and gave artists like Kendrick Lamar (“Don’t Wanna Know”), SZA (“What Lovers Do”), and Cardi B (“Girls Like You”) some of their biggest records at Top 40 radio. For their latest single, the Grammy-winning band has recruited Megan Thee Stallion for a saccharine slice of pop fodder.
Starting with a breezy guitar intro to remind us that Maroon 5 is, in fact, a band of instrumentalists and not just Adam Levine, “Beautiful Mistakes” quickly morphs into a predictable trap-influenced beat. It truly is fascinating that the same band that made “This Love” and “Harder to Breathe” is leaning on trap music influences to score their next big hit. Their sound has changed slightly, but lyrically Adam Levine is still singing about the same things with the same Adam Levine-isms. Adam and Megan trade verses about the love they have for their respective significant others and acknowledge that although mistakes are sure to be made during the course of a relationship, they’ll always be beautiful in the end. It’s a sweet sentiment that’s muddied by a lazy post-chorus and cringe-inducing lyrics like “Beautiful mistakes/I make inside my head, she’s naked in my bed.” As previously noted, Adam Levine does his usual thing on “Beautiful Mistakes” and his vocal delivery suggests that he is actually aware of how droning the melody and his vocal performance are. As for Megan, at best, she delivers a much-need burst of energy to the song and prevents it from feeling too stagnant. Lyrically, she’s giving us something a bit more nuanced than “Body” or “Cry Baby,” which is also a breath of fresh air. Megan also elects to sing the bridge of the song, which, in all honesty, pays off. She sounds solid, it reasserts her versatility and willingness to adapt, and the “best you ever had and best you gon’ get” line is a nice callback to one of her earliest rap-sung songs, “Best You Ever Had” from 2019’s Fever.
“Beautiful Mistakes” is a fine song. It’s an obvious play for a radio hit, but more importantly, it’s another reminder that Megan Thee Stallion has arrived at a new stage in her career: Megan Thee Pop Star.