FYMS * General Thoughts About Adam Levine + "Begin Again"
Sexiest man alive? Yes, People Magazine gave that title to Adam Levine in 2013. True? Eh. If you've never seen him interviewed, he does have a certain boyish charm, and if you've never seen The Voice, he is actually pretty talented. [Let's pretend I just didn't admit to watching The Voice. It was only one season, come on!] I think people either love him, or hate him, especially because he does have a bit of an ego. At least Victoria's Secret models seem to enjoy the trip..
But remember when Maroon 5 was actually really good? Circa 2002, when their first album, Songs About Jane, was released. Might be one of the best albums as a whole, in my opinion (first album theory strikes again). Talk about having a signature voice - Adam Levine's falsetto is definitely recognizable and hard to duplicate. But if overdone, it plays on the border of annoying. Not everyone's cup of tea, that's for sure. But did anyone besides me ever hear that song that he did with Slash called "Gotten" in 2010? Wish he did more stuff like that with Maroon 5.
I haven't seen the movie yet, but "Begin Again" came out July 11 and stars Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, and Adam Levine, directed by John Carney. It is a musical drama/rom-com but with an indie twist. You can check out the preview here and decide for yourself. I'm hoping to see it soon!
But the point that I wanted to make is that the soundtrack is pretty interesting. Following suit with the 2007 indie movie "Once" (Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, Academy Award Winning song "Falling Slowly"?), also directed by John Carney, the soundtrack is completely songs by Adam Levine and Kiera Knightley. Oh yeah, did you know she sang? Neither did I. Her voice is just "meh" in my opinion, but at least they didn't use a voice double. It might just be weird to hear her without the British accent!
I think Adam Levine should get props for his work in the feature track "Lost Stars". If you didn't already know this about me, I'm a sucker for anything acoustic. Ergo, this being the opening track is perfect. Written by a conglomeration of songwriters/producers - Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley and Nick Southwood - this song is enough to restore my faith in the talent that Adam Levine has hidden under the surface since 2002. It would be great if he made more music like this - just pure vocals that aren't so extremely overproduced and pop-tastic. All in favor of an Adam Levine + Gregg Alexander acoustic indie album , raise your hands!
(PS thanks to my work friend for telling me about this song & movie!)
UPDATE: I have since seen this movie and actually reallllly enjoyed it. Not the biggest fan of Kiera Knightley's singing - I think they could have cast an actor with a stronger singing voice, but then again, her simpleness in tone and voice quality played into her character well, as the behind-the-scenes songwriter turned singer. To be honest, I think the weirdest part was hearing her singing voice without the English accent! Mark Ruffalo did not disappoint, as he's a great actor for playing the rugged, nonchalant, once-successful-but-now-going-through-a-mid-life-crisis main character. When I first listened to the soundtrack, the only song I really liked was "Lost Stars", but after watching the movie and seeing how the songs fit in with the story, the rest of them really grew on me. My favorite scene was probably the rooftop scene where Dan (Ruffalo) realizes that his daughter is a pretty sick guitarist - I'm a sucker for big talent-moments like that and thought it was a really cool sequence in the film. And without giving too much away, in line with the Indie movie genre, it did not have the cliched ending that one comes to expect from a Rom-Com. Well done, John Carney.
In conclusion, I give this movie 3 out of 4 stars - I found myself reflecting days later on the storyline and the message of the movie which is pretty cool. If you like music at all, you'll probably really appreciate this movie.