The Singles Bar: Maroon 5 f/ Christina Aguilera, "Moves Like Jagger"

As the Voice juggernaut keeps rolling along in its first season, the show continues to show how far ahead of the curve it is by busting out a device it took American Idol years to get going with—the cross-promotional single. Not that Maroon 5 might not have collaborated with Christina Aguilera eventually anyway, but it probably wouldn't have gotten a primetime premiere like "Moves Like Jagger" will get tonight on The Voice had Christina and M5 singer Adam Levine not both served as judges on the show. But considering the corporate thought process likely behind the single, we have to say that much to our surprise, the song's not bad at all.

"Jagger" is an attention-grabber from its very opening second, kicking off with a catchy whistle hook (like there's any other kind) and a funky, high-fret guitar riff (a la "Pick Up the Pieces"), the combination of which instantly assures that at the very least, the song won't be a total waste of time. The verses bring with them a disco thump and some menacing synths, until the chorus kicks in, with Levine commanding "Take me by the tongue" (nice!) and promising to "show you all the moves like Jagger." It's impressively fun stuff, doubly so considering that, contrary to our lock-it-down prediction, the word "swagger" is somehow nowhere to be found.

By the time of the song's third verse, it's pretty clear already that this is the best Maroon 5 single since "Wake Up Call," so much so that you wonder whether Christina's contributions, still yet to show up, can possibly add anything to it. And in fact, her guest appearance is pretty negligible, singing lyrics that have little to do with Levine's previous verses ("If I share my secret / You're gonna have to keep it / Nobody else can see this) and hanging around to fill in some background diva-isms on the final chorus. It doesn't really hurt the song, but it is distracting, and you can't help wonder if the song wouldn't have been better being an M5 production alone.

Still, this is certainly better than we were expecting, and we also have to say—between this and the line in Ke$ha's "Tik Tok," we're impressed that Mick still holds such iconic sex symbol status with the next generation. Not bad for a 117-year old.


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