Maroon 5’s “Middle Ground” Lyrics Meaning
Maroon 5 has been one of the most-successful American bands of the first two decades of the 21st century, but they haven’t been terribly active as of late in terms of coming out with new music. For instance, the only single they dropped in 2022 was the remix of “One Light”, a song that originally came out the year prior.
And with “Middle Ground” being released on 19 May 2023, their most-recent album, studio or otherwise, would be 2021’s “Jordi”. But that said, the crew did recently embark on a 2023 Las Vegas residency.
So this new song is being heralded as sort of a comeback for the collective consisting of these musicians:
- frontman Adam Levine
- guitarist James Valentine
- keyboardist Jesse Carmichael
- keyboardist PJ Morton
- bassist Sam Farrar
- drummer Matt Flynn
And the band will be making the live debut of “Middle Ground” in style, on the May 23rd edition of The Voice.
This marks the same day Levine will return to The Voice for the first time since departing in 2019, whereas he served as one of the original celebrity judges/coaches for eight years.
And by the looks of things, he and Maroon 5 are doing so specifically in celebration of the resignation of Blake Shelton, who has served that same role on the talent show for last 12 years, i.e. since The Voice first began, thus being the longest-tenured coach in the popular talent competition’s history.
Adam Levine is the only member of Maroon 5 who is credited as a writer of this song. Its other authors include the following:
- Marvin Hemmings
- Jon Bellion
- Rodney Jerkins (also known as Darkchild)
- Pete Nappi
The latter two took care of the production duties of “Middle Ground”. And at the time of this song’s issuance, it was not announced as part of any album.
The Lyrics of “Middle Ground”
It seems as if these days, we regularly come across songs from American artists premised on their being an inordinate amount of tension between people. And so it can be gleaned with this particular piece.
The term “middle ground” is a colloquialism, pointing to two (or more) parties in a conflict coming to a mutual, peaceful agreement. In this case those parties would be, as implied in the pre-chorus, fellow neighbors or even family members. And this situation has the vocalist perturbed, wondering what it would take for everybody to get along.
But that’s just one aspect of interpreting this song, i.e. its first verse and chorus. The second verse rather revolves around the vocalist expressing his deep relentlessness, as brought upon by an on-and-off, albeit persistent depression.
The bridge makes it sound as if the source of his sadness isn’t interpersonal beef per se but more specifically lacking “someone to live for”. So maybe in that regard, Adam is trying to say something like there’s so much division these days that it’s even difficult to keep a marriage or family together.
But we’ll conclude by saying that “Middle Ground” goes in a few different directions – so many that it’s difficult to actually pin down the song’s thesis sentiment. Maroon 5 has described this piece as ‘rallying around a message of fragility and humanity on both a personal and universal scale’, a statement which, in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t really help in concisely explaining its narrative.
But what can be definitively ascertained from the lyrics is that the vocalist is the type of person who longs for peace. So the tumultuous surroundings he finds himself in is having a very negative effect on his ability to experience happiness.
“If I hit the ground
And I fall down to my knees
Would you hear the sound?
Am I crazy to think that we
Could make it out?
Am I crazier to believe
There’s a middle ground?”
An Observation by Kojo Enoch
“As I listen to the instruments in ‘Middle Ground’, I can’t help but wonder if Maroon 5 is returning to the style they initially debuted with. I’m particularly noticing the presence of real drum sounds in this song, which is a pleasant surprise for me.
Just to clarify, I’m not one of those individuals who believe there are no real instruments in today’s music. However, in ‘Middle Ground’, the incorporation of real drum sounds add an appealing element to the song, in my opinion. It’s always interesting to see artists explore different musical styles and experiment with their sound. While I can’t confirm whether or not Maroon 5 is transitioning back to their earlier style, it’s worth noting that musical styles can change over time and that’s very healthy for the music industry.”