Maroon 5 frontman and The Voice judge Adam Levine’s reputation as a ladies’ man is well documented. In June 2012, he even admitted as much, telling Details magazine, “I’ve always felt a little misrepresented in the world. I felt like people only knew me as a singer who dated pretty girls. A little bit of a bimbo. Maybe I was kind of a bimbo.”
Add to that reputation the title of his band’s latest hit, “One More Night,” and I was pretty sure I knew what to expect when I sat down to write this review. The most obvious lyric in the song’s chorus, “But I’ll only stay with you one more night,” just felt like piling on.
This is a song about sex, I assumed.
And I was right. But not in exactly the way I’d expected. Read on.
Turns out Levine’s singing about feeling trapped in a relationship he knows he should get out of. “You and I go hard at each other like we’re going to war,” he says in the song’s opening lines. “You and I go rough, we keep throwing things and slamming the door.” And that’s not the end of his litany of relationship woes. “You and I get so d‑‑n dysfunctional, we stopped keep score,” he continues. “You and I get sick, yeah, I know we can’t do this no more.”
So why doesn’t he just leave before “one more night,” you ask? Well, that’s where his brain checks out and his body checks in. In other words, the sex is just too good to resist, no matter how bad things are the rest of the time: “Yeah, but, baby, there you go again, there you go again, making me love you/ … Yeah, I stopped using my head, using my head, let it all go/Got you stuck on my body, on my body, like a tattoo.”
The singer knows he should leave, but he just can’t resist her carnal charms. “Try to tell you no, but my body keeps on telling you yes/Try to tell you to stop, but your lipstick got me so out of breath/I’ll be waking myself up in the morning, probably hating myself/And I’ll be waking up, feeling satisfied but guilty as h‑‑‑.”
That conflict, between knowing he should leave but longing for just a bit more “satisfaction,” so to speak, leaves him insisting to his lover, “And I know I said it a million times/But I’ll only stay with you one more night.” One line later, however, his promise (threat?) to leave turns into a request as he’s reeled in by her magnetism once again: “Yeah, baby, give me one more night.”
Levine, of course, deserves credit for recognizing that this relationship is unhealthy, something he actually feels guilty about the next morning. After all, guilt about sex isn’t a common confession among male rock stars, so kudos to him for even remotely suggesting that a relationship consists of more than a physical connection. But we’re also left with the suggestion that our “hero” might not ever have the willpower to say stop. At the end of the day (or night), his body is winning the war over his mind. Good intentions pave his way … to doing nothing at all about terminating this steamy, stormy romance.
Then the video, perhaps surprisingly, gives the story another half turn: Levine plays a boxer training for a big bout, and training sequences are intercut with scenes from the home life he shares with his girlfriend and their child. While Levine plays the part of a delightfully doting daddy, it’s clear from his girlfriend’s expressions that she’s on the verge of ditching the relationship. And, indeed, when he heads off to a fight one day, she packs up her belongings.
So the video itself is considerably more dramatic and much less focused on physical compatibility than the song.
Which doesn’t change its lyrics—about sex—one little bit.
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.