The music video for “What Lovers Do” came out at the tail-end of Maroon 5’s three-year long stint with awkward video production, focused on providing strange & cartoony scenarios of a vaguely-psychedelic nature rather than narratives that show any semblance of sense of purpose; As such, it is heavily-reliant on CGI elements, featuring swarms of monarch butterflies & singing flowers, prehistoric animals, pirate scenarios & much more, all in the name of entertainment. The basic premise shows vocalist Adam Levine & SZA as youngsters playing together, eventually running up & falling out of a giant tree, essentially confirming that everything which occurs afterward is merely a bunch of dream-sequences or imaginary playtime as Levine is shown in a full-body cast at the end of the video, but that doesn’t seem to help tie the plot details together any better. So much happens from beginning to end that your left wondering if the point of it all was to make the most viral video they could for marketing purposes, as the plot of the song has virtually nothing to do with any of its visual elements – Then again, Maroon 5 have become a marketing machine in recent years, especially with their Pokémon Go-themed music video for “Don’t Wanna Know,” so that may not be too far-fetched of an idea.
Speaking of, the lyrics for “What Lovers Do” are a mish-mash of sounds, the only cohesive narrative thread being “do you love me or not?” There are more “yeahs”, “ooohs,” “says” & “na-nas” in this song than actual sentences, one of the most glaring tells for when a song has been written by some studio musician & merely dropped off at an Artist’s label for them to quickly make up some vocals & sing over; In fact, were it not for Levine’s incredibly distinct & nasally vocal timbre, you’d be hard pressed to think this was something Maroon 5 would ever write, as they’re far & away one of the most talented R&B bands around when it comes to writing their own material, virtually incapable of writing a song so simplistic & soulless – Still, despite being as commercially banal as possible & making absolutely no sense narratively or visually, it’s undeniably one of the catchiest songs of Fall 2017, still ringing in the ears of listeners everywhere thanks to “oohs” & “ahs” that are easy to remember & an admittedly funky bassline.
An attractive and popular tropical beat permeates this soft yet up-tempo jam, putting the listener into a dream-state that is close to the sweet feelings explored in the visuals. The track has a juvenile exuberance, and will remind you of the light summertime feeling of a first crush. Levine’s vocals are characteristically high toned, and SZA lends, in small doses, her creatively timed vocals to his, for a satisfyingly bouncy chorus “Ooooh, oooh, been wishin' for you, ooh, ooh, tryna' do what lovers do (ooh).”
A vivid, exciting music video by director Joseph Khan, celebrates adult lovers playing like children across various fantasy scenarios, such as climbing ridiculously large trees, jet skiing with dolphins, playing blackjack as secret agents, and growing to hulk-like proportions, in order to express a rampaging, King Kong sized love. Cutely delivered lyrics support these scenes of a make-believe chase; “Aren't we too grown for games? Aren't we too grown to play around? Young enough to chase, but old enough to know better. Are we too grown for changin'? Are we too grown to mess around? Ooh and I can't wait forever baby. Both of us should know better.”
The track begs lovers to stop playing the same games and instead, to hook up already. Theirs is a goofy love, as they are “Tryna' do what lovers do (ooh)”, and in the end, with comedic timing, Levine is revealed to have been dreaming it all up in a hospital bed, as we can certainly see the seed of inspiration was planted by a very sexy, nurse outfit wearing SZA, who is dutifully checking his vitals.
Adam Levine, Benjamin Diehl, Brittany Talia Hazzard, Elina Stridh, Jason Evigan, Oladayo Olatunji, Solána Imani Rowe, Victor Rådström
"What Lovers Do" is a song by American pop rock band Maroon 5 featuring American R&B singer SZA. It was released on August 30, 2017, as the lead single from the band's sixth studio album Red Pill Blues (2017). The song contains an interpolation of the 2016 song "Sexual" by Neiked featuring Dyo, therefore Victor Rådström, Dyo and Elina Stridh are credited as songwriters.