Ever since Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour dropped, listeners have been noticing quite a few similarities to other musicians. Some of them are clearly intentional moments of homage, like the way “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back” interpolates “New Year’s Day” by Taylor Swift, or even the way “Deja Vu” shares DNA with “Cruel Summer.” But things got a bit more heated when Courtney Love accused Liv of copying her Live Through This album cover with her Sour Prom artwork, and just last week, Hayley Williams and Joshua Farro of Paramore was giving a songwriting credit on “Good 4 U” due to how much that song sounds like their iconic song “Misery Business.”
As for all the accusations that are swirling around Sour and Olivia, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine decided to jump in and address the situation from a songwriter’s perspective. On Instagram today Levine shared his thoughts: “There’s all this drama over Olivia Rodrigo, and the Elvis Costello song, and Paramore chimed in about a song that sounds like theirs,” he began. “Look, these are tricky things and anyone who has ever written a song knows that like, sometimes you rip something off inadvertently, and it makes it to tape and then it’s released and then there’s a lawsuit. It’s a natural thing for it to happen. Sometimes it gets ugly, and sometimes it’s warranted that people take legal action.”
“Sometimes it’s no warranted that people take legal action,” he continued. “And I think there’s definitely become more of a gray area. The gray area has reared its ugly head these days. That “Blurred Lines” case was a landmark case that kind of changed the game. Now, without giving an opinion on what I think as far as how that one turned out, I do think that we should probably meet this with a little more compassion and understanding, and try to find a way… All this calling out and sh*t, music is a creative thing and I just hate to see it crushed.”
“When you take someone who is a newer artist and she’s doing things that kind of emulate the ones from generations removed, I don’t know how bad that is… I think it’s kind of a cool thing to introduce a whole generation of young people to different musical ideas. That’s just my opinion, I’m not saying it should be everyone else’s. I just hate to see it become this huge thing where people get really aggressive about it. Maybe I’m just not as territorial about that kind of stuff. I’m almost flattered when people rip me off, and I’m sure I’ve ripped people off too. I don’t know, it’s music, it’s a beautiful thing. I wish we could do that more.”
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Adam Levine weighs in on Olivia Rodrigo songwriting controversy:
“I do think that we should probably meet this with a little more compassion and understanding and try to find a way…all this calling out, it's like, music is a creative thing and I just hate to see it crushed," pic.twitter.com/oXGFTr0Uqf
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) August 27, 2021