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"Animals" is a song by American band Maroon 5. It was released on August 25, 2014, as the second single from the band's fifth studio album V (2014). The song written by Adam Levine, Benny Blanco and Shellback; the latter is also the producer. The remix versions of the song featuring American rappers J. Cole and Big Boi, both written and produced by Freaky Ta, DCBC and Aftermath artist Me3mo (Sameem Nadeem).
The song peaked at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 giving Maroon 5 their tenth top 10 single in the U.S..
To promote the song, Kia Motors debuted an advertisement of 2015 Kia Soul EV model on August 21, 2014. Later, Maroon 5 released the lyric video on August 22, from their YouTube channel.
Rolling Stone ranked "Animals" at number 32 on its year-end list of the 50 best songs of 2014.
The music video was released on September 29, 2014 on Vevo. Directed by Samuel Bayer, the video features Adam Levine and his wife, Behati Prinsloo who portrays the woman. The other musicians of Maroon 5 (including their touring member Sam Farrar, who appeared in a music video of the band for the very first time) also make an appearance - they are seen playing at a nightclub in some scenes of the video.
The video starts with a woman entering a slaughterhouse, where Levine's character works. After she leaves, an infatuated Levine begins to stalk the woman by following her in the streets and standing outside her apartment in the pouring rain to watch her. He also watches the woman in her sleep and takes numerous photos of Prinsloo, which he later trims and places on wires around a dark room. Intercut with this are scenes of a shirtless Levine dripping in fake blood, singing the song inside a meat locker and using animal carcasses for punching bags (referencing to the 1976 film Rocky). One evening, Levine follows the woman into a nightclub, where he tries to talk to her. Though Prinsloo is amused by Levine and his interest in her, she spends the evening talking to her girlfriends instead. Eventually, Levine is left with no luck, so he goes back to fantasizing about the girl. After an erotic dream, Levine wakes up in a shock and returns to stalking Prinsloo by standing outside her apartment in the rain watching in a dazed state, leading to the similar opening. The final scenes feature Levine and Prinsloo as obsessed lovers having sex--whilst disrobed and covered in real blood (referencing to another 1976 film Carrie).
Reception and controversy
The music video was heavily panned by critics and has been condemned[by whom?] for dehumanizing women and glamorizing violence.Jessica Valenti of The Guardian criticized the video for attempting to make violence against women seem "edgy" stating that "there is nothing 'alternative' about showing women being stalked, hunted, raped or killed because it's something that happens every damn day."RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) released a statement condemning the video, which wrote that "No one should ever confuse the criminal act of stalking with romance. The trivialisation of these serious crimes, like stalking, should have no place in the entertainment industry." Levine reacted to the controversy in a 2018 interview with The Independent, saying "That was fucking ridiculous. It was the last video I would have expected to receive any criticism on that front. It was supposed to be creepy! I play the role of the creep, it's literally a character out of a movie. And the song is about animalistic tendencies, I'm talking about eating someone alive. Use your fucking imagination. It's like watching a horror film and notifying the people who made it to tell them you think they're disgusting. People are sometimes too rooted in reality and they can't differentiate. They take everything too personally."
In the United States, the song debuted at number 86 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. On October 18, 2014, the song rose from the number 33 to 8, giving the band their tenth top-ten hit overall and their seventh consecutive Hot 100 top-ten hit since the 2011 chart-topping single "Moves like Jagger". The song reached its million sales mark in the US in November 2014. The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 issue dating November 22, 2014 and spent fourteen weeks in the top 10.
In other countries, the song has made the top-ten progress as well, reaching number 2 in Canada. It is also a moderate success in the United Kingdom, where it charted at number 27.