Hello Internets, Awesome here,
So, I got a text from my sister Samantha yesterday that said “Have you heard Maroon 5′s new album?” I honestly hadn’t, which is strange for me because I really enjoy their music. So I responded- “No. Is it any good?” She, of course, hadn’t heard it either. She made me promise I would let her know if it was any good. So… Sammy, this review is for you:
Maroon 5 today is no longer the Maroon 5 that released “Songs About Jane.” That album was excellent. It was a mix of rock and pop that hasn’t really been done since. “Songs About Jane” was literally an album about Levine’s rocky relationship with his ex (Jane). The Maroon 5 today is more or less Adam Levine’s solo career. The music is extremely keyboard centric, formulaic, and are all cliched love songs. The guitar is there to only fill up the spaces sonically, and bass is almost inaudible. The drums sound overly processed and fake. The Maroon 5 that exists today isn’t what they once were, but that doesn’t mean this album isn’t great…. ’cause it is.
This 11 song album is sonically similar to Maroon 5′s last album (aptly named Overexposed), which isn’t a bad thing at all. The vocals are mostly falsetto, and the music is usually straight 4 on the floor (think house music), except for the slower songs. The songs are layered in a way that build wonderfully, drawing you into the extremely singable hook (Chorus). Maroon 5 is obviously proud of their choruses, because they are, in most cases, longer than the verses.
Most songs on this album follow the same formula (Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus twice). The only notable exception to that is the last song, a duet with Gwen Stefani (who peeked in 1995) but still pulls off a wonderful performance in “My Heart is Open.” It sounds like Adam was trying to channel his amazing song “Sad” from the Overexposed album. “My Heart is Open” doesn’t meet that standard, but songs rarely do, and it is still great in it’s own right.
The song “It Was Always You” is by far the stand out favorite for me. It starts out with keyboard and Adam’s very recognizable vocals. The verse builds very nicely and continues through the chorus, so by the time the 2nd verse comes, the sound is much bigger. It’s rare for songs to build through the chorus, so it’s cool to hear, especially when done so effectively. The bridge to last chorus transition is done very well. Usually Maroon 5, after the bridge, will just drop the music out to silence for a beat, then hit you with the chorus. This is very common for a lot artists, especially pop artists. But in this song they change that up a bit and drop the music out to silence (their M.O.), then hit you with one line of vocals. The drums then finish out the phrase, bringing in the chorus rather nicely. The whole song sounds very 80′s. I almost expect to see Magnum P.I. driving his Ferrari 308 down by the beach with his majestic mustache.
I listened to the album on Spotify, then purchased it right away. I really enjoyed it and want to have it to listen to all the way through over and over again. Now, if you aren’t the kind of person who likes to buy the whole album, I point out the songs below that you should buy and that you should pass on. But at $1.29 per song, you may as well pay the $9.99 for the whole album. Ok, here it goes:
It Was Always You
Coming Back For You
My Heart is Open
In Your Pocket
If you haven’t heard the song “Sad” from the “Overexposed” album, click that link and listen. It is a perfect song.