Maroon 5: V

Posted September 15, 2014 by in Pop



2/ 5


Genre: ,
Producer: , , , , , , ,
Genre: Pop, rock
Producer: Ammo, Astma & Rocwell, Benny Blanco, Johan Carlsson, Cirkut, Jason Evigan, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Adam Levine, Andre Lindal, The Monsters and the Strangerz, OzGo, Shellback, Stargate, Ryan Tedder, Noel Zancanella
Label: Interscope
Format: Digital download, compact disc
Time: 40:10
Release Date: 29 August 2014
Spin This: "Sugar," "Maps"


"Sugar" is decent, so is "Maps," but nothing aboard this disc really hooks like Maroon 5's big pop anthems


Familiarity, overproducing, Levine's superego and very little creative input from a talented band hurts the album's potential

As Maroon 5 focuses on crafting pop candy, the band’s fifth album is starting to look like “V” end for them as a group

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

As Maroon 5 focuses more on crafting pop candy, the band’s fifth album is starting to look like “V” end for them as a group

Nowadays Maroon 5 sounds like any other pop band. They could easily be a grown-up version of One Direction. Since drifting away from their rock edges after dropping the viral juggernaut “Moves Like Jagger” and relying on a fury of producers to handle the creative dirty work, the Adam Levine-fronted California band has been trying to keep the flair of momentum alive by duplicating whatever works for them.  And you can sense a continuation of 2012’s Overexposed from the start of their fifth album, V. The faux-reggae beats of “One More Night” are slyly transplanted on the album kickstarter “Maps,” but it’s more of a hip Motown rocker featuring laidback guitar struts, pounding gospel drums and the occasional flyby synths. For Maroon 5’s advantage, “Maps” is a decent follow-up, but it’s nothing to brag about. And that’s been the painful case for much of their recent singles. Except for the breezy “Love Somebody” from Maroon 5’s 2012 LP, much of their material is wroth with mediocrity and instant pop sizzle that the beauty never lingers for a long period of time. Anything that might resemble “Moves Like Jagger” on V would be a critical disappointment, a desperate plea to hold on to bygones. Luckily there’s not a copycat performance of “Jagger” here, but V still falls way below expectations.

Kudos to “In Your Pocket,” which puts galloping rhythms on a song about trust issues and the burden of proof minted by the existence of cell phones. Levine, the only songwriter in the band that contributes to the mesh on V, finds a way to pen a set of lyrics that supersede his newborn marriage to supermodel Behati Prinsloo. The song still isn’t a homerun, but it proves that the band isn’t brain fried when it comes to finding something new to sing about. “Sugar” will probably get the backseat treatment, simply since it sounds like a lightweight Prince-Katy Perry offering, but it’s a delicious track attached to one of the group’s effervescent melodies from their most recent musical odysseys. “Sugar/Yes, please/Could you come and put it down on me?,” Levine sings using his best Frankie Valli-friendly high notes. Sadly, anyone with a recollection of Perry’s “Birthday” will measly toss “Sugar” on top of that cake.

As the album progresses past the halfway point, the musical content starts to play like everything previously assembled. The only saving grace is the Shellback-produced disco-sparkled “Feelings,” which conjures images of Daft Punk-Nile Rodgers partying. Even the album’s deluxe edition bonus tracks do nothing to prop up this rush job. The yawn fest of the Memphis bluesy “Sex and Candy” is probably the most embarrassing of them all.

Like Overexposed, V keeps Levine in the spotlight, supplying the whiny falsetto frontman with lots of vocal aerobics and crossover candy. The goodbye ballad “Leaving California” and “Unkiss Me,” both showered with relentless strings, feels more like pompous solo entries than anything a six-piece band could ever assemble. And even when the album breaks everything down to intimate romantic piano atmospherics on the Gwen Stefani-guested “My Heart Is Open,” we could easily smell the perfect aroma of Levine’s eventual solo exit. Even with Jesse Carmichael’s return to the fray, this project – like Overexposed – is all about serving up Levine’s superego. We only wonder why Levine is postponing the inevitable. It’s only a matter of time when news of the breakup will start to surface.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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