Maroon 5 have dropped their fourth studio album, Overexposed. And I have lots to say about this one.
Let’s start with the obvious. Overexposed is a great listen. It satisfies every bone in the body that was aching to hear Adam Levine’s voice backed by an almost-as-sexy-as-Adam musical ensemble. For us hardcore Maroon 5 fans, we know that most of it is about Adam anyway, and he definitely pulls his weight on these songs.
Overexposed is definitely a catchy one. But it’s not like Songs About Jane, the album that made them famous and that kept them standing out nearly ten years ago, when “She Will Be Loved” was its own kind of catchy. It’s no secret that they’ve gone completely mainstream and are definitely more pop-rock than they used to be. Adam’s voice is the biggest thing keeping them “unique”, and that comes naturally anyway. I feel like we were a little misled about the style and sound of the album; both “Payphone” and “One More Night” made it easy to think the whole album is as rhythmic and genre-fusioned as those two songs. But unfortunately, we turned up just a little shorthanded in that department. That being said, I’ve still had this album on repeat all weekend.
“One More Night” and “Payphone” are the two openers on this record. I wouldn’t be surprised if “One More Night” helps reggae make a top 40 comeback, it’s that good. And hearing Wiz Khalifa rap in the middle of “Payphone” was still a musical surprise even though Adam had already collaborated with Gym Class Heroes for their song “Stereo Hearts.”
Still, the next few songs don’t live up to the wow factor of those two simply because they sound so normal. If Maroon 5 released “Daylight” or “The Man Who Never Lied” as their next single, the song would probably still make the Top 10 on iTunes because of such a loyal fan base and the assumption alone that the band always has unique songs. But honestly, “Daylight” and “The Man Who Never Lied” may get lost in the same playlist that Katy Perry‘s “Teenage Dream” is sitting in right now.
There are moments of musical brilliance that occasionally grace Overexposed. “Ladykiller” sounds like it could be on It Won’t Be Soon Before Long – catchy vocals but not too overdone. “Doin’ Dirt” has the coolest synth riff that becomes the sole reason for having to blast this song at full volume. I guess it’s quite fitting that the lyrics go “turn it up baby, make it loud.”
I think Maroon 5 should release an acoustic studio record. They have proved time and time again that with slower songs and fewer instruments they can captivate listeners no matter what song they play. (We saw this on Hands All Over which has acoustic versions and a live cover of “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys.) “Sad” is the perfect interlude to the dancy songs on Overexposed. I guarantee it’s three wonderful minutes of just Adam and the piano producing the purest emotional song you’ve heard in a while.
Favourite tracks on Overexposed: “One More Night”, “Sad”, “Doin’ Dirt”.
The video for “One More Night” premiered last night. Check it out here: