If you were hoping Maroon 5 had tried to break the mould with their new album, keep dreaming.
The band’s fifth album, helpfully titled ‘V’, offers nothing new to the pop landscape but is also unashamedly inoffensive. It’s basically the sound of all of the big pop producers collating their most ‘eh, this will do’ tracks and handballing them straight to Adam Levine.
For example, you’ve got Max Martin on the 1980’s throwback ‘Coming Back For You’, Stargate and Nate Ruess from Fun. collaborating on the dramatic ballad ‘Leaving California’ and Ryan Tedder writing on ‘New Love’. These names on an album’s credits usually indicate standout tracks but everyone involved has had better days.
A special mention has to go to the unholy mash up of Sia, Darkchild and Gwen Stefani on ‘My Heart Is Open’. The sweeping piano at the beginning tricks the listener into thinking it’s going to be a wonderful moment but then the chorus comes in. Given the accumulated talent of all involved, there’s no excuse for a chorus that is just ‘let me hear you say yes’ repeated. See what we mean by an ‘eh, this will do’ mentality?
To be fair, there are some exceptions to this rule. We quite like ‘Animal’ in all of its generic glory. It’s just moderately exciting enough that you would keep listening to whatever radio station it was on.
‘It Was Always You’ is a bit electro and will be amazing when it is eventually turned into a duet with the highest profile singer the band can find ($10 on Jessie J).
‘Feelings’ is also really quite something. Yes it’s a Jamiroquai rip-off, but it’s the only thing on here that doesn’t sound like it was constructed for potential radio play. Groundbreaking stuff for Maroon 5, sadly.
Bonus track ‘Lost Stars’ is also quite good. It almost sounds like if you heard it in the right context – perhaps in Adam’s acting film debut ‘Begin Again’ (wink wink) – you might be enticed to tear up.
All in all, ‘V’ is a solid six or seven out of ten. We might not be rushing to listen to it again, but even the casual Maroon 5 fan should be satisfied here.
Download : Animals, Feelings, Lost Stars.