So, a lot of people I know really do not like Maroon 5 at all. I have to admit, I actually really enjoy a lot of what they put out. Songs About Jane is one of the few CDs that stays in semi-regular rotation for me. I love the jazz feel to a lot of their music, even if they claim to be a rock band. While everything since then has not necessarily lived up, it's never been a bother to me in any way.
This band's making its tenth anniversary this year as "Maroon 5" (they were "Kara's Flowers" for 8 years prior), and this is only their third studio album. While high numbers of albums says a lot of about a group's ability to write, I think there's something just a noble to having this few number. The band has managed to do this, all along producing pretty damn good tunes, and maintain a great fan base (minus many of my friends, apparently). To me, it seems like they take the time needed to put a lot out in one fell-swoop (oddly, the exact opposite of Robyn's approach, as we learned yesterday). They tour and promote and just are a generally good example of industry survivors.
Mutt Lang is the producer on this, and I note this mainly because of the name - and the fact that HE approached THEM to do the work - when tons of people are knocking down his door trying to get him on their projects. Apparently, he really pushed them. He had them record and finish a whole song, then re-strip the entire thing and do it in different ways, just to get the absolute right sounds.
No exact track listing I can find matched up with what Spotify gives us, but this grouping does include what we came here for - the Grammy nominated "Moves Like Jagger" (only included in the re-release). On top of that, there are some bonus tracks included that only seem to be on foreign and a few iTunes releases. That said, follow along in the fun with my on Spotify, and let's get this party going!
Ahhh sweet memories of Dalton in Glee to start with for "Misery." Admittedly, not my favorite song lyrically. I mean, come on, buck up dude. Nah, I just can't get into the songs of self-pity, especially those set to such funky music. That's the thing - the music is fantastic! The melodies are even just perfect for the arrangement. As long as I don't get too lost in the lyrics, and just give over to the instrumentation itself, this is a wonderful song. So much fun with the perfect groove.
"Give A Little More" is like this perfect disco song for this age. It's got all the vocal effects on it you could want, and the melodies scream Saturday night fever. I don't know where the influences came from for this album, but thus far, it's a far cry from their first. Sure, Adam's falsetto is still there - and might I add, he can work that better than anyone else I've reviewed here. But something still works as the group branches out.
"Stutter" has a little more of the sound we were used to, but sinks into this other funk sound that shows a different side of the group. While the vocal trail from Adam in the bridge are maybe a little too feminine, the melodies work. Okay, the more I get into it, I think this would be better sung by a female, but the song is still something to listen to. The beat's a very steady swing-your-hips-to type of rhythm. Here's a live performance of it, and actually... I kind of wouldn't mind seeing them in concert.
"Never Gonna Leave This Bed" is so damn catchy. I know a lot of people this this is a dumb song, but it's kind of twisted-ly romantic. And come ON - that chorus?? I get it stuck in my head every time. This was the relief from the disco sound we needed so badly a few minutes ago, at least. The guitar gets a chance to sound like itself for a change! Anywhos, the song's about staying. He, of course, needs to say it in the middle of the night, but at least he says it. At least he wants to be there. Damn it.
Some damn good light funk gets to playing "I Can't Lie" with this great sound and rhythm throughout. You can't help but closing your eyes and giving in. Okay, maybe YOU can, but I can't. This is a great one for the band as a whole, as their sound fits it in every way, shape, and form.
"Hands All Over." Time for the rockin' title track. There has always been something insanely sexy about Maroon 5, even with the scrawny-ness that is Adam Levine. They just sweat it in their music from time to time, and this is no exception. Sure, I could go into how this is about love and relationships and blah blah blah, but with that guitar coming in, there's far more here. Remember once I said there's always a bedroom song? This is it, and things are hot. And on that note, here's an animated video.
"Get Back In My Life" starts off with just a bit too much falsetto and continues on just a little too mundane in its treatment of dancing. I understand they have other songs like this, so maybe it's just boring at this point. Or perhaps it just blends a little too well into the background.
Slowing things down, we get "Just A Feeling." I despise repetitive choruses - make your point with more works, especially when three are not doing it for you at all. It's a nice break in the album, to slow down just a little bit to enjoy a smoothness that their music can provide, Unfortunately, it's another one that can fade into the background thanks to lack of impact.
"Runaway" has a great beat, and I mean that in the way that it hits emphases from time to time. I actually had to listen to this a few times because some things came up while I wanted to be typing, but I loved it more and more each time. Actually, I got abandoned in a Facebook chat at an intense moment, so this song had incredible timing. The drama is just a perfect touch as a whole to make the song intense without adding dark tones to the entire thing. It's really just well done, and that's all.
Well shucks Maroon 5, how did you know Lady Antebellum would be an instant win of my heart? The song is "Out of Goodbyes." It's nice to hear Hillary's voice again, even if I didn't love their last album. God, this is a sad song. It's beautiful though, even with the sadness factor. I promise I didn't cry too much, if you're concerned.
Otherwise... whew. Intense and un-expected video.
It's odd, but "Moves Like Jagger" with Christina Aguilera sounds different on the album. I think it's just how the approach is for the song in an album setting, rather than with a radio lead-in. The beats are clearer, and the song in entirely more enjoyable. I always have wanted to hear this one in the middle of a club, and it has, unfortunately, not managed to happen yet. This is a total let-go song. It's also an incredibly good flirt song in the midst of dance-floor madness. I just think everything abou this is fun - exactly as it's meant to be. And Josh, Christina is the female vocal that comes in around 2:00. And now, for the absolutely hilarious, wonderful video to accompany it. Seriously, this is out of this world!!
Oh my, some intense drums and piano hitting for "No Curtain Call." Maybe it's the title, but this does sound like a very climactic moment in a stage show. Damn, there's nearly a symphony playing behind them as the chorus hits. This is unlike anything I've personally ever heard from Maroon 5, and it's about the same thing - giving it all for someone. There's no ending to whatever's going on - this is a forever kind of love, even if the music claims a fight. But maybe that's just it - a fight for love.
"Never Gonna Leave This Bed - Acoustic" comes at us next, and it's simply beautiful. There's a simple bass drumming behind it, with, maybe, some wooden blocks, and a simple piano and slight guitar involved. The vocals are light and gorgeous in a way that make you want to just drift away on the wind form the ocean breezes in the video. However, this is completely its own track. This is wonderful.
Same thing goes for "Misery - Acoustic." This is a totally different song. The emotion is there in a way that was completely missing before. It's simply a great song in this very, and one I think could have been an excellent release to the public at the right moment.
"If I Ain't Got You - Live" is the final song. It's a cover of the Alicia Key's hit song, and it's astounding. Adam found a niche here at the right moments. This is a brilliant, heart-full song in its original form, and hearing a male voice makes it something different, yet still holds all that passion Alicia brought on a few years ago. This song can bring a person to their knees in tears with the emotion it pours out. So freakin' amazing. Whew. Sing it...
Added to My Playlist:
- ""Give A Little More"
- "Never Gonna Leave This Bed"
- "I Can't Lie"
- "Hands All Over"
- "Moves Like Jagger"
- "No Curtain Call"
- "Never Gonna Leave This Bed - Acoustic"
- "Misery - Acoustic"
- "If I Ain't Got You - Live"
I think it's safe to say I really enjoyed this album. Granted, those disco tracks had me a bit concerned for a while, and I thought the whole thing was going downhill. But they, I don't know, there were just just so many gems that worked so well. They were worked perfectly, filled with emotion, yet the fun element you need when listening to Maroon 5. My only disappointment is that I didn't hear this sooner.