Review - Maroon 5 - Overexposed
As I’ve mentioned before (yesterday, actually), Adam Levine & co are really looking to make this album happen. The fivesome grabbed megahit producers Max Martin, Shellback, Benny Blanco, and Ryan Tedder to craft a perfect pop album for them. To some, this may be selling out, and I partly agree. The band has always relied on their frontman to produce hits, and for a long time it worked. After the paltry reception of their last album and it’s singles (lead single “Misery made it to #14, and the two after that never got higher than #55 until they rereleased the album with “Moves Like Jagger [ft. Christina Aguilera]”, and we all know how that went) it was time to bring in some industry heavyweights to make sure the band retained their status as the biggest pop rock group on the planet.
‘Overexposed’ is, if nothing else, an album full of singles. In a day where no one buys albums anymore, you need to put as many hits on there as possible. Then maybe someone will actually download the whole thing on itunes instead of just the two or three they want.
The group’s fourth album is tailor-made for radio, and this is no accident. The few producers working on this are known for their track record – if you want a hit, call them. Everything on this CD is lightweight, fun pop. Don’t look for anything too electro here, but don’t look for any instruments either. If you want to hear the band (they are a band, not just a singing group) playing their songs instrumentally, you’re going to have to go see them live. I think it is a bit sad that Levine is so hungry for hits he is relegating his bandmates to…well…I don’t even know what their part on this album was.
By now you know Adam Levine’s songwriting style, so no lyrics are going to surprise you here. Songs about love, holding you until the morning light, and more girls. Each one has it’s clever wording or buzz, but no real growth here. No worries, they’re still going to get stuck in your head and you’re going to love it.
If I had to guess, I would say that the third single would be “Lucky Strike”, a hard-hitting dance jam about – you guessed it – a girl. The song’s chorus borrow heavily (in my mind) from 3Oh!3’s 2010 hit “My First Kiss (ft. Ke$ha)”. Not saying they were the first to employ the use of “oh’s!” that bring the listener up and down all while dancing along, it just reminds me a lot of that.
What’s after that is open to discussion, and there are certainly options. “The Man Who Never Lied” and “Love Somebody” will probably both have a chance at singledom, and even then there are still one or two others that could make it should the interest still be there (five singles from one album is a lot).
So, if the mission was to make a hit album, then to the boys I say a job well done. ‘Overexposed’ won’t go down in history, but you will be hearing it for the next year or so. I would however like to hear them shift slightly on their next album back to some real guitars and drums. Grabbing hits is fine, but I wouldn’t want them to lose who they were completely.
Listen to: “Payphone (ft. Wiz Khalifa)”, “Lucky Strike”, “The Man Who Never Lied”, and “Love Somebody”.