Maroon 5 – V

December 23, 2014 at 7:09 PM | Posted in Maroon 5 | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Maroon 5 – V

1. Maps
2. Animals
3. It Was Always You
4. Unkiss Me
5. Sugar
6. Leaving California
7. In Your Pocket
8. New Love
9. Coming Back For You
10. Feelings
11. My Heart Is Open (feat. Gwen Stefani)

♦ ♦ ♦

V is the fifth album by American band Maroon 5, released on August 29, 2014. After four weeks the album had sold 305,000 copies, making it the band’s first number-one album since 2007’s ‘It Won’t Be Soon Before Long’.

So, I’ll be reviewing this album in a different way since this band is not a big category on MA but more of a personal favorite. Since it will be featured in the ‘best albums of 2014’ post (spoiler!) I just had to cover it, you know. Well, first a little overall message about V: I’m glad I really like this album since I bought the tickets for their next concert tour before I even heard the album, that’s how big of a fan I am. The thing Maroon 5 always does really well is the creation of catchy tunes and memorable hooks. Almost every song on the album has something to remember it by, even the non-single tracks that are on it.

There are a lot of nice uptempo tracks on the album covering both their newfound electropop style in songs like It Was Always You, which is also filled with synths in the background, but there are also some classic Maroon 5 pop/rock tracks like the famous songs Maps and Animals. Experience tells me every Maroon 5 album has at least one fun song on it (for those of you who know: remember ‘Kiwi’ and ‘Lucky Strike’?). Sugar is a very addictive track in that category, just pure fun with those signature high pitched vocals from lead singer Adam. Feelings further along on the album is the other fun track to really dance and let loose on, but beware, this one could get stuck in your head all day.
But it’s not all fun and games, since In Your Pocket is the gritter anxiety-filled track to balance the emotions on the album. But then right after that New Love is one of my absolute favorites with its cuteness and uplifting quality, very catchy indeed.

Ofcourse every Maroon 5 has some heartfelt ballads or midtempo songs to balance everything out, and among my absolute favorites are the electro-R&B piece Unkiss Me and signature Maroon song Leaving California with the most enchanting hooks in the chorus. From the very first listen those two songs just stayed with me and I loved them to bits. The nicest surprise on this album is the beautiful My Heart Is Open with the amazing Gwen Stefani. She really adds something special to the song and her vocals are perfect for it, blending nicely with Adam’s later in the song.

The only song on the entire album I didn’t really care for was Coming Back For You, that was just a little too generic for me to really like it and it didn’t stick with me at all. Other than that, all I can say is that Maroon 5 delivered another album that is close to perfection. If this is your cup of tea, what are you waiting for?? Recommended!

Favorite tracks: Animals | Unkiss Me| Sugar | Leaving California | New Love | My Heart Is Open

OVERALL RATING
starstarstarstarhalfstar
4½ stars

Maroon 5 – It Won’t Be Soon Before Long

December 24, 2012 at 6:56 PM | Posted in Maroon 5 | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Maroon 5 – It Won’t Be Soon Before Long

1. If I Never See Your Face Again
2. Makes Me Wonder
3. Little Of Your Time
4. Wake Up Call
5. Won’t Go Home Without You
6. Nothing Lasts Forever
7. Can’t Stop
8. Goodnight Goodnight
9. Not Falling Apart
10. Kiwi
11. Better That We Break
12. Back At Your Door
13. Infatuation

♦ ♦ ♦

It Won’t Be Soon Before Long is the second album by American band Maroon 5, released on May 16, 2007. The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling around 430,000 copies in its first week and, as of 2011, approximately 5 million copies worldwide.

The album opens with If I Never See Your Face Again, the solo version without Rihanna that is. It instantly shows the funkier side of the rock music they’re pursuing for this album. I knew the version with Rihanna before I heard this one so I had to get used to the lack of synths in this version, but they made it more pop than it’s supposed to be anyway. I really like this song and it’s the first of many favorites on this album.

The next one follows immediately: Makes Me Wonder, which is probably also one of their best songs ever. What I like best here is the catchy guitar riffs throughout the track and Adam’s amazing vocals in the chorus. I love his unique voice anyway so the guy can do no wrong tbqh. Whenever this song plays, I put it on full volume. Fun fact: it’s another great example of their ‘borderline porn lyrics’: ‘The way it felt between your thighs | Pleasure that made you cry‘…

Little Of Your Time is the fastest song on the album, and although its chorus is very simple, catchy and memorable I wouldn’t say this is one of my all time favorites on the album. It’s also the shortest track so it won’t give you much time anyway. The chorus is the highlight when it comes to the perfectly layered vocals with Adam singing the lines in one pitch and an exact octave higher, very nice. Some of the lyrics are probably about sex again but WHO CARES at this point, haha.

Wake Up Call is the bad-ass song on the album, with Adam singing about how he shot the guy his girl was sleeping with behind his back. ‘Six foot tall, came without a warning | So I had to shoot him dead‘. Very happy, right? Still, it’s one of those tracks that can give you goosebumps even though it has ‘melancholy’ written all over. Another favorite on the album to be honest, although I’m probably not gonna make you guys buy it now but you really gotta give it a try if you don’t know the song yet.

Wikipedia is telling me Won’t Go Home Without You is a ballad, but since I’m pretty stubborn I’m gonna tell you: it’s not. It does have emotional lyrics, I have to hand it to Adam. Too bad the song just drops right in without an introduction but it doesn’t take longer than a couple of seconds to really get into the song. Once you’re into it, it sounds pretty good. Not a ballad, but okay, a very good midtempo pop/rock track then.

When I heard  the chorus of Nothing Lasts Forever for the first time, I instantly recognized the lyrics and melody from the Kanye West song ‘Heard ‘Em Say’, which features Adam Levine (what a coincidence). Then again I would always pick the Maroon 5 version over that one because this is so much more appealing (and the melodies are less flat and dead). Adam’s voice comes out way better in this version as well, I don’t think he should ever get involved with hiphop again haha.

Can’t Stop is like Little Of Your Time: a short and fast song with lots of attitude. When it comes to the latter it beats Little Of Your Time by far, but you have to admit the tracks have certain things in common. The electric guitar playing the same melody over and over again in the background is very catchy and the first thing that you will remember about the track (besides the ridiculous lyric ‘…making love to a pillow‘). Verses and choruses flow seamlessly into each other together they make for a pretty good track.

If I have to pick one track that is my least favorite one on the album, it has to be the fifth single Goodnight Goodnight. It’s a heartfelt song that could’ve easily been a leftover track from their first album ‘Songs About Jane’. Although the lyrics are very emotional (‘I’m sorry, I did not mean to hurt my little girl | It’s beyond me, I cannot carry the weight of a heavy world‘), I’m gonna have to say I’m not really touched or anything. Still, I’m not saying it’s a bad track. Just making comparisons here.

Not Falling Apart on the other hand is again one of the best tracks on the album. Also not one of the happiest tracks on the album, it touches me more than Goodnight Goodnight did. ‘Now I can’t walk, I can’t talk anymore | Since you walked out the door | Now I’m stuck living out that night again | I’m not falling apart‘. The way Adam sings the title words, that’s exactly my favorite part of the song. One of the most perfect examples of a heartfelt uptempo Maroon track.

Aaaaahhh it’s Kiwi! That deliciously controversive track with the lyrics that crack you up every single time! ‘Sweet kiwi, your juices dripping down my chin‘, like… ew. STILL, it’s very enjoyable and quircky, and it has a very nice arrangement. It’s a little heavier than in some of the other tracks on the album, especially when the electric guitar solo comes along in the bridge (goosebump alert) and it also makes it very memorable. But nothing can beat those lyrics, right?

From wet erotics to a piano ballad. Better That We Break is still battling with Makes Me Wonder to be crowned as the very best track on the album, but after a couple of years I still haven’t found a winner so let’s make it a joint first place shall we. As the first real ballad on the album, the thing that captures me most is the amazing piano melody by Jesse Carmichael. Maroon has a lone ballad on every album and I’m lucky this is one of their best yet. Definitely worth a recommendation.

Back At Your Door also gives a unique twist to the album. In fact, it seems as if the entire second half of the album features several different musical styles. From sexy to emotional, to this bluesy showstopper. It’s the only song on the album that hasn’t been written or co-written by Adam, but has been the work of Jesse only. He did a very good job putting together this amazing standout track, and it proves that Maroon 5 can do more than just catchy pop/rock.

As a bonus track we have Infatuation, and it took its time to grow on me but now I really like it. It has this amazing ‘question and answer’ part in the bridge, with Adam singing his lines and an electric guitar playing its great solos as an answer. It’s not a very catchy song or anything, but it has that sensual slow tempo and great vocals by Adam that makes it hard to forget.

I just had to review this album because I’ve had it on repeat this week and I just can’t stop listening to it ❤  It’s still Maroon 5’s best album and I’m so glad I have an original CD version with booklet and everything, I’m so addicted to this album. And I’ve only been listening to it for a year, while I knew some of the songs before. Guess it never occured to me that this album was filled with great songs that brought out the best in Adam, Jesse, Mickey, James and Ryan. They did an amazing job on all the songs. Adam’s vocals and songwriting (together with Jesse), James’ lead guitar and the instrumental backup by Mickey and Ryan never fails to amaze me when put together. These guys have come a long way, I’m curious about their fifth studio album!

Favorite tracks: If I Never See Your Face Again | Makes Me Wonder | Wake Up Call | Won’t Go Home Without You | Nothing Lasts Forever | Can’t Stop | Not Falling Apart | Kiwi | Better That We Break | Back At Your Door | Infatuation

OVERALL RATING
star
starstarstarstar
5 stars

*EDIT*: OMFG you guys I just bought tickets for their Overexposed concert tour, CAN I FANGIRL ABOUT THIS PLEASE <333

Maroon 5 – Overexposed

July 1, 2012 at 8:24 PM | Posted in Maroon 5 | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Maroon 5 – Overexposed

1. One More Night
2. Payphone (feat. Wiz Khalifa)
3. Daylight
4. Lucky Strike
5. The Man Who Never Lied
6. Love Somebody
7. Ladykiller
8. Fortune Teller
9. Sad
10. Tickets
11. Doin’ Dirt
12. Beautiful Goodbye

♦ ♦ ♦

Overexposed is the fourth studio album by American band Maroon 5, released on June 26, 2012. The album was driven after the moderate succes of their third studio abum Hands All Over (2010) and later the succesful single Moves Like Jagger.The album peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 and sold approximately 210,000 copies to date.

One More Night has a very interesting and nice vibe to it, mixing pop/rock with a reggae sound. What I really like about this song is Adam’s vocal technique, using his chest voice to adlib in a  rather funky way throughout the entire song. There’s only a little something missing in this song but I can’t think of anything right now, I’m simply surprised by the rather addictive and different sound of this song. Laughed my ass off when Adam finished with ‘I don’t know, whatever..‘ xD

Immediately follows my eargasm of the past two months: Payphone (feat. Wiz Khalifa). Here Maroon mixed pop/rock with some hiphop influences, clearly coming out when Wiz Khalifa drops some lines (which is absolutely amazing), it gives the song so much swagger. I have the clean version here, which sucks because I loved that line ‘All these fairytales are full of shit, one more fcking love song I’ll be sick‘. They changed it.. FFFFUUU.

Daylight gives me Coldplay vibes, really. But then it features the same intro as the Backstreet Boys’ song ‘Just Want You To Know’ (don’t know why I know that). It’s a pretty soft rock song but the percussion tempo and sound give it some more spice. Adam’s vocals are top notch again and I love it when he sings “In the daylight/ We’ll be on our own/ But tonight I need to hold you so close“.

Then they’re BACK with Lucky Strike! It’s that good old fast, guitar driven song I was waiting for and I was so used from them. It’s more of the funky sound that was also heard on their Hands All Over album, but some of the guitar parts were better than to get the ‘funk’ tag. Almost Moves Like Jagger, part II, love it!

Somtimes honesty is the worst policy‘, so true. The Man Who Never Lied features quite some emotional lyrics about lying to someone to not break their heart. I  can’t really say there’s something very special about this song, but still, while being a song with an average arrangement it’s one of the better songs on the album. It has a nice beat, especially in the chorus.

Love Somebody is produced by Ryan Tedder, so let’s have a look now. This sound is not something I’m used to hear from Maroon 5, since it features a lot of synth hooks. It sounds really good, I just need to get used to it I guess. Sometimes the sound can become a little bit too dominant since it’s such a sudden transition from pop/rock to synthpop. As an individual song, this could very well become a favorite.

Ladykiller is the shortest song on the album at only 2:44 minutes. Is this a song about Adam’s girl leaving him for another girl…? Anyway, this song should feature the tag ‘feat. Hall & Oates’, I can hear them in some parts. It’s not much of an energetic song, but I still like the relaxing vibe. The guitar solo in the bridge is a real plus.

I like how Adam sings in a lower register in the first part of Fortune Teller, but that’s pretty much where my fangirling stops. This song’s only highlight is the bridge, where it features a hiphop influenced beat. The rest of it doesn’t really make sense to me.

As I expected, Sad is a piano ballad. Artist Direct’s Rick Florino has a point when he says this song ‘screams Elton John’, but it’s that and so much more. To me it’s like the confession wanted but never heard, and the only Maroon 5 song that ever actually made me cry a bit while listening to it (I’m such an emotional jerk). Can I fangirl about this song please? ❤

Tickets features the most agressive synth arrangement on the entire album, forget about Love Somebody, some parts in this song are almost techno-influenced. Want my honest opinion? I think it’s HOT. If you ask me, they can make more songs like this one although it’s the most mainstream song of all.

Talking about energy, Doin’ Dirt is amazing! Okay, it features some really dirty lyrics like ‘I know you like it when it hurts‘ and ‘I light you up when I get inside‘, but I’m kinda used to that from Adam (just listen to Kiwi and the first lyrics of Makes Me Wonder). This song is pretty addictive, especially when it comes to the bridge and also to the uplifting synth riffs in the background.

Beautiful Goodbye is the bittersweet last track on the album, but it has a golden combination of an acoustic guitar with a very smooth beat. It’s an average ballad track but quite pretty, a real lyric song because all the attention is drawn to those lyrics.

So maybe Overexposed isn’t Maroon 5’s best album to date, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (2007) remains my all time favorite, but this one isn’t bad either. Ofcourse it features one of their best songs ever (Payphone feat. Wiz Khalifa) and they introduced new favorites to me, but still there’s something about this album I’m a bit on the fence with. The completely different styles, being pop/rock and synthpop, are not very balanced if you ask me, some songs were a little bland. I would listen to this album quite a lot, probably until I know all the songs inside and out, but still I even like Hands All Over a little more. Tough luck guys (but still: good job).

Favorite songs: One More Night | Payphone (feat. Wiz Khalifa) | Lucky Strike | The Man Who Never Lied | Love Somebody | Sad | Doin’ Dirt

OVERALL RATING

3½ stars

Maroon 5 – Payphone (feat. Wiz Khalifa)

April 20, 2012 at 7:30 PM | Posted in Maroon 5 | 1 Comment

SINGLE REVIEW
Maroon 5 – Payphone (feat. Wiz Khalifa)

1. Payphone (feat. Wiz Khalifa)

Payphone is the lead single of American band Maroon 5’s fourth album ‘Overexposed’ (to be released on June 26, 2012). The single was released on April 16, 2012.

So basically I found out about this song today and it has been playing on repeat ever since. Payphone (feat. Wiz Khalifa) is the most unlikely collaboration between pop/rock band Maroon 5 and rapper Wiz Khalifa, but then again Adam Levine has also worked with Gym Class Heroes so I’m not fully surprised. Payphone is a really catchy track, and a bit of a toe-tipping pop/rock and disco-flavoured dance hybrid. The lyrics are kinda bitter (‘…even the sun sets in paradise‘), but the music really isn’t and I love the arrangement. For Wiz Khalifa’s part they featured a nice hiphop beat with handclaps. I love love LOVE this track, including it’s slick rap part by Wiz.
I’m at a paaaaayphone trying to call home, all of my change I spent on youuu

OVERALL RATING

5 stars

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