Maroon 5 - Hands All Over

2010-11-23 15:49
Have you been missing Maroon 5 over their three-year hiatus at all? Nope, didn’t think so. There's just something dispensable and fleeting about the power pop-rock band from LA. Their big hits – all the way from "This Love" off the massively successful Songs for Jane (which, incredibly, was released 8 years ago) to "Wake Up Call" off the lesser It Won't Be Soon Before Long from 2007 – were hardly distinguishable from each other.  

Thing is that Maroon 5 were never a band with a clear-cut identity. They don't stand for anything meaningful, other than making sexytime with all manner of lovely lady lumps for impossibly long stretches of time.  They are the opposite of edgy, and have always been rather devoid of any kind of depth or emotion. How many times do we need to hear about Adam Levine's sexual conquests before it all starts to sound kinda skeezy?

Well, let me introduce to the new Maroon 5, then. And by "new" I certainly do not mean to imply that they've veered into another musical direction or updated their schtick. Hell no. The album cover features a naked woman in the throes of passion while a weirdly detached pair of man-hands caresses her body.  One song is even entitled "Never Gonna Leave This Bed".

This is Maroon 5 version 1.0, but vitally, the songwriting has come along in leaps and bounds. The aforementioned "Never Gonna Leave This Bed" exemplifies all that has assured Maroon 5's longevity despite the odds.

The hook is a skyscraper-sized, catchy as the clap singalong that's on the romantic side of lecherous and probably the most genuinely heart-warming song I've heard them perform. And the sweetness continues on the 70s soul of "I Can't Lie" and the truly lovely "How" in which Levine is so in love he actually asks for his lady's hand in marriage. Could it be possible that these boys have finally grown up?

Perhaps. But they’re also still having fun while they can. Opener "Misery" sounds like a retread of "This Love" – which will almost certainly help it up the charts – and much of the first half of “Hands All Over” never deviates from the familiar.

When the band is willing to open up some wounds and make a connection, the songs take on another, more honest dimension. Like the duet with country newcomers Lady Antebellum, "Out Of Goodbyes"; an aching love song that would previously have sounded out of place. This could well be due to the influence of producer Mutt Lange. Or Maroon 5 could now, three albums later, be aiming for something resembling longevity.  

It's just possible that M5 is starting to grow up despite itself. Maybe.

What to read next: Buy it
Read more on:    maroon 5  |  adam levine  |  music  |  pop

preshen govender 2010/11/18 10:22
they could of shown more cleavage
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.