Maroon 5's "Overexposed"

Maroon 5's "Overexposed"

  • Article by: Jon O'Brien
  • Posted: 06/28/2012

Benefitting from his exposure on The Voice far more than any of the show’s actual contestants, Adam Levine’s Maroon 5 have managed to overcome the indifference towards 2010’s under-performing Hands All Over to become arguably more popular than they’ve ever been.

Rejuvenated by the success of the ubiquitous “Moves Like Jagger,” their fourth album, the self-knowingly titled Overexposed, has been self-described as their “most diverse and poppiest” yet. Having recruited an army of established hit-makers (Max Martin, Ryan Tedder) for the first time in their career, the latter may be true but on first listen, it’s difficult to make a case for the former.

There are flashes of the funk-rock which initially put them on the map, such as the Shaft-resembling wah-wah solo on “Lady Killer,” and the chilled-out acoustic R&B of closer “Beautiful Goodbye.” The stripped-back piano balladry of “Sad” provides a welcome sense of genuine emotion amongst all the studio trickery.

But elsewhere, the band appear more than content to keep replicating the formula of their hip-thrusting radio staple, particularly on “Lucky Strike,” “Doin’ Dirt” and “Fortune Teller,” all of which are crammed with similar breezy soft-rock hooks, infectious guitar licks and driving dance-pop beats.

More encouragingly, the falsetto-led hip-pop of lead single “Payphone,” the summery, reggae-tinged opener “One More Night,” and the melancholic synth-pop of “Love Somebody” prove that the band are still capable of creating potential hits without trying to restore former glories.

But while Overexposed seems guaranteed to continue Maroon 5’s chart-dominating streak, their decision to jump aboard the electro-pop bandwagon means it’s one of those records that often struggle to avoid becoming anonymous.

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