Thursday, September 4, 2014

Track-by-Track Album Review: Maroon 5's Latest ,"V', Underwhelms.

Maroon 5's fifth album, appropriately named V, is a better album than their last effort, Overexposed, which played, awkwardly, with elements of SKA and reggae, but they're both still bad. The latest plays with more electronic beats but in a muted way, which is sometimes enjoyable and good. V is a regular Maroon 5 album as far as content, a set of love songs that verge on being bi-polar with how much singer Adam Levine wants someone then doesn't, and on songs that are forgettable as soon as their over.

Here's a track-by-track review of the standard edition release.

Maps- The album's lead single and opener is one of the best things on this album. The good lyrics are delivered beautifully by Levine's voice, yet this fun opener is a false start to another underwhelming album.

Animals- Levine howls on this stalkerish/creepy track about animal tendencies to (sexually) attack a girl. And that's enough of that...

It Was Always You- Slightly techno with scents of the electroc/pop funk of the '80s, "It Was Always You" isn't bad, but you forget why you like it.

Unkiss Ms- A highlight. Good energy and Levine has some good vocals of a lower register. Good to hear something that isn't drowning in a lot of high notes and shrieking. 

Sugar- Think New Edition when you listen to this song. Levine's song sounds like the iconic teenage staple of 80's music comically going on about wanting a sweet woman to have sex with. "Yeah you show me good loving/Make it alright/Need a little sweetness in my life/Sugar" If the lyrics aren't cheesy, wait until you listen to the campy mess.

Leaving California- A pop/rock song about a leaving love that is nice to listen to but pretty forgettable.

In Your Pocket- Snooping around through a girl's phone to uncover a cheater is this song's story. The chorus has some good percussion that drives this rhythmic-pleasing track, though the lyrics are pretty basic, including the hook of double entendres.

New Love- Holy speed, Batman! "New Love" needs to slow down as it sounds like when you fast forward a playing cassette tape and it makes that whirring, helium-sounding noise with the vocals. And yes, that's what Levine's vocals sound like on this track about finding a new love after being with someone who doesn't want to be with you.

Coming Back For You- At this point I'm tired of hearing lyrics about love and Levine whining all the time, but its 80's sound is kind of fun, though a little subdued slower than I'd like.

Feelings- After "Coming Back For You" we segue into a discotheque in the '70s. More upbeat than its predecessor, I could definitely hear Gloria Gaynor or Thelma Houston belting this one out back then. Again, the lyrics are basic, but it's funky to the point that you don't care.

My Heart is Open- Featuring Gwen Stefani, the album's closer features the longest and most drawn out chorus on the album. Just a series of "yeahs" that lasts way too many notes.This song had me saying "No", well, except for Stefani. She could stay.

Yet another forgettable album by the group. Each song runs together and the themes are all the same, so it's hard to remember what was bad and what was annoying. Either way, most of it was not good.

Rating: D+

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