Maroon 5 recently released their 5th studio album “V” with a bang. The lead single “Maps” is an unstoppable song destined to be on repeat for some time. As Levine croons with his signature falsetto voice he laments love loss and forever seeking his love out. It’s quintessentially Maroon 5, it’s pop that sells records and this has. The video itself is what we have come to expect from this band, its stars front man Levine, and takes us on a journey albeit in reverse, as we search for what happened to his love. The reverse storytelling is a nice nod to early naughties film “Memento”.
Maroon 5 – Maps
Levine wails into the second track with predatory flair, which is at odds with where the listener has been left a moment earlier. “Animals” despite this leap is an excellent song – catchy and moody.
“It Was Always You” has a different sound removed from the signature pop the band thanks probably to the production skills of Monsters & Strangerz. Almost a b-side track “Unkiss me” is a silent achiever to be cherished, while “Sugar” is fun, free and already primed to be remixed into a Spring/Fall (depending on where you are) dance/club hit.
“Leaving California” sees Levine pining for his love, yet again – this time as she sets out for greener pastures on the East Coast. The track has a great pop hook and almost an anthem feel to it, which provides solace and rest at the mid-point in this album. Quickly “In Your Pocket” picks up the pace and has you turning for the volume and pumping the tune loudly through the earphones or car as does “New Love”.
Stepping back into the 80’s with some synthesised beats “Coming Back to You” rocks you through its chorus and versus with enthusiasm and anticipation as Levine declares to his love “don’t worry girl/I’ll be back for you”.
The surprise single in this collection is the unexpected piano driven power balled and duet “My Heart is Open” with the hip and very much missed (from music, but now on the U.S. The Voice) Gwen Stefani. Levine and Stefani are equally matched with harmonies that just work so well. You believe the pathos of the two and listen to the longing and anticipation as the listener is drawn into the drama and almost feels compelled to will them both together.
Over a decade later this band is still able to produce a solid musical offering in an industry that can be increasingly more fickle and aloof. What Maroon 5 have achieved is another hit album – and whilst it may not reach the dizzying heights of their debut success, “Songs About Jane”, it’s still well worth airtime.
Maroon 5 “Animals” Video