|2. Give A Little More|
|4. Don't Know Nothing|
|5. Never Gonna Leave his Bed|
|6. I Can't Lie|
|7. Hands All Over|
|9. Get Back In My Life|
|10. Just A Feeling|
|12. Out Of Goodbyes with Lady Antebellum|
|13. Crazy Little Thing Called Love (acoustic / Bonus)|
He is, however, the perfect person to buff up Maroon 5’s lascivious pop, given that Adam Levine clearly fancies himself as something of a dirty old rock star.
The album begins with a puzzle. Misery might be an accomplished pop song, a clear hit, but it’s also 90% based on a hit they’ve already had: This Love. Its provocative placement at the gateway into this album’s garden of sonic delights is clearly designed to send a message – that they’re back and just as good as ever – but it’s not one they needed to bother sending.
The thing is, there ARE sonic delights on offer here. One listen to Out of Goodbyes, a sumptuous country/bossa nova duet with Lady Antebellum, should be proof enough that Maroon 5 know their way around the laboratory in which good pop songs are formulated better than most.
How and Don’t Know Nothing boast deliciously unexpected melodic twists in their choruses: a shrugged cadence of resignation in the latter, a surprise howl to the skies in the former. You have to be good at music to do this kind of thing.
Of course, there’s also a lot of evidence here that hard work, tunesmithery and competence can be a stifling influence. The Jack Johnson soul of I Can’t Lie and the big stadium balladry of Just a Feeling both suffer from a suffocating fug of quality workmanship, at the expense of any kind of personality or fun.
Whereas the rude guitar sleaze of Hands All Over, or the cocky glam-stomp in Stutter’s verses show a band who are really at their best when they play pop music like the sleazy rockers they clearly are. In Adam Levine’s mind, at least.--Fraser McAlpine
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