I bought this book with some hesitance - Hal Leonard's "Recorded Guitar Versions" stamp usually stands for quality tablature, but I was doubtful it could capture the complexity of the harmony and keyboards on Maroon 5's debut disc. I'm not a Maroon 5 fan, but there were a few specific riffs I hoped to learn, and I would be upset if the book omitted them.
I freely admit that I was wrong. I own dozens of sheet music books and, aside from full score books (such as those for Ben Folds Five), this is by far the best book of guitar transcriptions I have ever purchased.
There are a few specific elements that really emphasize the detail of this transcription. It notes every guitar part with very little compositing (e.g. chorus of "She Will Be Loved). It rarely uses a repeat or a DS when a repeated verse has a unique melodic element (a glaring omission is the third verse harmony of "Sunday Morning"). Also, it doesn't OVERUSE figures the way some books do, forcing you to flip back and forth more often than you play.
The guitar arrangements in the book are so authentically transcribed that it would be superfluous to describe them all. There is relatively little rhythm notation relying just on chords - almost everything is indicated exactly by tab. Solos are well done, with occasional editorial notes to aid your playing. Often what sounds like a keyboard or horn part is actually made-by or doubled-by a guitar, which means very few riffs are left out.
Parts played exclusively by keyboard are captured faithfully throughout the book. "Sunday Morning" takes care to notate piano chords with the correct inversions so they sound right while playing along. "Tangled" meticulously notates clavichord for guitar. The only major keyboard parts not transcribed are the lengthy intro and ambient effects on "Secret," and the brief into on "Not Coming Home."
Even the effects notes are detailed, which makes the book great for bands who want to copy the exact sound used by Maroon 5. The whammy notations are varied and specific. A common amount of detail is "Delay set for eight note regeneration w/one repeat." One of the guitars on "Shiver" goes the extra mile, noting "dist. & octaver. Set octaver for one octave below with equal mix of wet and dry signal."
Harmony vocals are notated to perfection. Again, this is so consistent it hardly warrants specific examples. The five-part harmony is intact on "Sunday Morning," as is the four-part on the live "Not Coming Home." In fact, the book often notes harmony vocals I couldn't even hear before owning the book.
Yet another great detail about the book is the fully notated fades. The "This Love" coda does NOT use a "repeat with ad lib" - it transcribes each note of each layer of Adam Levine's vocals down to the last word you can possibly make out before the fades out becomes inaudible. Same for the vocals and guitar solo on "Sweetest Goodbye," and the solo on "The Sun."
The solo guitarist is not left out in the cold, but is occasionally presented with a challenge. In my experience so far some of these songs don't lend themselves to solo acoustic versions without some re-arrangement. On tracks without a primary rhythm guitar part, like "Must Get Out" or "Through With You," the book helps you by providing implied tonality chords, but it doesn't provide their chord frames.
If you plan on mostly performing solo covers from this book you should have a good grasp on how to integrate multiple guitar lines and riffs into a solo arrangement. If that sounds like too tall a task for your skill level, consider buying the piano/guitar/vocal version of this book. (Also, if you are a baritone, consider de-tuning and/or shifting pitch/position with a capo if Adam's vocals are too aerobic for your range.)
I highly recommend this book to vocalists, guitarists, bands, and arrangers (especially for school bands or acappella). You'll be purchasing one of the best Hal Leonard books currently published, especially when it comes to guitars and vocals. The only way it could be improved is if it was reissued as a full score with bass and drum tabs.