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Maroon 5 - V (Album Review)

Tuesday, 02 September 2014 Written by Gavin Rees

On ‘V’, it’s hard to pin down exactly what Maroon 5 do well. The early pop smarts of ‘Songs About Jane’ were long ago cast aside, with the dancefloor ubiquity of Moves Like Jagger and ensuing producer-heavy thump of ‘Overexposed’ drawing a line in the sand between past and present.

As expected, this is an album that gleams. It’s so slick, in fact, that it exists almost entirely on the surface. It has its share of perfectly placed drops and is laced with synth lines and melodies that will plant their flags in your brain for a few minutes, but it’s also curiously forgettable.

Maps, the lead single, is a case in point. There, Adam Levine’s pleas float in a heady Police-gone-synth brew, all meaning lost amid the vacuous production.

Even when Maroon 5 are spinning the brand of playful filth that’s helped to mould Levine’s sex god persona, they never feel fully engaged.

With Nate Ruess, Ryan Tedder, Sia, Shellback, Rodney Jerkins, Mike Posner and Benny Blanco, among others, contributing songwriting credits alongside Levine, though, perhaps that’s just a sign of the times.

It Was Always You, In Your Pocket and My Heart Is Open, a closing ballad that calls on a guest spot from Gwen Stefani, all have their moments, but they are presented next to the bloated Unkiss Me, the by-the-numbers Animals and pop splatter of Sugar, all of which outstay their welcome.

Pop music has always fed off personality and individuality, two things that are sadly lacking from Maroon 5 this time around. The less said about a bonus track cover of Marcy Playground's Sex and Candy the better, too.

Maroon 5 Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue May 26 2015 - LONDON SSE Arena Wembley
Sun May 31 2015 - BIRMINGHAM LG Arena
Mon June 01 2015 - MANCHESTER Phones 4u Arena

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