The evolution of Maroon 5 from their smash debut "Songs About Jane" to their current record "V" has been a steady climb to solidify their position as pop/rock's poster kids. Their first album was an instant classic, and their following records have faced fan criticism for selling out while selling millions. "They're too pop", "they're too rock"....whatever they are, it seems to be working.
"V" is a collection of the epitome of pop music, sometimes dipping into the R&B, EDM, and rock worlds while often feeling like a flashback to the 80s.
The first half of the record starts out strong with lead single "Maps", the sexy "Animals", and a song about figuring out "It Was Always You."
Their first home run, though, is with "Unkiss Me". Lead singer Adam Levine sings, "I lie to my heart cause I thought you felt it, You can't light a fire, if the candle's melted." It's a song about that moment in a relationship when you realize it's over, and in Levine's case, calling the other person out on it.
Maroon 5 does bitter well, and on the cynical track "In Your Pocket", Levine challenges his significant other to "Show me that phone in your pocket, girl." The opening lines reminded me of the same tone as Kanye West's "Heartless" with lyrics like
"Say what you're mad at me for, me for
Yeah why you talk that evil, yeah
That's not the way you show love, show love."
"New Love" seems almost certainly about Levine's new bride, Behati Prinsloo. It's a humble plea to forgive the Sexiest Man Alive if he messes up, because this type of love is new to him.
If you love falsetto, immediately start with "Feelings", where Levine sings at an impossible height to a beat that feels like a 70s disco. The moving ballad "My Heart is Open" is a duet between Levine and fellow Voice judge Gwen Stefani that slows things down in the best way. Their voices blend together beautifully to a set of elegantly written lyrics.
Much like on their last record when they covered Prince's iconic "Kiss", Maroon 5 takes on another classic from 1997 with Marcy Playground's "Sex & Candy".
Overall, the record will please the same audience that made "Moves Like Jagger" one of the biggest successes of 2011. "V" comes out this Tuesday, September 2, 2014, and can be preordered on iTunes.