I know many of you may baulk at the inclusion of a review of Maroon 5 on the Rhythm & Booze site and to be honest I can understand why, the quintet’s recent output my have dominated the airwaves but in truth the likes of Moves Like Jagger has dogged the true music fan, the band seem to be somewhat unavoidable at the moment, with Mum’s, younger sisters and pop lovers the world over, flooding to their local supermarkets to pick up the band’s latest wares. (new album the rather aptly entitled Overexposed available now.
Well now whilst the iron is red hot (and coinciding with the tenth anniversary) the band decide to strike with the reissue of their debut, Grammy winning album Songs About Jane in new extended two disc format, featuring a plethora of rare and unreleased demos and B-Sides.
Much like now, ten years ago Maroon 5 dominated the radio airwaves (to the point of nausea) with the likes of This Love, Sunday Morning and She Will Be Loved, middle of the road safe pop rockers that saw Adam Levine and the boys seduce the nation with their faceless, bland sound-a-like wares. The album on the whole follows in much the same pattern as the aforementioned mega selling singles, the band serve the occasional funk ridden number such as Shiver, the “cough” rocker Harder To Breathe and the softer, more restrained one, Secret.
Highlights are rather thin on the ground for a music lover like me, sure there are a few tasty licks here and there and Adam’s near falsetto is an impressive weapon but on the whole there’s very little to lift the album out of the “comfort zone”.
The second disc of demos and unreleased material is pretty much more of the same, the demo version of Sunday Morning is laced with jazzy horns, whilst the other album tracks offer slight variations on the finished articles. Of the extra non-album tracks Take What You Want is worth mentioning as it’s pretty much the only track over the entire two discs that really see’s the band cut loose and rock out.
There’s also a documentary on here, accessible via your computer, so you too can discover how to charm housewives and write anthems for sheep.
If you already have an affinity for Maroon 5 and you’re something of a completest you might find something of interest on here, if however, like me, the very idea of daytime regional radio or commercial pap chills you to spine I suggest you avoid this like the plague.
Rhythm & Booze Rating 4
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