Album Title: V
Artist/Band: Maroon 5
Contributing Artists: Gwen Stefani
Release Date: August 29, 2014
Label: Interscope Records
V, is the fifth studio album released by Interscope Records on August 29, 2014. The deluxe version, which I acquired is comprised of 14 tracks, lasting roughly 53 or so minutes. After hearing the first track on this album on the radio, also their first single off this album, I wanted to review it.
Maps, the first track, is by far radio ready, starting right off with vocalist Adam Levine, followed by the smallest guitar intro that just sticks in your mind. This song embodies a similar feel to the single "Moves Like Jagger," from their last album, and although it starts off with a more melancholy tone, it still has the aggressive pop that I've come to expect from listening to Maroon 5.
The next track, Animals, gives me a lot of mixed feelings. I like the beat that only adds to a certain masculinity even through Levines' sometime 'feminine pitches'. However, the repeating of the last syllables when he comes to the chorus gets increasingly annoying. As does his attempt at howling close to the end of the track.
One track I absolutely love is the fourth track, entitled Unkiss Me. It's got an angry, depressed feel, but it's an anthem that'll hang in my head long after I finish doing this review. The pulsating beat carries you lovingly as Levine almost seems like he's singing directly to you. Somehow, through the aggressive pop style and the sometimes almost falsetto vocals in this band, a new, welcoming angle from Maroon 5 peers through a sheer curtain.
Then a blast from past. The fifth track, Sugar, has a 70's feel due to the classic falsetto hooks Levine pulls in, mingling perfectly with a relaxed bass line and something that makes me wish the guitarist was wearing a tie-dye headband while recording. It was beautiful and comical at the same time.
Feelings, track ten, befuddles me. I love the disco feel I get from it, and yes, Levines' classic falsetto. It is almost enough to make me want to invest in a disco roller rink. This track isn't something I would typically like, but there is something to it that keeps making me hit replay.
Track eleven has a piano heavy beginning, and when Levine comes in, this ballad his a melancholy masculine feel. When featured vocalist Gwen Stefani comes in, it's a perfect blend. Her voice caresses Levines' like silk. It's sultry and beautifully crafted. Picking Stefani for the female vocals was an amazing choice and made for a perfect track.
I first thought the first bonus track, Shoot Love, would be a bore when it began with an organ. When the distortion and Levine came in, the tempo picked up and hooked me. Suddenly I was thrown into an action packed song where I was fighting not to just go back to the beginning just to hear it one more time. The expertly mastered track had me bobbing my head until it ended.
Not going to lie...the reason I got the deluxe version of this album was specifically for this track. Sex and Candy, the second bonus track was amazingly recreated through Maroon 5. I'm not too surprised though. Anytime I've heard a cover coming from Maroon 5, they typically do fantastic. However, a level of sultriness that I hadn't even heard in the original recording of this track (Sex and Candy-Marcy Playground original song/artist)brings it to another level. It could have come from the ever so slightly slower tempo or different style that comes with Maroon 5, but I'm a fan.
The last bonus track was an acoustic song called Lost Stars, and although I love acoustic tracks more than anything in the world, I wish this track would've had a bit more attention in creating it. It made me bored, sad, and nearly put me to sleep. I didn't even want to finish listening to this track. It was just too slow. Too plain. Maroon 5 probably should have kept this track in the vaults until they'd taken a better look at it.
Through 14 tracks, this album had it's ups and downs, with way more positive points going on than negative. The album stayed true to what we've come to know and expect with Maroon 5 after five studio albums, but also came with a few new odds and ends littered through it to foreshadow an idea of a potential new direction. Anxious and excited yes, but also hesitant as well.
Overall I'd have to say 8.8 out of 10.
3. It Was Always You
4. Unkiss Me
6. Leaving California
7. In Your Pocket
8. New Love
9. Coming Back For You
11. My Heart Is Open Featuring Gwen Stefani
12. Shoot Love
13. Sex and Candy
14. Lost Stars
You can get the album now in many stores, through Interscope Records, and iTunes.
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They are also having a 2015 World Tour kicking off Feb. 16 in Dallas, and ending June 17th in Portugal April 3 is the last US date in California