Likes: One More Night, Sad, Beautiful Goodbye
Overall: Disappointing. Commercial success is clearly the goal here; not musical artistry.
Diversely blending rock, pop, funk and R&B, Maroon 5 was a slightly gritty band that maintained musical integrity while having mass appeal. Over the last two albums, however, it seems Maroon 5 has lost their way and sight of what made them great to begin with. The previous record, “Hands All Over,” was underwhelming, a bit bland and lacked cohesion in sound; singles from “Hands” did not perform as well as earlier hits. Apparently only concentrating on single chart performance versus what made “Hands” a disappointment overall, Maroon 5 went into the other extreme direction of making a purely pop record seemingly designed to generate commercial attention. “Overexposed” could be regarded as a fun album because of its upbeat nature, but to me, it’s as underwhelming as its predecessor. It’s distinctive, but not for the right reasons; it stands out because it’s such a poor departure from great M5. The crime is not that “Overexposed” is pop; it’s that it’s generic dance pop 2012 with over-processed vocal effects, synthesizers and watered-down live instrumentation (which is definitely a crime for a BAND). It’s even more obvious that the band is reaching for the top 40 on “Fortune Teller;” the opening sounds like that of Britney Spears’ “Hold it Against Me” (which shouldn’t be too surprising as the group enlisted Spears hitmaker Max Martin for this album). The only thing missing on this project is a Nicki Minaj feature. Remnants of prior Maroon 5 exists the lyrics, still covering the dark and painful side of romance with potent angst, but the angst is less poetic and mature than before. “Overexposed” is a good album if you don’t expect much, but for core fans of the group, I’m not sure they’ll be too thrilled.