Overexposed,” already has two singles released this summer that are climbing the charts: “Payphone,” featuring Wiz Khalifa, and “One More Night.” However, this is not the Los Angeles-based band’s best work. After 10 years of worldwide musical success, the group has set high expectations for their latest effort, but seem to have fallen short.
“Overexposed” lacks quality and originality; nearly every song sounds the same and contains similar content about a bad break-up. The only things that work in this album are two hidden gems out of its 12 tracks. These two songs reveal the band’s capability for showing talent, but most of the songs on this album do not show that.
The first track on the album, “One More Night,” is disappointing and unimpressive. The track is reggae-influenced – an interesting choice that is unlike a lot of the band’s former work. Despite the change, fans seem to accept this sound, seeing how it is an increasingly popular radio play. The song seems to be about a dangerous relationship, with lyrics like: “You and I go hard, at each other like we going to war / You and I go rough, we keep throwing things and slammin’ the door.” A reggae sound and disturbing lyrics? Yet, it is still one of those songs that end up stuck in your head at the end of the day. How do they do it?
“Lucky Strike” is the only song on the entire album that really captures the band’s past sounds, what fans know and love. This upbeat tune is reminiscent of their hit “Moves Like Jagger.” Again, the lyrics are very distracting and off-putting, like ”One More Night.” The chorus goes: “Got me so high, and then she dropped me, / But she got me, / took me inside and then she rocked me, / She keep me up all night, / This is what it sounds like.” If you can tune out the lyrics, you will most likely find yourself bobbing your head and tapping your foot to the beat. One thing this band is good at is using catchy beats to mask their vague and empty songwriting.
Another song that displays this writing is “The Man Who Never Lied,” which seems like it will be the next single on the album. This song follows the album’s theme of coping with a disturbing and failed relationship. The chorus is simple; Levine sings, “I was the man who never lied,” over and over again. Although Adam Levine’s fans may not always know what exactly he is singing about or know what it means, it doesn’t seem to matter because it is very, very catchy.
The only track on the album that seems original and sincere is “Sad.” It is a simple song with a couple of lovely piano chords playing in the background and Levine’s vocals in the foreground. At certain points in the song, it almost sounds very similar to Gavin DeGraw’s songs. It is a completely different sound than the rest of the pop-driven album that sets itself apart from the rest of the tracks, and it works. Levine repeats how sad he is in the chorus, and does so in a convincing manner. If more of the songs on this album were this genuine, it would make for an incredible album.
The last song on the album is a Prince cover. “Kiss” sounds like Levine living out a karaoke dream. A good cover usually consists of an artist taking a song and making it their own, whether it’s with the beat or adding in an extra verse, but this cover doesn’t have anything special to it. This track feels more like it was just a chance for Levine to simply sing a song he likes. Levine should be a solo singer; this entire band’s album seems to be centered around him.
In the end, “Overexposed” disappoints. One can only hope that in the future, we will be seeing better work from Maroon 5 like the kind they have given fans in the past.
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