The members of Maroon 5 hit it big a few years back with
their debut album Songs About Jane, propelling them into
instant pop-rock fame with their upbeat sound, infectious hooks
and occasionally borderline-pornographic lyrics. After winning
a few awards, selling millions of copies of their debut and lead
singer Adam Levine's collaboration with musical heavyweights
such as Kanye West and Alicia Keys, one may begin
to ponder what stardom has done to the band. That question is
answered with the bands sophomore effort, It Won't Be Soon
Before Long. After a dynamite set of incredibly successful
singles rocked radio airwaves for the past three years, Adam and
the boys went into the studio, expected to deliver the catchy,
clever and tongue-curling sound that made them big with songs
like "This Love" and "Harder to Breathe".
Do they do it? Kind of.
While the track titles aren't eye-catching or that easily-differentiated,
the songs themselves are quite varied in their sound, ranging
from the mellow "Nothing Lasts Forever" (which sounds
custom made for the newest WB teen sitcom) to the blatantly raunchy
"Kiwi" and "Can't Stop" that both boast the
dirty perversion Mr. Levine's lyrics are sometimes known to feature
(from the latter: "I just wrestle with you in my dreams and
wake up making love to a pillow"). And even though "Won't
Go Home Without" seems like both a musical and lyrical rip-off
of the band's "She Will Be Loved" and "Goodnight
Goodnight" is rather sluggish in its execution, last track
"Back At Your Door" more than makes up for any shortcomings
with Levine really letting his vocals shine (he has never sounded
better) throughout the mid-tempo ballad.
The downfall of the album is something that seems to plague many
artists' second disc: in an attempt to broaden their sound and
expand as musicians, they lose a little of what made them big
in the first place. In regards to Maroon 5, the skimpiness of
really addictive hooks may leave music fans biting. Now, it's
not to say that the album sounds disorganized; songs like the
first single "Makes Me Wonder" and "Wake Up Call"
are both wonderfully infectious and catapult the listener into
a euphoric romp through flaring guitars and Levine's quick-witted
lyrics. But as a whole, the album feels made for the fish already
on the boat; not for those still waiting to be caught in the sea.
Fans will devour these twelve songs and hunt down the special
release bonus tracks across the World Wide Web. Those experiencing
Maroon 5 for the first time, though, might be better seduced with
the likes of Songs About Jane. Ignoring the argument of
who the album will cater to, the band still has shown great progress
in their practice and while It Won't Be Soon Before Long
isn't destined to be the best pop-rock album of the summer, it
still validates the band as an important and refreshing part of
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