It's been a great decade for this Californian band. Grammy-award winning and selling over 15 million records worldwide, Maroon 5 have firmly placed their stamp upon the world pop scene. Now releasing their third offering, Hands All Over, it seems that Maroon 5 have only started with their plans for domination.
It is obvious why Misery was chosen as the lead singleas it perfectly represents this LP. With the distinct Maroon 5 sound, it is an upbeat track with a new funk slant. This is pursued With Give A Little More, their supposed 2nd single, a 70s Lovetrain track that comes across both cool and soulful. With funky guitar riffs and Adam Levine's soothing vocals that melt like chocolate, it is obvious that Maroon 5 are continuing this 'sound' for this era. Get Back In My Life is also a great track (up with the best) which is not only unusual sounding but horrifically catchy too.
The band hasn't abandoned their more rocky roots. Stutter is a grungy track that whilst one may argue sounds a bit out-dated, is a great rock track that allows diversions from their more retro offerings. The title track, Hands All Over, follows this trend with heavy percussions and even heavier backing vocals. Whilst a bit repetitive, this song exemplifies exactly what sort of band Maroon 5 wants to be. The band described this album as 'a killer hybrid of rock, pop, funk and R&B' and they couldn't be any more correct. Never Gonna Leave This Bed is a mid-tempo ballad that combines effectively the melancholic with the epic - a highlight track from the LP. Following in a Snow Patrol fashion, How is a heavy epic grower that suggests that Maroon 5 are experts at making both dance floor fillers and emotional ballads. Even entering the folk genre in Out of Goodbyes (featuring Lady Antebellum) is able to end the album on a much lighter note.
The album does sometimes, however, come across quite average. Tracks like Don't Know Nothing and I Can't Lie, whilst both boast the band's abilities, sound a bit bland. In turn, a fan that has been waiting three years for this record may be disappointed. However, the much stronger tracks are able to counterweight this which results in a solid record for the boys.
There is an obvious attempt here to mix it all up a bit. Maroon 5 must be credited for experimentation but at the same time, the album does come across a bit lacklustre in comparison to their previous two offerings. It probably is the divergence from their usual unique sound that results in this. Hands all Over is a great album that should be commended but after such a lengthy absence and high expectations, it is easy to be disappointed by an album that doesn't come across as outstanding. Either way, however, our hands are indeed all over this record.
4 / 5