With fourth album Overexposed, Maroon 5 have pulled out all the pop stops by working with such producers and songwriters as Max Martin, Benny Blanco, Ryan Tedder and J.R. Rotem. Its a ballsy move, and the album’s title takes things an obvious step forward. So what do critics think of Adam Levine and the gang’s latest effort, which is their first album to arrive in the era of The Voice? Head below for our review roundup, then let us know your thoughts on M5′s new record!
:: For Entertainment Weekly, being exposed to the album once was enough: “Inspired, perhaps, by the crossover appeal of ‘Jagger,’ the group has drafted pop kingpins Max Martin, Benny Blanco, and Ryan Tedder — who regularly deal dope beats to Britney, Katy, Usher, et al. — to thoroughly Top 40-ify their game. So it’s hardly surprising that on much of the album, which never quite finds a balance between rock grit and dance-pop glitz, Maroon 5 barely sound like a band at all.”
:: The Washington Post takes that notion a step further: “Overexposed is a hit-seeking missile that doesn’t just slaughter Maroon 5’s reputation for sincerity (which was pretty nonexistent anyway), it festoons its corpse with glitter, hairspray and Hello Kitty stickers. It seems more like a collaboration between Swedish hitmakers and AutoTune than between Levine and members of his band, who apparently exist, but it’s a small price to pay.”
:: The UK’s Metro likes what hit hears, however: “They’ve shimmied back to the disco pool for their fourth album, Overexposed, although they don’t completely plunge in; frontman Adam Levine still plays the whiny loverman on numbers including ‘Payphone’ (featuring rapper Wiz Khalifa), and ‘One More Night’ is horrible reggae-lite. Yet something enjoyably camp throbs beneath the surface of ‘Ladykiller’ and it explodes with glitterball style on ‘Doin’ Dirt,’ a supremely cheesy slice of Italo-NRG. It actually makes you wish they’d give in to their shameless urges more often.”
:: Rolling Stone agrees: “It’s top-shelf radio sucrose: the Sly Stone-meets-Eurythmics synth hook of ‘Love Somebody,’ the Ace Of Base reggae ‘One More Night’. The only boring moment is the token sad ballad, which at least has the droll title ‘Sad’.”
:: OK! doesn’t hear a “Jagger”-sized hit: “If truth be told, this time last year, most of us had forgotten about Maroon 5. But that was before their huge, worldwide mega smash ‘Moves Like Jagger’ – a song so catchy we’re sure we’ve heard birds whistling it – took over the airwaves. Predictably, there’s nothing as catchy on Overexposed, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. In fact, there’s loads to like here, such as new single ‘Payphone,’ the anthemic ‘Daylight’ and the Coldplay-esque ‘The Man Who Never Lied’.”
:: The Guardian concurs: “…where previously Maroon 5 mainly wrote their own songs, here they’ve tried to reproduce the Jagger effect by collaborating with Britney Spears songwriter Max Martin, among other expensive hitmakers, but the songs they came up with are not especially memorable.”
:: Perhaps the Virginian-Pilot delivers the most damning review: “The title of Maroon 5′s latest record states the obvious and seems almost like an apology. With Overexposed, in stores today, the Los Angeles group delivers more of the same neon radio candy, a super polished mix of edgeless pop-rock and toothless R&B, for which the group has always been known. But the guys have done better before.”