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Review: Maroon 5

Maroon 5 – It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (2007)

Take equal portions of ’80s funk, pop, New Wave, ska and a dash of soul, chuck it all into your favourite synthethizer, and you too can become Maroon 5.

Those familiar with the genres can have virtually minutes of fun playing spot the hook, riff and bassline. For one thing, Maroon 5 have clearly listened to too many Police records (blatantly and without much imagination ripping off on three songs, from “Roxanne” to “Every Breath You Take”), and reference liberally the likes of Prince, Michael Jackson and, er, the Steve Miller Band. It seems as though in their plagiaristic endeavours, Maroon 5 couldn’t even bother to go beyond volumes 1 and 2 of their 40 Super Duper Hits Of The Fantastically Brilliant 1980s double CDs. But, hey, at least Maroon 5 don’t rip off Toni Basil’s “Mickey”, as their spiritual cousin Avril Lavigne has done.

Happy then are those who need not suffer such distraction, for at times Maroon 5’s second album sounds really good — in the way KFC smells quite good before you get to eat the Colonel’s rancid battery-chicken pieces that had seemed so inviting.

The production of this album is so polished, so calculated, that invariably the album is utterly bereft of soul. Frequently It Won”t Be Soon Before Too Long just drowns in its own pretentious ambition to condense 30 years of popular music into 12 presumably cool and funky songs.

Lead single “Makes Me Wonder” (Michael Jackson ahoy!) will be one of this year’s biggest hits, but it is not in any way a memorable classic (which is ironic, since it rips off so many classics). You will have heard it not very long ago playing on radio or on TV. Try whistling the tune. I bet you can still remember the melody of “This Love” though.

Lyrically Adam Levine does not cut a sympathetic figure, relishing rather too much in his playa image (when he isn’t fucking the pillow, the idiot). Levine doesn’t seem to like women much, such is his (not quite Snoopesque) contempt for them.

Maroon 5 certainly have nothing profound to say, and this is not the sort of album one listens to for messages. Pity then that the music isn“t more engaging.

Here is the albums highlight, make of it what you will:
Maroon 5 – Back At Your Door.mp3

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