Maroon 5 spiced up the summer with its hit single “Misery,” leaving fans wanting more. With their newest album, Hands All Over, the Los Angeles natives bring fans out of misery and into a new collection of Maroon 5 sounds.

Maroon 5

Hands All Over
A&M/Octone

In true A-list pop star form, Maroon 5 creates a captivating tune that, if their past albums are any evidence, will soar up the pop charts. “Misery” starts the album off with a tropical feel, easing the listener into the record. Lead vocalist Adam Levine’s high-pitched melodies instantly intoxicate as his smooth, buttery voice blankets across the track. It’s Levine’s captivatingly unique voice that makes Maroon 5 so easily recognizable.

Standout track “Stutter” has a blues-ey sound that resonates in a handful of songs on the album. Stadium-ready hooks dominate the track: “Whoa whoa whoa / I really need to know-oh-oh-oh / Or else you gotta let me go-oh-oh-oh.” Another blues-rock Maroon 5 rampage is “Hands All Over.” Reminiscent of Maroon 5’s biggest single “Harder To Breathe,” Levine sings sexually charged lyrics dealing with a desperate attempt to coax a distraught, pretty girl back into his life. While Levine does his seductive thing, the rest of the gang experiments with dragged-out guitar riffs and lustful whispers of harmonies.

“How,” the album’s powerful rock ballad, is the climax of Hands All Over. Levine’s voice booms across this heartfelt track with the lingering lyrics, “But I don’t understand the meaning of love / I don’t mind if I die trying / I don’t mind if I die trying.”

While Hands All Over may feel similar to 2002’s Songs About Jane, it also features a ’70s disco ambiance fused with a Motown mood that marks a new sound for the band.

Strange combination? Yes, but it works … mostly.

Tambourine-heavy “Get Back In My Life” veers toward a disco dance track. The Jackson 5-inspired song “I Can’t Lie” has a doo-wop candy-counter feel, which could easily be this album’s “Sunday Morning.” Poppy, sunny pianos clink with playful staccato guitar riff contradicting the melancholy lyrics, “I just die so much inside now that you’re not there / I wanna feel your heart beat like yesterday.”

With so many genres appearing on this album, Maroon 5 displays its creative range. Still, it often seems as if the band threw together incoherent songs without much thinking. For example, “Out of Goodbyes,” the country-influenced duet featuring Lady Antebellum, not only throws the album off course, it’s just downright forgettable.

However, the deluxe version (which includes a slew of acoustic and live versions of songs on the standard record) makes many of the album’s not-so-great songs worth a listen. Stunning acoustic versions of “Never Gonna Leave This Bed” and “Misery” are included in the extras. The acoustic versions of these tracks, which are significantly better than the album recordings, convey the band’s pure talent. The band even takes its shot at covering Alicia Keys’s pop treat “If I Ain’t Got You” and proves its ability to twist any song to make in sound like their own (though the track is still comfortable in Maroon 5’s mainstream realm).

Maroon 5’s newest album includes the stadium pop listeners already have a feel for, while throwing in some curveballs. Hands All Over may not be Maroon 5’s best work, but it’s good enough that you’ll want to get your hands all over it.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.