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Maroon 5 - Hands All Over Album Review

Maroon 5's first LP Songs About Jane was a brilliant introduction that established Adam Levine and the band as soulful, sexily grubby musicians. The follow-up It Won't Be Soon Before Long exemplified a sleeker sound, bigger production, resulting in a glossier record. Three years later comes Hands All Over, a blend of SAJ's grit, IWBSBL's funk, and more.

Hands All Over presents a somewhat diverse collection of soul, funk, and even country-- all held together by Adam's effortless crooning. We're all familiar with 'groovetastic' lead single Misery, and tracks that show the same streak include Don't Know Nothing and Get Back In My Life, both of which go "ooh ooh" in all the right places.

Out Of Goodbyes proves that a little dabble in country music never did anyone harm. The Lady Antebellum collaboration is a tender, slightly bossa nova ballad, reminding us that Maroon 5 isn't just about sex and style-- these guys know how to tug a heartstring or two as well.

Most of the songs on the record are a throwback to their Songs About Jane days-- the title track sounds like an amped down Through With You, I Can't Lie recycles instrumentals from The Sun, and an ample amount of This Love can be discerned in half the LP. Now, there's nothing wrong with going back to the old formula-- eight years have passed and SAJ is still relevant. There's nothing wrong with a little experimentation either-- the band managed to preserve their core sound beneath the gloss of It Won't Be Soon Before Long.

As far as standout tracks go, Stutter is a humble yet huge pop machine. Maroon 5's best moments come when they least exert effort. Runaway, one of the more underrated songs on the record, emits an early 2000's boyband song structure revved up and dressed in grimy instruments. How is a proper pop band song: big ballsy chorus, piano tinkles meshed with drums, and an even flow from start to finish.

Hands All Over may not be the best album of 2010, but it is definitely one of the easiest to listen to.

Rating:

4/5

One Response so far.

  1. Paul says:

    It's just very them isn't it - it's not groundbreaking and Robert Mutt Lange doesn't add that much to the mix, but if you are a fan (and I am) it's a really good, inviting album that seems both new yet instantly familiar. I love it.

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