Maroon 5 : Overexposed
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Maroon 5 : Overexposed

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Maroon 5’s fourth studio album Overexposed sees the band stray from their funk-rock orientated roots in favour of an unashamedly dance-pop style. Like their previous releases, this album is heavily studio-polished, but it’s also deliberately more digital in sound: they’re striving to be the next club-bangin’ supergroup, and it’s obvious they want to retain the wider fan-base achieved through the success of recent hit Moves Like Jagger

Although this ambition somewhat painfully underlies the album, it makes for a pretty successful transition to full-pop mode. A few well-placed curse words within charming (if slightly formulaic) lyrics give the album a sense of explicit maturity and separate it from other teenage-girl-pop efforts. This coupled with sufficiently simple and melodically catchy choruses will ensure these songs linger both on the charts and in the heads of listeners. 

The instrumentation blends funk-esque guitar tones, heavy synths and an array of digital layering considerably well, creating a smooth and polished recording which has received input from several notable producers (including pop-guru Max Martin). At times the recording leans too heavily on the glossy sheen of its post-production, which may leave a bitter taste in the mouths of Maroon 5’s older fans, but this is the nature of their new direction in genre.  

Overexposed was released last month on A&M/Octone Records. Its lead single Payphone (featuring the rap-vocal talent of Wiz Khalifa) has already achieved huge success in the charts. Other standout tracks are the offbeat dance anthem One More Night, the strangely classy disco-flashback Doin’ Dirt, and the pulled-back, piano-driven Sad. In fact, all of the songs on the album are easily accessible and instantly memorable: Overexposed is written well and will no doubt continue to do well commercially. While too contrived to be a considered a lasting popular success, it’s a decent flavour of the month for fans of easy listening danceable pop. 

BY JEREMY MILLAR

Best Track: Payphone
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: THE WEEKEND, KE$HA, or any of BRITNEY SPEARS’ dirty club tracks
In A Word: Self-indulgent