Now come on; we can resort to better ways of saying 'selling out', right?... right?
So Maps is Maroon 5's latest and first single off of their fifth studio album, V (which is 5 in Greek letters). I know, there's a lot of debate going about the sound change (after Overexposed? Who would've knew), but the fact remains the same: is Maroon 5, the same band as before?
Obviously I'm not going to call out on the fans for their loyal support over the years, but Maps has got to be a new low for me. While I recommend some of Hands All Over and as much as five songs from Overexposed, I feel that the band's lyrical and production strength has been strained to the limits, with tracks that either don't match previous quality or simply suffocate because of too much production that a track alone can handle. I'm not saying that the band can't do over-produced tracks; hell, listen to Sad from their recent album and you'll notice a tinge of potential that seems awfully wasted and destroyed even though it highlights Adam Levine's vocal strengths. So, where did Maps go wrong?
Like I said, Hands All Over was probably the only album I liked before the band had released more pop production, and Misery felt more inclined on the edge of Songs About Jane than their past three albums combined. I'm not here to skin the band, but if you listen closely to some of the tracks that they have done, they have just been simply lackluster and devoid of inspiration. Unfortunately, the new single probably wires off and ventures into a contrast of what they were a decade ago.
I understand that they wouldn't do something of the same from their debut single, but Maps was just insipid. The drums feel automated, the guitars don't stand out and Levine's vocals fall short of grace. They aren't seemingly poignant, and seem to be a half-arsed attempt at 'we're still doing something for the industry'. I don't judge the album based off a single, and while I may seem to like it later (Payphone was decent, Overexposed was not), it just gets worse and worse. Even the lyrics don't seem to be an attempt to make them good again. The bottom line is: they don't even seem to be trying.
While I can see that it appeals to the mainstream audience, I cannot overlook the devoid quality that has dropped in huge amounts. Insipid and lacking flair, Maps definitely doesn't serve a better dish than the ones before it, and I'm not looking forward to anything they put out for now. It's disappointing for sure.
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.