Released Today — Maroon 5: Hands All Over

I’m nothing if not a bit stubborn. Okay, kind of more than a bit. I have a tendency to judge books by covers. I tend to judge bands by one or two singles played every 48 minutes in some radio station’s rotation. This habit of mine means I kind of miss out on a lot.

This is the case with John Mayer. I hated “Your Body Is A Wonderland” – I hated it even worse once someone told me that during sound check, he would sing it as “Your body is a taco stand.” I mean, it’s kind of funny. But. Really, JM. No. But then I saw him live – and was BLOWN. AWAY. And now? Huge fan. Of his music and his writing, anyway. But really, I would have missed out if I had written him off from the Wonderland/Taco Stand debacle. I’d have missed out on “In Your Atmosphere” and “Heart of Life” – and that’d have been seriously bad.

Same case with Maroon 5. Last summer, they were touring with the Counting Crows – it was a double bill – and they alternated opening for the other. Some nights, CC would open, some nights M5 would open. The night of the show, I said, “Man, I hope Counting Crows open so that I don’t have to stay for the whole show. It’s a long drive home.”

And Counting Crows opened. I was all set to duck out midway through Maroon 5’s set.

Then they came out and put on a phenomenal show. And when they sang “I Won’t Go Home Without You”, the venue was lit by the glow of thousands of cell phone faces (which I think is way cooler than lighters, because hello? I can’t be the only one who has been afraid the person behind me would slip and set me on fire, and I don’t smoke and I don’t carry a lighter so I always felt kinda left out).

And since then? Yep. I’m a fan.

So, when I received the opportunity to preview Maroon 5’s new album “Hands All Over“*, I kind of jumped at the chance. And it’s been on perma-rotation in my ear for the past few days.

This album is totally alike and different than Maroon 5’s previous releases. My gut reaction is that this wasn’t a huge departure from anything they’ve ever done – I stand by that – this sound is still recognizably Maroon 5. The lyrics are still pretty typical fare from their frontman, Adam Levine.

What’s new this time around? Well, producer “Mutt” Lange, for one. If that name sounds familiar, it should. He is the former hubby of Shania Twain (and yeah, he produced A LOT of her music). These songs are polished and clean. This is definitely an accessible album – very radio-friendly, catchy, hook-filled tunes. Infectious melodies.

One of the album’s standouts for me was the greatest departure from their trademark sound – “Out of Goodbyes”, their collaboration with country crossover group, Lady Antebellum. The slowed down country feel and harmonies doesn’t scream “MAROON 5!” to me – but… I love it, nonetheless. Or maybe because of it.

The first single, “Misery” is undeniably Maroon 5 – evoking to me, their sound on “This Love” — this is what I expect and know (and like) from Maroon 5.

There are very few low points to this album – the title song “Hands All Over” was my least favorite track – but so many songs on this album (“Just a Feeling”, “I Can’t Lie”, “Stutter”, “Out of Goodbyes”) were so immensely likable, I don’t doubt this album will be getting a lot of play on my iPod.

*affiliate link

A review copy of this album was received but the opinions as always are my own.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.

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