It's hard to believe that Adam Levine and co. of Maroon 5 have been staples of the pop charts for almost a decade now. Breaking onto the alternative rock scene with Songs About Jane, their musical journey has evolved drastically over the years, seeing them venturing into the depths of the Top 40 charts and churning hit after radio-friendly hit.
Overexposed, then, can be said to be a juggernaut of pop-centric tunes, with your occasional unexpected twist in the melodic and lyrical outfits. The deluxe version encompasses 18 tracks, two of them dedicated to remixes (oh so popular nowadays but utterly redundant) of the huge single Payphone.
Kickstarting the extravaganza of high energy tracks is second single One More Night. With a faint hint of reggae beats, Levine launches into his pitch-perfect falsetto in the intro, setting a seemingly criminalistic undertone to the song. The dysfunctional relationship he croons about definitely goes along with this infectious riff. I would advise you not to listen to it more than 10 times like I did because it's bound to get stuck in your head.
Another breakthrough for Maroon 5 in terms of their musical evolution lies in their lead single Payphone, featuring an intense rap mid-song from Wiz Khalifa. This song is a statement of how far they have come since the simple days of Sunday Morning and She Will Be Loved. While it is a song that will make you want to wrap sex-bomb Levine up in your arms, I have to say it lacks a similar heartbreaking effect that SWBL had on me when I first heard it. It could be the overproduction of the track, which glosses the band over with a sugary tinge that is unlike their debut offering.
That being said, hints of the Maroon 5 we have come to love is still peppered in songs like Daylight, Sad, Beautiful Goodbye and Wasted Years. Daylight is a soft-rock number which contains one of Overexposed's best choruses that is slowly built up in the verses and then exemplified with Levine's "woah-ohs". Fans of their earlier discography like Won't Go Home Without You and Goodnight Goodnight should abuse the repeat button on this track.
The rare piano ballad comes in the form of Sad, with an interesting verse that reminds me of how Lana Del Rey pulls her words in Video Games. The use of Levine's lower vocal range is refreshing (and also sexy), as I feel his falsetto has been over-abused in the first half of the album. Wasted Years, on the other hand, has the plucking staccato of the bass and mid-tempo beat that makes me wanna sit in the sun and tap my feet along, but I'm a little curious as to why a part of it feels like it was stolen from The Sun (nearing the end of the chorus).
Not forgetting a surprising disco-influenced number is Doin' Dirt, which keeps the energy high and the synth beats are dreamy and Levine does a great job at driving the song along with his effortless appeal asking listeners to "Hold me, we're dancing in the dark of the night. We're shining like a neon light, I light you up when I get inside."
These hardworking boys have once again produced an album worthy of repeated spins, and shall I say, if they continue as they are now, you can expect to be tantalized by their sound each and every single time. I would just lay back on the radio schmooz because they should be making music not only to get heavy airplay, and besides, we don't need Maroon 5 to be overexposed to love them (or do we? ;)).
Track Cuts: Doin' Dirt, One More Night, Daylight, Ladykiller, Beautiful Goodbye