The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper

Arts and Entertainment

‘Hands All Over’

By Edward Nguyen

Following their previous success with the 2007 release, “It Won’t Be Soon,” Maroon 5 is back with its signature beats and funky rhythm in Hands All Over. This Los Angeles band displays a solid album filled with rock, soul, and catchy instrumentals. There are recognizable influences from their firs two albums that fans will like, as well as new tunes that new fans can discover and enjoy. The band embraces a fresh pop aspect mixed with classic styles that combine to create memorable choruses and melodies.

The band’s record producer, Robert Lange, can be held accountable for the album’s success. Lange’s innovation in multi-track recording uses separate sound sources and puts them together into a synchronized track. Maroon 5 embraces this modern style of music-making in their jazz recordings, which explains the band’s appealing instrumentals.

In this album, Adam Levine definitely runs the show. His high-pitched, smooth tone stands out about his band-mates in all the tracks. It’s not that the band isn’t capable, but Levine’s voice is empathized, making it difficult to discern the actual melodies being played in the background. This album can be considered a progressive step forward, but exactly how the band and fans will benefit is debatable. Maroon 5 brings up cliché themes of sleeping around, breaking up, making up, and finding answers, but the band makes up for these drawbacks with songs filled with kicking beats and proficient background synth in songs like “Misery”.

Maroon 5 has not strayed off its range of music often, but the band has taken a different musical to a couple o songs in Hands All Over. “Stutter” and “Give a Little More” are two singles that stand out about Maroon 5’s standard repertoire of soft alternative rock. “Give a Little More” will catch listeners off guard with its resemblance to ’80s disco music. Its infectious beat is sure to get bodies grooving. “Stutter” on the other hand, is a vivacious tune that embraces Maroon 5’s many musical influences. This song mixes those elements into this popular track that will have listeners singing to the chorus by the end of the song. In addition, “I Can’t Lie” and “How” are ballads that bring out a more sincere and honest side, something atypical to the album’s emphasis on fiery engagements and sexy titles like “Never Gonna Leave This Bed” and title track, “Hands All Over”.

Taken as a whole, Maroon 5’s album consists of songs with re-playable value that generally hits all the right notes. This album is a bridge to the past that draws upon past success and styles from Maroon 5’s previous albums. At the same time, the band unleashes a creative experimental side to their music. Levine’s dominance in tracks initially brought doubts to the band’s comeback, but returning fans will find that there is enough originality and musical diversity that will impress. Overall, Maroon 5 fans will be happy with this new album, and the album is sure to pick up a few radio hits along the way with its splendid singles.

Rating: B+

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