Los Angeles Pop/Rock band Maroon 5 was formed in 1994, originally as Kara’s Flowers, with the band’s original members including Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden and Ryan Dusick. Together, they released an album titled The Fourth World in 1997, and in 2001, James Valentine was added to the line-up, with the band pursuing a new direction under the name Maroon 5. After the commercial success and mixed reviews of their fourth album Overexposed released in 2012, Maroon 5 return with their fifth studio album titled V, due to be released on September 2.
“Maps” is the first track of the 14-track album. The song was written by Adam Levine, Ammar Malik, Ryan Tedder, Benny Blanco and Noel Zancanella, and produced by the latter three of Tedder, Blano and Zancanella. Lyrically, the song is about “the search for love, particularly a love that has been lost and needs to be found“, with Music Times commenting that, “with his Levine’s singsong melody over the relaxed, plucked guitars and subtle drums, Maroon 5 create a chill vibe before building the song into something a bit more powerful“.
The song is driven by main guitar licks, which we hear at the beginning of the song, and are also repeated several times throughout the record. The guitar licks are accompanied by smooth drum and cymbal patterns, with Adam Levine’s vocals filling in the gaps inbetween. “Maps” makes for a simple song with a lot of repetitions as with many modern Pop songs, there aren’t any unexpected turns musically or lyrically and you could say that “Maps” offers a typical Maroon 5 sound, but the song sounds good all the same, listen below.
Immediately following on V, is the album’s second single titled “Animals“. It was written by Adam Levine, Benny Blanco and Shellback and produced by Shellback. Backed by bass-heavy synths and distorted electronic beats, “Animals” tries to offer up metaphors relating love and sex to the animal kingdom, however it may be more related to feelings, and more precisely Levine’s feelings. The lyrics talk about Levine eating his love interest alive in a metaphorical way of course. The scent of his prey (the girl) turns him on so much, he just can’t resist his male instincts. The track is very rhythmic and catchy, and with Levine’s commanding falsetto, continues to highlight the sonic specificity of this new album.
The album’s third single, and third song on the album track arrangement, “It Was Always You”, was written by Sam Martin, Jason Evigan, Marcus Lomax, Jordan Johnson and Stefan Johnson, along with the band’s lead singer Adam Levine. It was produced by Grammy Award-winning production team The Monsters and The Strangerz, and talks about two friends becoming lovers.
Once I heard “It Was Always You”, the track captivated me, with the record flowing gloriously from start to finish. The electronic music mixes beautifully with Levine’s vocals, and both sonics and vocals feel in unity every time you listen to it. This song is much more worked musically and vocally than Maroon 5’s other two singles on the V album, with the texture on “It Was Always You”, getting tenser as it reaches it climax before finally returning back to end in a fade out. I advice you to listen to it below – I’m sure that you will love “It Was Always You” as much as I did!
“It Was Always You”:
I can confidently say V is an album worth listening to, it contains newer ideas and better music than the band’s previous album. Featuring fourteen songs which enrich the album with their own unique attractions, including “My Heart Is Open” which sees Levine and Gwen Stefani trading vocals, accompanied by lush piano arrangements, to create a very beautiful song with lots of emotions. On the other hand, if you want to dance or just enjoy some romantic dance music, I suggest you listen to “Coming Back For You”. Last but not least, “Lost Stars”, also featured in the movie New York Melody, is definitely worth listening to. All in all, I think that all Maroon 5 fans will love this new album and enjoy it very much.
Purchase: Maroon 5 – V (iTunes)