If you liked Maroon 5’s odd duck of a single, last year’s chart-topping club banger “Moves Like Jagger,” you’re going to love their fourth album Overexposed, described by the band as their “poppiest” yet.
The soul-pop quintet did a total 180 from 2010’s Mutt Lange-produced Hands All Over on the inescapable “Jagger,” downplaying their usual skittering funk guitars for swirly synths and high-energy beats (not to mention the howling vocal acrobatics of Christina Aguilera). That track, produced by pop wizards Shellback and Benny Blanco, was their biggest single since 2007’s “Makes Me Wonder” off It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (or, as I affectionately call it, Hey, Look How Many Prince Albums We’ve Been Listening To!) and set the template for Overexposed, a ten-track album executive produced by Max Martin and featuring contributions by Blanco, OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder and rapper Wiz Khalifa, as well as other unnamed collaborators.
Far less publicized is the new member of Maroon 5 that will appear on the album. Adam Levine, guitarist James Valentine, bassist Mickey Madden and drummer Matt Flynn (himself a replacement for original drummer Ryan Dusick, who departed in 2006) will be joined by keyboardist P.J. Morton. Morton, who served as the band’s sixth member on their last tour – and who, ironically, released an EP today with guest vocals from Levine – will replace original keyboardist Jesse Carmichael, who announced “a temporary break from the band to pursue more full time studies in music and the healing arts” just over two weeks ago.
As someone who thought the polished Hands All Over never got a fair shake by audiences, I approach Overexposed with cautious optimism. I’m far more of a fan of theirs than most would care to admit, but I’m not sure how much I’d want to hear a continuation of “Moves Like Jagger.” At least the band, whose lead singer has a taste for supermodels and reality show hosting, hasn’t lost its sense of humor with that album title.
Overexposed is in stores June 26.
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