Adam Levine's falsetto - oops, I mean, Maroon 5 - is back with V, aptly named as it's the band's fifth studio album.
Unfortunately it lacks any kind of new development in terms of their sound. In fact, they seem to have turned things over to the producer for many of the tracks, with electro beats trying to camouflage the lack of soul.
You've probably already heard Maps, as it was launched back in June. As the album's big lead single, it comes off as weak, lacking any kind of explosive hook for summer. Ditto for the follow-up, My Heart is Open, a lacklustre duet with Gwen Stefani, written by Sia, which never really gets going.
Overall the album seems like an autopilot effort. It's not painful to listen to, but it's obvious that the band hasn't tried too hard to explore any new musical territory. Die-hard fans will eat it up, but for Maroon 5 to reach new audiences, Adam Levine needs to put his acting career on hold for a while, and try to redefine the band's sound and direction.