Irresistibly catchy misery

Irresistibly catchy misery

Debuting at No2 on the Billboard 200, Maroon 5's third album in eight years, Hands All Over, is perhaps their slickest album yet.

Legendary rock producer Robert "Mutt" Lange has distilled Maroon 5's trademark sound into pure pop rock. And singer-songwriter Adam Levine still sings about heartbreak, despite the band's cheerful tunes.

The band's hit single Misery sets the standard for what follows. It breaks no new ground but captures what made Maroon 5 famous: that impossible mix of falsetto and poppy beats.

Stutter is the album's breakout song and it's almost unbearably catchy. It's a love song disguised as a fast-paced, bright melody. True to its title, Levine stutters perfectly in sync with the music, creating a superb sound effect.

It's a shame that Maroon 5 doesn't experiment a little more. Out of Goodbyes, featuring country music trio Lady Antebellum is an unabashed country anthem that works surprisingly well with Levine's smooth vocals. Second single Give a Little More steers in the opposite direction, just on the verge of being a club song.

Hands All Over is a solid album, a welcome addition to Maroon 5's work. They may be refreshingly different from other current bands and chart-toppers; it's just a pity they have changed so little over the past decade.

YP rating: 4/5



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