Does anyone else’s idea of perfection consist of dancers waltzing and twirling around a stage set to the background of Adam Levine’s falsetto ringing through the air? Just me? Awkward. Please appease my whimsical mind and let’s pretend we live in a world where music is judged by its dancing quality, or in other words, how I live my daily life. Maroon 5’s catchy new album Overexposed was released today, and let me say that I had a difficult time sitting still long enough to write this review.
The first track and the band’s new single “One More Night” draws the listener in from the first prominent electronically-laden note that repeats throughout the song. The track would be best danced as a sensual salsa complete with daring dips and longing looks, and is catchy enough to surely get even those with replacement hips in retirement centers moving. A hip replacement is not an excuse to stop dancing, kids.
Things move on to the second track “Payphone,” which was first single off the album. I would say that I’m not designating this as the hip-hop song just because it’s the only song that features a rapper, but that would be a lie. Let’s face it; Wiz Khalifa and Bollywood don’t exactly mesh well. With a strong beat and indignant lyrics the song has garnered successful radio play, and has also hopefully gotten a few Generation M’s to look up what in the world a payphone is and how angry you were when they unjustifiably took your quarters.
While tap dancing is surely an incredible talent, it has unfortunately become forgettable which is how the third track “Daylight” feels. The song is okay on its own, but it becomes repetitive compared to the remainder of songs on the album and gets lost in the shuffle (ball-change.)
What’s that you say? You feel like swing dancing? Then lindy hop away to the fourth track “Lucky Strike.” The fast-paced beat and energy is perfect for partners to Charleston across the stage, and is one of the most memorable songs of the album.“The Man Who Never Lied” sets the stage for a rumba piece as the fifth track, complete with sparkling costumes and death-defying lifts. The chorus drags but the verses are full of quick lyrics which save the song.
In the past few years the distinctive dance styles of lyrical and hip-hop have been brought together to create lyrical hip-hop, and the sixth track “Love Somebody” is precisely the piece to dance this unique style. Not quite mellow enough to dance lyrical, but not hard-hitting enough to strictly dance hip-hop, the rhythm and lyrics meet in the middle to allow enough room for both. Everybody wins!
With the track “Ladykiller,” Adam Levine showcases his famous falsetto. The song is reminiscent of a jazz routine, but one of those old school numbers complete with snapping and jazz squares. While wearing scrunchies and snap bracelets. Okay so it’s got a bit of a smooth jazz 80’s feel, but who doesn’t miss wearing enough neon to glow in the dark? We return to the world of ballroom with the next track “Fortune Teller,” which could be danced as a tango routine crossed from corner to corner in a dramatic embrace. The lyrics are a bit weak but the military-like rhythm is catchy.
The ninth track “Sad” switches from the band’s usual guitar-driven tracks to a piano ballad, and is a fantastic reminder that Adam Levine has more vocal abilities than what is disclosed on the album until this song. I can see the scene perfectly in my mind; the band in the middle of the stage while two dancers in white clothing twirl and leap around them. I’m starting to think I have mental problems.
One step cha-cha-cha, two step cha-cha-cha; the steps write themselves to the track “Tickets” for a feisty cha-cha. Another snarky track with an “I’d like to say screw you but I really just want to screw you” message. I’m not complaining. The eleventh track “Doin Dirt” sounds as if it came straight out of the 70’s which makes it the pristine disco number. It’s an entertaining song that would make a great summer track to hustle your heart out, but do it right and wear bell-bottoms. The tighter the better.
The last track on the album “Beautiful Goodbye” is another ballad that sets the stage for a contemporary piece. It’s a bit of a melancholy song to end the album with, but it allows Levine’s vocal abilities to shine again.
While a few songs most assuredly stand out more than others, Overexposed is an ideal summer soundtrack and is stronger than the previously released Hands All Over. It’s a solid album that stays true to Maroon 5’s pop rock roots, and will have you immediately pressing repeat to dance to your heart’s desire. Just me again? I’m okay with that.