Top critical review
16 of 17 people found this helpful
on July 26, 2013
The irony of titling their new album "Overexposed" must have been lost on Adam Levine and Maroon 5. The album is overproduced, over-compressed and over-just-about-everything. Like so many bands in the current pop zeitgeist, they decided that they needed to conform to current popular production memes, which means having a guest rapper-of-the-moment (Wiz Khalifa, adding bonus profanities to "Payphone"), auto-tune, writer/producers of the now (Max Martin, Ryan Tedder) and multiple other steps that rob the band of any of their previous individual qualities. Take Adam out of the equation, and this would be another generic, over-compressed/produced pop-album.
The saving grace is Adam, who's white-boy soul is on a par with Daryl Hall at this point. Given the material he has to work with, he milks every hook and croon he can. Good numbers like "Lucky Strike," "Lady Killer" and even the obscenity laced "Payphone" stick like rubber cement. I'll make a quick point to say that I'm not a prude, but for a band that seemingly prides itself on their pop craftsmanship, the swearing in "Payphone" and "Tickets" just seems more gratuitous than effective, like the band has to prove how hard they are. But when you're capable of making really good light funk that hits its groove like "Fortune Teller" and "Doin' Dirt," you don't need to prove you're anything but a great pop band.
Which is what, ultimately, Maroon 5 is. "Overexposed" hits all its marks seemingly without effort, with craftsmanship that most any other band would sell their bubblegum machines for. Adam's unique voice gives the band enough identity to cut through the generic sounding production here, and when they horn-pump Prince's slinky "Kiss" (a bonus track on the deluxe version), they demonstrate that they're above the cookie-cutter sound that plagues this album.