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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Maroon 5 - It Won’t Be Soon Before Long
Release Date: May 22nd, 2007
Label: A&M/Octone Records

With their second release, Maroon 5 promised us a harder edged, 80’s influenced affair. Other than a few bursts towards the end, this promise is broken about five tracks into It Won’t Be Soon Before Long. In addition to that dire album title, it’s really a shame that the rest of the record doesn’t reflect the three-four opening tracks, which all pulse with an edgy energy that lifts the band to an entirely different level.

Lead single Makes Me Wonder is the best example of the new disco sound, a pitch perfect summer pop song that has quickly become a deserved success. If I Never See Your Face Again, which opens the album, is the other standout, a whirlwind of electro, soul and funk. Little Of Your Time completes the trio of opening smashes with its tripped out, sped up chorus and stabbing guitar. The trouble rears its head around track five, where the band begins to use their previous hit, She Will Be Loved, as a template. The problem is, She Will Be Loved was the only patchy moment on their otherwise flawless debut, a plodding, sub par boy band ballad that did Adam Levine’s potentially whiny voice no favors. Luckily, Won’t Go Home Without You, despite sounding a lot like the Police, is nowhere near as annoying as that, but it does kick off a disturbing trend of middle-of-the-road pop that dominates the remainder of the album. Other than the wispy Goodnight, Goodnight and the funk rock workout Kiwi, there’s nothing else that grabs you quite like their debut did.

Really, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long is divided by extremes. The tracks that attempt to push the band’s sound forward work remarkably well, but the ones that try to replicate older material come off sounding like lesser versions of better songs. We’ll just call it a transitional album, I suppose. But, it should have been a homerun. B-

Key Tracks: Makes Me Wonder, If I Never See Your Face Again, Little Of Your Time


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't Stop is also awesome, the breakdown in the middle is very Police-like, as is the end where Adam is screaming over the chorus. It sounds exactly like when Sting screamed "Please don't stand so close" over the chorus of "Don't Stand So Close To Me".

7:20 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

naturally i disagree - i think the album IS a homerun and full of perky magnificent tunes :P But i think your write up is really intelligent and well thought out, so I won't hold it against you ;)

10:40 PM  

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