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After striking moderate success with 2010's Hands All Over, pop-rock band Maroon 5 went back into the studio earlier than planned to record their latest album, Overexposed. While Hands was more hands-on for the band, it yielded bland results, so Maroon 5 injected dance-oriented material and hit-making producers into this latest record to remedy that previous misfire. The 12-track Overexposed album is comprised of up-beat, rock-infused dance tracks balanced out with mellow heartbreak tunes that make this latest an enjoyable listen.
The album's best track is dazzling “Doin' Dirt.” Maroon 5 could have easily gone along with the DJ and club trend currently dominating music on their dance tracks, but they instead hark back to days of disco on this standout. With front man Adam Levine's initial howl at the beginning of the track, you already know this song is going to be a good time. His croon is irresistible as he delivers sexual lines like “I light you up when I get inside.” Levine lets his lover know that she's the only one he sees on the dance floor.
“LadyKiller” is another album standout with its smooth rock sound and hints of funk music. In this song, Levine details a woman who pulls in men with her charm and then breaks their hearts after the hook up. His captivating falsetto is highlighted in the track with the “ooohs” that accompany the chorus. What seals the deal for “LadyKiller” is the raw guitar solo near the song's end that gives it an underground edge.
First single “Payphone” is also another great listen with its Bruno Mars-esque production as Levine sings of hoping to rekindle love in a failed relationship. While the song has that pristine pop sound, Levine makes sure to still include his signature sass in the line: “All those fairytales are full of s—t.” Rapper Wiz Khalifa's guest spot betters the track with his verse. With Levine pleading for a second chance, Khalifa lets it be known in his rap that he's over the breakup and onto better things.
Levine either serves up more seduction or wears his broken heart on his sleeve to much success on the rest of the album's tracks. Maroon 5 had already admitted before Overexposed came out that it was going to be their most commercial and pop sounding record yet and they were absolutely right. We just didn't expect that a rock band would have this much fun on such a record.
Listen to Maroon 5's “Doin' Dirt”