x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Overexposed, Maroon 5

The album sounds like a solo side project from the singer Adam Levine.

Maroon 5 Overexposed
Polydor
***

Having successfully tested the waters with last year's monstrous hit single Moves Like Jagger, Maroon 5 have unsurprisingly moved fully towards pop on their fourth album.

In truth, Overexposed sounds more like a solo side project from the singer Adam Levine, who has become a high-profile reality show judge after 2010's limp-selling Hands All Over LP.

Jesse Carmichael, the founder member then took an ongoing break from the band, perhaps tellingly, and many successful pop writers came on board for this one, a dubious makeover that utilises various new genres and unnecessary vocal effects, so one of chart-rock's better singers often sounds indistinguishable from the average talent-show winner.

Sometimes it works, such as the chant-along single Payphone and the funky Tickets. But the sparse piano number Sad is a welcome change of pace, and there are points where you pine for their old guitar balladry, particularly during the lazy attempt in Ladykiller to make like Michael Jackson. "It's just a cheap thriller," sings Levine. He never sang a truer word.