It takes chutzpah for a band to call its fourth album Overexposed, especially when the singer has spent most of the past year zinger-slinging in a comfy red chair on The Voice. You can hear that chutzpah in the blinged-up disco sheen of Maroon 5‘s new LP, which is why it’s their best yet. This is where Adam Levine cops to the slick Hollywood sex-panther role he’s perfected on TV, wheedling and pitching woo to every lady within earshot, even though they know he won’t remember their name in the morning.
“Moves Like Jagger” isn’t here, but Overexposed definitely has the same recipe: about 90 percent “Emotional Rescue,”eight percent “Miss You,” two percent “She’s So Cold.” Maroon 5 go all the way pop with heavyweights like Max Martin and Benny Blanco. It’s top-shelf radio sucrose: the Sly Stone-meets-Eurythmics synth hook of “Love Somebody,” the Ace of Base reggae “One More Night.” The only boring moment is the token sad ballad, which at least has the droll title “Sad.” Best of all is “Ladykiller,” with its faux-Jovi cheese-wah guitar squiggles, as Levine begs his girl to come back to him from her new girlfriend. In “The Man Who Never Lied,” Levine confesses, “Sometimes honesty is the worst policy.” A dubious motto for real life – but it’s always a promising one for a pop sharpie.
Listen to ‘Overexposed’: