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Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 95 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fifth full-length release for the Los Angeles rock band features a guest appearance from Gwen Stefani.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Sep 2, 2014
    86
    Levine's hummingbird vocals and passionate delivery are as earnest as they were on their 2002 debut Songs About Jane.
  2. Sep 2, 2014
    80
    It's hard to care about any shortcomings when the tunes are as masterfully crisp as they are on much of V.
  3. Sep 8, 2014
    70
    Sometimes, the group achieves a delicate balance between the two extremes--"It Was Always You," "New Love," and the aforementioned "Feelings"--but the best moments on V are when Maroon 5 embrace the tuneful, slightly soulful adult contemporary pop band they've always been.
  4. Sep 3, 2014
    50
    As far as lightweight, easy-listening charts pop goes, V doesn’t totally offend the sensibilities, and that’s surely more than can be said about some of Maroon 5’s overly pandering, less exploratory “pop-rock” peers.
  5. Sep 2, 2014
    40
    Too often the trend-chasing sounds both tiring and tiresome; that weariness persists through the syrupy album-closing duet with Levine’s future “Voice” costar Gwen Stefani.
  6. The hooks on the album are memorable mainly for the wrong reason; They’re so annoying, you won’t be able to scrub them from your mind.
  7. Nearly every song on this record is misogynistic in some regard, from the obvious predatory ramblings of “Animals” to the Robin Thicke-level douchebaggery of “Feelings.”

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 20
  2. Negative: 6 out of 20
  1. Sep 2, 2014
    10
    Awesome album. if you like Maroon 5 you will love this album. They always come out with some new and fresh. The critics say it is not catchingAwesome album. if you like Maroon 5 you will love this album. They always come out with some new and fresh. The critics say it is not catching tunes, then why do the songs get stuck in my head? Just like Hands All Over, the more I listen to the album the more I like it. I like the retro feel of the album and the honest lyrics. Maroon 5 is just awesome. Expand
  2. Sep 10, 2014
    10
    I love this album!No matter Maps/My Heart Is Open/Leaving California!But I also think they need more changes,like coldplay~wish bestI love this album!No matter Maps/My Heart Is Open/Leaving California!But I also think they need more changes,like coldplay~wish best seller!!!The voice in Lost Star is awesome! Expand
  3. Sep 2, 2014
    9
    I am surprised at how much I like this album. It's not just good, it's really good. The duet with Gwen written by Sia is stunning. VeryI am surprised at how much I like this album. It's not just good, it's really good. The duet with Gwen written by Sia is stunning. Very impressed with this release! Expand
  4. Sep 9, 2014
    5
    Well, they never were something extraordinary. However, I did like their earlier work; back when they first appeared. I was hoping for more ofWell, they never were something extraordinary. However, I did like their earlier work; back when they first appeared. I was hoping for more of that in this album, more tracks like Sunday Morning (my favorite from them).

    Unfortunately, that's not the case here. The lyrics are shallow, and the music lacks emotion. It's not bad or terrible or anything like that, but it's a disappointment.
    Expand
  5. Aug 1, 2015
    5
    Maroon 5 have always been a rock band that injected pop and R&B swagger into their music. Even so, on their first 3 albums, they stillMaroon 5 have always been a rock band that injected pop and R&B swagger into their music. Even so, on their first 3 albums, they still managed to cut the right balance of the two, still sounding like a rock band with sprinklings of the other 2 on top for good measure. When album #3 tanked, and then they had a runaway smash with the poppy, Benny Blanco-produced add-on track "Moves Like Jagger" the writing was on the wall. More of the same followed with the messy, half-focused Overexposed, and now, with the aptly titled fifth album "V", one look at the back cover and seeing Max Martin as executive producer (and a host of even more pop svengalis in the liner notes for each song) it's clear they haven't ditched this approach. I was tempted before listening to hope that maybe they had done what I hoped they would do - take the fact that they DO know how to play well live, and on record, and use that talent to push what a typical chart-bomber could be. Mostly, hopes were dashed, and while it's better than Overexposed, it's not all it could be.

    "Maps" at least starts off with a more organic sounding groove, and more like a band playing than a few guys at keyboards cooking up thoroughly automated sugar-coated pop. Not that there's anything wrong with keyboard-driven pop, mind you. Just saying that it comes across as disappointing when that isn't exactly what you're expecting - or when you know the band putting it out is capable of doing both that and more organic music just as well. "Animals" is more of what M5 love doing - a track extolling the leering lover on the hunt. A bit well-worn at this point, but sticking with what you know can work. They try to tone the glitz down a bit with "Leaving California", and while it's a pleasant mid-tempo ballad with great ambition, it falls on Levine's voice. Straight up, he can't pull off the aw-shux-you're-leaving-me trope well in this setting - he needs a different backdrop for that. Following shortly after, the borderline creepy "In Your Pocket" sounds like one of the scrapped tracks from Overexposed that should have stayed scrapped. It sounds like a much more radio-friendly version of a rather crude internet-only track from a different artist - one featuring a jilted lover telling her other half "Something's going on, can I smell your...." well, you get the idea. Thankfully, this is a bump on the road, as Levine breaks out his Mariah Carey vocal-histrionics side for "New Love" - another mid-tempo burner which is, subject matter-wise, more his speed. And while "Feelings" is a pleasant enough track, it shows them starting to run out of ideas, as in the chorus it rides a beat and sound that is photocopied straight out of "Moves Like Jagger." Learning and adapting from what has been a hit in the past is one thing. Copy-catting it again down the road to make another song is just lazy work. Gwen Stefani lends a nice hand on the closing duet "My Heart Is Open" which is a nice breather after the overly busy, sometimes over-caffeinated remainder of the album.

    Bottom line - Maroon 5 the rock band is dead - or at least on life support, buried under the pop trappings of Dr. Luke, Shellback, Benny Blanco, Ryan Tedder, and more of-the-moment names. And it's understandable - if you find what works and pays the bills, I understand the need to go for it. One would think by now that they don't need to pay the bills that badly, and have the leeway to take chances. Maybe by album 6 they'll finally feel ready to. One can only hope.
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  6. Sep 2, 2014
    3
    This album is A Disappointment, and a Massive one at that. The Album is comparable to "Overexposed" Maroon 5's 4th Album, which offered veryThis album is A Disappointment, and a Massive one at that. The Album is comparable to "Overexposed" Maroon 5's 4th Album, which offered very little directions and the lyrics seemed shallow and played it safe rather than taking risks. "V" Maroon 5's 5th album basically repeats the characteristics of its predecessor, but does offer a few new directions. Nevertheless, It should be titled "Overexposed Part 2"

    Here's a list of Some Pros in the album:

    1.) THE ALBUM IS NOT AN ENTIRE BUST:
    While the producers and writers who worked on "Overexposed" Worked on "V" It may seem as if the Album would completely follow in the footsteps of "V"s predecessor. Most of it does, but some songs stand out. "Coming Back for you" would be the only thing close to the Old Maroon 5 sound, but that's about it and the Levine and Stefani duet "My Heart is Open" Is a perfectly balanced ballad that is sure to get you emotional.

    2.) BLEND OF A TOP 40 MAINSTREAM RADIO
    While Pop is on the ropes these days, Maroon 5 does have a tendency to create a pop song that can suit even the most hostile pop haters. While pop consists of Boops and bops, Maroon 5 can change the formula to Please fans of every pop sound or genre they're in.

    The Cons of the Album:

    1.) SHALLOW LYRICS:
    The lyrics sound like that they're above the "Safe Level" and more of a "Straight to the point" sound then rather have a "Deep, storytelling or situational" Meaning to/or behind the lyrics. "I like to think that we had it all / We drew a map to a better place / But on that road I took a fall / Oh baby why did you run away?" is not as impressive as "I was so high I did not recognize / The fire burning in her eyes / The chaos that controlled my mind / Whispered goodbye and she got on a plane / Never to return again / But always in my heart" "This Love" has more of a Darker, deep and situational feel to it while "Maps" has more of a straight love vibe to it, which consists of little to no effort.

    2.) TACKY PRODUCTION
    Most of the Tracks on "V' Have a Electronic pop to its sound, and not the good vibe as "It was Always You" "Sugar" sounds like a Katy Perry "Birthday" Ripoff, "Feelings" sounds like a cluttered mess and the hook sounds like something out of an 8-bit Nintendo game. Lastly, "S*X and candy" is slowed down into a creepy and slow song that will bore you to the point where you want to return the CD back to the store. The sound is completely maimed to a point where it's a tacky and over-danceable album.

    Summary: "V" Is inconsistent from top to bottom. While it sounds like a solid Pop album,the production renders it un-listeneable and makes you unsatisfied in the presence of its sound. Pass on the Album while you can.
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  7. Jun 11, 2015
    1
    Horrible ! This is like listening to radio song after song. Every single track is a mainstream effort. Plastic, Unreal, Surface works and aHorrible ! This is like listening to radio song after song. Every single track is a mainstream effort. Plastic, Unreal, Surface works and a **** pop disaster. the band has always tried to spawn hits so the result is any album is a massive overproduction, confusion and an electropop that cause headache. I agtee the record carrys good songs like Sugar or Animals but they are good to listen once. An album full of these hits is so bad. Lifting no artistry this an absolute **** Expand

See all 20 User Reviews