Tuesday, 15 May 2007

"This Love Has Taken It's Toll On Me"

Maroon 5 are due to release their highly anticipated follow up LP on the 21st of May. Their first album, ‘Songs About Jane’ is a personal favourite of mine. I never heard the album until last year, which makes me extremely late because it was released in 2002. Who takes five years to record an album anyway? They do, and it better be good . . . it better be great in fact!

Their second LP is titled ‘It Won’t Be Soon Before Long’. I haven’t heard the album yet . . . BUT I do have it already. The internet is a beautiful place.

I’ve heard the group’s first single of the new album, 'Makes Me Wonder', and like it a lot. It sounds fresh, funky and reminds me of their first album. I don’t like the video though, no idea where they were going with that concept. Pink, purple and strobe lighting? What’s that all about Johnny?

If ‘Songs About Jane’ was so great I wouldn’t be typing this up now, it’s really that simple. Nobody has ever told me that that album is ‘ok’ or ‘alright’ . . . when I mention it to people who have heard it they insist on singing their favourite songs . . . all of them . . . in track order . . . and yes I must join in, it’s a social law.

“This love has taken its toll on me,
She said goodbye, too many times before.
Her heart is breaking in front of me,
I have no choice, ‘cos I won’t say goodbye anymore.”
– This Love

It’s serious business people.

Lyrically ‘Songs About Jane’ is watertight. They kept away from the corny themes and cheesy one-liners. What you get on this album is a lot of depth and honesty. It’s not hard enough to be consumed by a male dominated audience, and it’s not soft enough for the ladies to claim it as their own. Unlike most of these R’n’B pansies out there who just write albums to serenade women, Maroon 5’s LP swings heavily in the favour of the gents. It’s still emotional, but not the heartbreak hotel vibe you get from James Morrison’s ‘Undiscovered’ or Damien Rice’s (throw yourself in front of a train because she left you) ‘O’.

‘Songs About Jane’ is like a testimony of the bands failed relationships . . . but it’s like ‘hey we got over it’ and had some good times along the way.

“But I cannot forget
Refuse to regret
So glad I met you and
Take my breath away
Make everyday
Worth all of the pain that I have
Gone through” – The Sun

It’s classed as a rock/pop album, I prefer to qualify it was rock/funk. It’s not your typical ‘loud’ rock-pop album designed to disturb the neighbours and keep your parents out of your bedroom. It’s extremely well composed. You can actually hear the piano, the crisp and controlled hits of the snare drum, hi-hats and bass kicks; you can visualise the symbols as they crash and fade out with each stroke.

The band most certainly does use and abuse the electric guitar but so much melody comes out of it. The opening track ‘Harder To Breathe’ is as reckless as it gets, and that’s mainly on the chorus. The chaos is justified considering the songs content.

“You drain me dry and make me wonder why I'm even here
This double vision I was seeing is finally clear
You want to stay but you know very well I want you gone
Not fit to f**kin' tread the ground that I am walking on” – Harder To Breathe

Not exactly one for the ladies is it? There is no more swearing on the rest of the album, I guess they just needed to get a few things off of their chest. Don’t run ladies, there is some ‘kissing-up’ involved in this LP. It’s not a woman bashing album. The second single ‘She Will Be Loved’ was not an isolated track released to attract a larger female audience. Add to that list ‘Sunday Morning’ (my favourite track along side The Sun), and ‘Sweetest Goodbye’.

If ‘It Won’t Be Soon Before Long’ can match up to the calibre of ‘Songs About Jane’ I’ll have it looping on my iPod. If not then I’ll try to find Damien Rice’s second album called ‘9’. I really shouldn’t listen to his 'cry-baby' anthems but he really knows how to put an emotion into a song . . . its scary stuff.

A to the . . .


Shrink wrapped scream said...

I can't believe you've gone and made me buy this..

Doug said...

hey ak-man,
Former Guns 'Roses Axyl Rose has them beat in the long term recording of an album department. Still working on his next record announced TEN years ago.


Bart said...

Not to mention Brian Wilsons SMilE. I think that's the right lowercase/uppercase way of writing it. Something like that.

The Queen loved Maroon 5's debut, she'll probably end up getting this one, too.

HB said...

I still have that song stuck in my head.

david mcmahon said...

Hi Ak-Man,

Okay, true confession - I am a Maroon 5 fan, thanks to my kids.


Ak-Man said...

Dave . . . You say it like there is something wrong with them?

OK, they are essentially a pop band, but not so generic.