Maroon 5, "V'' (Interscope Records)
Maroon 5 must have made a pact with the devil to hit this high a ratio of memorable tunes on an album.
On the band's fifth effort, "V," they pack so many catchy hooks, you'd think they've left all pirates in history defenseless. Going through the playlist, it feels like a well thought-out party, mixing the right amount of hip-swaying, eyelash batting and emotion.
Although "Maps" is the lead single, it is the least adventurous and the closest genetic link with their previous works' sound. The rest of the tunes leave it far behind.
"It Was Always You" is a clever homage to Seal's thumping "Crazy" in both spirit and form; "Sugar" is a funk guitar riff in search of a dance floor; and "Coming Back for You" is a pop promise fulfilled between the music sheets.
"Feelings," which highlights Adam Levine's earnest falsetto, bubbles with an infectious pop rhythm, and "In Your Pocket" simmers with a retro electro start that turns into a modern rhythm, high-heat boil.
On the melancholic side of things, "Unkiss Me" starts like a noir rap and turns into an enthralling ballad, with Levine caressing words and letting himself be brokenhearted.
And Gwen Stefani makes an appearance on the other piano-lead slow meander, "My Heart Is Open." It's hard not to have overwhelming "Feelings" for this spotless album.
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