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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > Maroon 5

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Maroon 5  Songs About Jane: 10th Anniversary Edition

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Maroon 5 Songs About Jane: 10th Anniversary Edition (Octone)

I still clearly remember the first time I heard Maroon 5's first single "Harder to Breathe" on the radio.  Good song, I thought, but the band will never be heard from again.

So much for my prognostication skills.

Adam Levine and his boys have spent the last decade (wow, has it been that long?) proving me wrong, over and over.  And in fairness, I knew I was wrong within a matter of months. 

With the release of the second single from this breakthrough album (which most people do not remember was the group's second release, having previously released a rock-based album as Kara's Flowers) - the even more commercial "This Love" - which showed that the band had some serious commercial chops. 

A decade in the rear-view mirror, Songs About Jane is considered, rightfully so, a pretty classic album - and Maroon 5 are consistent hitmakers.

Songs About Jane is the new-millennium edition of blue-eyed soul - a sound which was huge in the 70s and 80s with artists like Hall and Oates and the Doobie Brothers, but has in general fallen out of favor in modern music. 

A catchy merge of rock and soul, Songs About Jane was a surprisingly deep platter, eventually spawning four hits (and a couple of other songs that picked up some airplay.)  In fact, all of the other singles are deserving of classic status ("Need to Breathe" is still a good enough, but far from immortal tune.) 

Much more timeless is the best song here, the truly gorgeous ballad "She Will Be Loved," a gorgeous and melancholy look at an aging beauty who is having a torrid extramarital affair with the narrator.

There is also an amazing Stevie Wonder cop with "Sunday Morning," the funky-Prince-gone-rock vibe of "Shiver" and the sweet nothings of "Must Get Out."

The second disk, made up of original demos of all the album tracks and some songs that didn't make the final cut, is more of an interesting curiosity than any great revelations.  Most of the songs sound pretty much the same as the eventual studio records, though slightly less slick.  Occasionally, thought, there is an eye-opening change-up, like the fun early funk-vibed take on "This Love" complete with a squiggly 70s wocka-wocka guitar line.

The between the cracks songs are pretty enough - there is no real reason they should not have made the cut - and yet most are not going to make you forget the songs that did come down.  The best of the four unreleased songs are the swoony ballad "Take What You Want" and the jazzy quiet storm stylings of "Woman."

With years of hindsight, this album was a clear precursor of the band's current superstardom.  I guess sometimes first impressions are totally wrong.

Jay S.  Jacobs

Copyright 2012 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: June 5, 2012.

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Copyright 2012 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: June 5, 2012.