It Won't Be Soon Before LongFeatured review by: UG Team, on may 25, 2007 4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: Since Maroon 5 released the hit singles This Love and She Will Be Loved back in 2004, it seems like the production value of the band's studio recordings have had a noticeable increase. The Los Angeles natives' latest release It Won't Be Soon Before Long immediately focuses more attention toward things like enhancing keyboard effects, and in the first few songs it pays off. It's in those first moments where we hear the funkier tracks that are brought to life by added instrumentation. But about halfway through the album, the tracks take a mellow turn and the momentum is halted.
The opening tracks are actually pretty inspired tracks, and the band wisely chose If I Never See Your Face Again as the one to start everything off. Between the funky pop melody and the cool keyboard licks, it shows the band is thinking outside of the Top 40 radio world. As odd and wrong as it seems, Maroon 5 are pretty competent at performing a funk tune. They're no Parliament, but they do have songs like Not Falling Apart that feature solid funk guitar work from James Valentine and the reliable keyboard skills of James Carmichael.
Where the CD takes a downward turn is when you get to Won't Go Home Without You and Goodnight Goodnight. They are tracks in the same vein as She Will Be Loved and just seem a bit contrived, and almost seem to be playing to the female teen crowd. There is definitely an audience for ballads, but a love song like Nothing Lasts Forever doesn't go anywhere new musically.
The band has already been making the talk show circuit playing Makes Me Wonder, but the CD actually shows off the band's talent more than the live show. There are some underlying guitar and keyboard tracks that aren't heard in the live show. Vocalist Adam Levine's vocals are strong on both the ballads and up-tempo tracks, and are definitely a big reason why Maroon 5 has become such an identifiable band. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics on It Won't Be Soon Before Long seem to go in very different directions at times. Take for example the song Makes Me Wonder, in which Levine sings about a relationship turned sour. The topic is nothing new, but it just gets a bit weird when Levine starts spilling his innermost thoughts about sex. He sings, I wake up with blood-shot eyes; Struggled to memorize; The way it felt between your thighs; Pleasure that made you cry. The explicit honesty alone will probably lure listeners to it, but at the same time I know some people who will cringe hearing it.
Then there's the other side of the Levine spectrum: a sensitive man who understands the emotions of the wounded woman's heart. It seems a lot of Maroon 5 songs have this theme, so it's hard to say how much is inspired by real life. He sings, This isn't how she thought that her life would be; When they first met back in '63; And a future together was all she could see; All she could see. Although the theme gets old at times, Levine still has the ability to word it in such a way that it does have some fresh descriptive qualities. // 7
Overall Impression: Probably the biggest and most unexpected impression that is made on the latest record is the band's adeptness at funk-laced pop. While you may hear some traces of it in past singles, there are more than a few instances on Won't Be Soon Before Long that the band delivers infectious rhythms that almost a retro feel to them. Keyboardist Jesse Carmichael takes center stage a lot of the time, particularly on a song like Wake Up Call with it's heavy synth intro.
The album does tend to go into ballad mode over and over again, however. Ballads can be great if they are consistently sung with passion, but Levine's delivery just sounds like it did when he originally sang She Will Be Loved. The single She Will Be Loved was one of the main reasons why the band exploded into mainstream media, so for good or bad, the latest album's heavy helping of love songs should still please a large section of the public. // 7
It Won't Be Soon Before Long
unregistered, on july 23, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Following up on a debut like "Songs About Jane" would be an intimidating task for any band - it had enough firepower to buy them a good five years, during which Maroon 5 blossomed from an up-and-coming pop/rock band to a bona fide Top 40 act who were there to stay. The tongue-in-cheek title and the fact that the band sought four different producers to work on this album also reflects the pressure on Maroon 5 to deliver on the heels of a stellar debut.
However, the moment you start listening to this record, any doubts of sophomore jitters are shattered. Maroon 5 sound more confident than ever here, and zone in on the funk and blue-eyed soul/R&B flavour that tinged "Songs About Jane". The band also takes cues from '80s pop idols such as Michael Jackson and Prince to deliver a sound that is retro, accessible and presented in a thoroughly modern and radio-friendly manner thanks to the high-gloss production. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are still very much from the same bag as "Songs About Jane" - heartbreak, lust, sexual obsession, etc. But this time around they're not about bemoaning an ex-girlfriend, rather they're meant to provide an envious insight into the love life of a playboy pop idol and his many conquests.
There's a steely professionalism to Maroon 5's craft on this record - which is also reflected in the tuxedos-and-glam-shoots image that the band adopted to promote this album - especially when compared to the almost empathetic sincerity that characterized much of their debut. The good news is that it works - Adam Levine is somehow more appealing as an icy loves-you-and-leaves-you manwhore than someone you'd feel sorry for.
Although this album's songwriting is a highly collaborative effort (for the most part) between the band members and their musicianship is undeniably tight, at the end of the day it is Adam Levine who is the star of this show. His distinguished falsetto fires on all cylinders here and is employed to stunning effect, especially on the ballads. There's also a more melodic, soulful R&B approach to vocal delivery (as compared to his style on "Songs About Jane"), which does a great job of showcasing his impressive pipes. // 9
Overall Impression: The best thing about this record is that Maroon 5 have come to terms with the fact that they're a great pop band and don't feel the need to prove their rock credentials - it's a very confident, catchy and polished pop album, and virtually every song here could be a hit single. Despite having four producers on board, Maroon 5 are able to assert their own identity throughout the record. If anything, the shiny production is an asset and chisels their massive hooks - which penetrate with the precision of a sniper bullet - down to the muscle.
Most songs here are meant to stick in your head on the first listen and grow on you with every repeat listen. The uber-funky "Makes Me Wonder" is arguably their most danceable, leanest and meanest track yet. The aggressive, fast-paced "Little Of Your Time" provides the album's rockier moments, "Wake Up Call" shows the band's edgier side and "If I Never See Your Face Again" is an impressive mid-tempo collaboration with Rihanna. Ballads such as "Back At Your Door" and "Better That We Break" grow with every repeat listen and feature some of Levine's best performances on the record.
A few songs may blur into each other (especially in the middle of the album) and the band's nods to its influences (Prince, The Police) may be a bit too obvious on a few tracks, but overall this is a meticulously crafted classicist pop album that still manages to remain relevant on modern radio playlists and serves as a testament to Maroon 5's (undeservingly) oft-slighted musical integrity. // 8
It Won't Be Soon Before Long
unregistered, on may 29, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Maroon 5's 1st CD, relased in 2002 hit record numbers and almost all of the songs on the CD became hit singles as soon as they aired. It only took them 5 years to come out with a new record and it was worth the wait. There follow up CD "It Won't Be Soon Before Long" takes a differnt turn than there originall stuff. Produced by Eric Valentine, Mark Stent, Mark Endert and Mike Elizondo they all helped bring a more "Dance Vibe" to Maroon 5's second cd. There first single "Makes Me Wonder" hit number 11 on the dance charts. // 9
Lyrics: As always the lyrics have some sexual underlining note in almost all the songs. It's nice on this CD, because one of the songs Adam actually sings in a lower voice (track 9: "Not Falling Apart") rather than the high one all the time, it shows off more of his vocal range. I do have to say that ocasionally the high notes can become annoying at times. // 8
Overall Impression: Now while maroon 5 is not my favoirite artist I can't help but turn this CD on and listen to it over and over. When I first got the CD I quickly fliped through the songs listening to only about half of each song before flipping to the next just to see if any of them caught my ear, and one of them did. Track 3, A Little Of Your Time, is by far my favorite track on the record, it has a catchy tune and just makes you want to get up and dance. The only thing that the CD lacks is that some of their songs sound the same, or are a bit repetitve. I can't really stand the chorus of "Kiwi" it's to repetive and annoying. I think that if my CD was stolen or loss I would probably just burn it from someone rather than go out to the store and spend 16 bucks on a CD I am sure one of my friends has. // 8
It Won't Be Soon Before Long
arshi_012, on june 07, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Maroon 5. What can I say about them. Remember their 1st album (songs about jane) which had all those "lovestruck" songs. Well they're back with a bang! Just like their previous album this album too is really funky yet meaningful. Usually you see that lovesongs have their own peaceful way into everyone's life. Well these songs are not that "happy go lucky" but they surely are peaceful. They mean a lot to people who mostly have a broken heart! // 9
Lyrics: Overall lyrics are as I said before for the heart broken people. In their previous album "this love","through with you" etc proved what I mean to say. In this one the songs prove the same point. Singer Adam is really skilled at putting the lyrics with the the music. A lot of times the lyrics go to a ballad mood which really make it good. He has this really high pitched voice which goes great with the lyrics as well as the music. I guess ihs voice sows a feeling of frustration in his voice which blends everything together. // 9
Overall Impression: I thought of a lot of comparisons with Maroon 5 but I couldn't get any for band to band comparisons but for lyrics I would possibly compare them with My Chemical Romance, and this is for the sole purpose that both the bands have the same type of lyrics in a way. The best songs of the album I would say is "Makes Me Wonder", "Goodnight Goodnight". Other songs which I really liked are "Little Of Your Time", "Back At Your Door", "Wont Go home without You". One song which I really didn't like is "Kiwi". The bonus track "Infactuation" was really good too. As a whole, I liked the whole album, specially the music and adam's voice. What I did'nt like about the album is "kiwi". Otherwise The whole album rocks! If it were stolen, I that I would surely buy another one! // 9