Sound — 10
This album seems like the sweet spot that Maroon 5 had been trying to hit for all these years with their last couple of albums. It's an ultra-polished, irresistible blend of pop, rock and soul/funk that's extremely radio-ready (or else it won't be Maroon 5 now, would it?) and accessible. And having a superstar producer like Mutt Lange on the helm definitely helps when you're trying to make a solid pop album. "Hands All Over" also has a more contemporary, organic sound compared to the somewhat retro, synthesized character of Maroon 5's last album, 2007's "It Won't Be Soon Before Long".
Lyrics — 9
Lyrically, there's not much to think about here. Adam Levine & Co. rely on their ever-reliable stash of romances-gone-bad and loverman sappiness to flesh out their songs. However, it works because Maroon 5 have no pretensions about their craft; they know that a good pop song doesn't have to be deep. Adam Levine's instantly identifiable, nasal pipes are as soulful and strong as ever, and his trademark falsetto hooks are still more or less without competition on today's music charts.
Overall Impression — 9
Many music snobs and so-called rock/metal 'purists' here will instantly avoid anything Maroon 5 and call their music the definition "generic". If anything, this album will probably reaffirm that for such people. However, if you enjoyed their previous two albums, there's every reason for you to check this out. There's virtually no song here without an infectious hook - whether it's romantic ballads such as "Never Gonna Leave This Bed" and "Just A Feeling", funky uptempo tracks like "Misery" (arguably the definitive Maroon 5 song) and "Give A Little More" or rockers such as the title track and "Stutter", it's all super-catchy. Sometimes the album does feel like it's playing with a formula (when compared to Maroon 5's last two records), but it's a formula that's pulled off so well and competently that it's hard not to admit that these guys know their way around a catchy tune. Basically, it's Maroon 5 showing what they do best, and as far as pop albums go, this is a damn good one.