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Sophomore Slump Or Comeback Of The Year?
It Won't Be Soon Before Long - Maroon 5
Member Name: rleigh
It Won't Be Soon Before Long - Maroon 5
Advantages: Some promising moments
Disadvantages: An altogether forgettably bland album
Maroon 5 are a five-piece soul influenced band hailing from Los Angeles, California. The band have been together in their current form since 2001, however from 1995 to 1999 four of the five current band members formed the band Kara's Flowers. Kara's Flowers were signed to Reprise Records, however parted company with their label in 1999. After the split with their label, the four band members were all at separate colleges across the USA, however they all remained in touch throughout this time. During their time at college, all four members would broaden their musical horizons and gain an appreciation for a wide array of musical genres; something they would later incorporate into their sound when they reformed. It was in 2001 that the four finally got back together as a band once more and started to play again, bringing new member James Valentine into the band and changing their name to Maroon 5.
Maroon 5 released their debut 'Songs About Jane' back in 2002, however it wasn't until 2004 that the album really started to take off. 5 years on from the release of their album of break up anthems and their sound has developed to be a Jamiroquai meets Justin Timberlake affair. Done well and this would probably be a brilliant mix, however the band never quite manage to match the flair of either and have instead come up with an album of competent yet unmemorable offerings. Although at times an enjoyable listen, 'It Wont Be Soon Before Long' leaves you empty of any real lasting memories; and half hour on from listening to the album the chances are that you'll have forgotten the majority of what you've just heard.
Although not the most memorable of albums, for the duration of the album it is predominantly a fairly enjoyable listen. In my eyes however; the definition of a great album is one that leaves a lasting impression on you, which of course this doesn't. Having said this I mustn't be too negative as the album does provide some entertainment and enjoyment, albeit soon forgotten. 'Won't Go Home Without You' is reminiscent of 'She Will Be Loved' in its intro, but other than this initial buzz is devoid of what made that track such a standout single. 'Can't Stop' and first single 'Makes Me Wonder' are promising tracks, however there is nothing particularly special about them. They are semi-catchy tracks that with time stop being catchy and in turn just become plain irritating. There is a distinct lack of imagination shown in this release with many of the tracks sounding identical to one another as is true of many bands of this sort.
With 'Songs About Jane', and in particular 'She Will Be Loved' the band stood out from the pack, however there is nothing that really does this for them here. Sure the album is enjoyable and to an extent it is interesting, but the interest provided here is not enough to make you keep wanting to go back to the album meaning it will soon be neglected to a life of acquiring dust. I fear that 'It Wont Be Soon Before Long' shows a strong sign of sophomore slump syndrome, with their second release showing a distinct lack of musical progression.
Having taken 5 years to release another album, you'd have thought that the band would have come up with something a little better than this, however the fact that they haven't seems to suggest that their multi-platinum selling debut was more a fluke than talent and judgement. A gap of 2 years between albums and you have the understanding that the aim of the band is to better themselves and come up with an album to the best of their ability. A gap of 5 years and you just assume the band are either lazy, incompetent or both. It would seem that Maroon 5 got lucky last time round, and the old cliché 'Lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice' springs to mind here.
Label: Octoscope Music
Release Date: 21st May 2007
Originally posted by me on my website Alt-UK.com
Source: http://www.alt-uk.com/modules.php?name=Reviews& ;rop=showcontent&id=409
Summary: A disappointing second album from the band; somewhat of a sophomore slump.