Music: It Won’t Be Soon Before Long

After five years, Maroon 5 is back with an album loaded with just as many makeups and breakups as their debut album, “Songs About Jane.” This time, however, they’ve come back with a sleek new sound. “Something’s gotta change. Things cannot stay the same,” lead singer Adam Levine croons in “Goodnight Goodnight” as the band takes their own words to heart in their sophomore album “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long.” The group backs up Levine’s distinctive vocals with more cohesive, but arguably more subdued instrumentals. They have made a bold switch from heavy, instrument-based pop rock, to a more studio produced, but just as addictive, sound. The CD draws from a variety of musical genres, which makes each track stand out, but the techno beat present in most of the songs gives the album a sense of unity. The band’s first single, “Makes Me Wonder” gives a clear indication of what is to come on the album. The song gives a fresh spin on a retro beat and features the perfect lyrics for the bitter and broken-hearted. With “Makes Me Wonder” all over the airwaves, Maroon 5 proves that they are still capable of creating a hit song. Revealing their softer side, “Nothing Lasts Forever” brings out the best of Levine’s vocals while providing a softer guitar based melody, one of the few on the album. If it sounds familiar, that’s because it is. The refrain is featured in “Heard ’Em Say” by Kanye West. This song, along with “Goodnight Goodnight” and “Better That We Break,” offers a welcome break from the fast paced songs that comprise the majority of the album. Conversely, “Kiwi” finds its addictive qualities in its instrumentals rather than the hook. The song pays more attention to the instruments than the lyrics. About a third of the way through the song, there is one of the first guitar solos on the entire CD. The solo is complemented well with skillful drumming, which adds another layer to the well-produced future hit. Despite the different sound and studio polish, Maroon 5’s sophomore album is not to be discounted. Maroon 5 has successfully avoided the infamous sophomore slump with “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long.” The band shows that reinvention does not always end badly. Although it was unexpected, the album’s new sound captures the listener from the very beginning and keeps them hooked throughout the CD. The group’s catchy hooks and memorable beats are sure to attract new fans as well as keep old ones, and might just prove that Maroon 5 is here to stay.