It Won't Be Soon Before Long
REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/25/2007
Please Read The Following:
I, (insert name here), hereby surrender to the following events: It Won’t Be Soon Before Long will destroy the competition, reach the top spot on the Billboard Charts, garner at least four Top 10 singles and earn numerous Grammy nominations.
Don't want to swear to that yet? Well, read on.
My first real review for the Vault way back in 2004 was of Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane. It was a better-than-average pop album from a group that showed definite promise. Three years later, a sequel to that album has finally arrived after a few stopgap efforts albums, and it was well worth the wait.
Right now, Maroon 5 is one of the best pop groups in the business. The songs on It Won’t Be Soon Before Long are crafted with a complete understanding of what pop is supposed to be. Hooks abound and burrow their way into your head almost immediately. There are at least half a dozen songs that easily could be lodged in one's head a year or two down the line.
Adam Levine has neither the most dynamic voice nor stunning range for a lead singer, but he has an intuitive sense for the melodic. The Stevie Wonder comparisons have lessened from Songs For Jane as Levine has begun to create his own identity. His devastating falsetto helps take songs like lead single “Make Me Wonder" and drive them up a notch from good to infectious.
R&B and funk make multiple appearances on the record, to great effect. While I’m not going to put Maroon 5 up there on the same level with vintage Michael Jackson, songs like “Make Me Wonder” and “If I Never See Your Face Again” bear many similarities to Jackson’s best 80s work. The inherent dance-ability of these records taps into that “Billy Jean” vibe.
Of course, good ol’ fashioned rock/pop leads to some classic moments as well. “Won’t Go Home Without You” is a killer power ballad, this album’s “She Will Be Loved.” “Kiwi” starts off funky before descending into a fiery guitar solo the likes of which we have not heard from Maroon 5 before.
My dark horse pick from this album is the closer, “Back At Your Door.” An attempt to crib a bit from the success of Michael Buble, the track is a lushly orchestrated piece of pop with a killer hook. This is the kind of pop song Buble tried to create with this latest album and didn’t quite pull off.
Maroon 5 has managed to avoid the sophomore slump and come up with a product that trumps its debut album handily. That fact alone makes them one of the more exciting groups out there, as well as making them a contender for the best pop group of the early 21st century.