By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
I stand behind this assessment, just as I stand behind Journey and Huey Lewis and the News and any other prosaically sexy squads of hitmakers who decide it's their calling to entertain arenas full of potential Survivor contestants. That's a dirty job, and the ones qualified to do it can reliably turn out the hits. You wouldn't chide a bricklayer if he laid a fuckin' sweet wall, which is what 2002's Songs About Jane was: sturdy and functional. But It Won't Be Soon Before Long? Man, it could sprout wings and fly up my ass and it'd still be as boring as owning a goldfish.
Blame it on expectations. Jane was music made by Maroon 5 for Maroon 5; they were still essentially a garage band at the time. Like an episode of Hannah Montana, this new guy is clearly designed solely for 14-year-old girls, which probably explains "Little of Your Time," a desperate aping of "Hey Ya"; "Won't Go Home Without You," a desperate aping of "Every Breath You Take"; and "Wake Up Call," a desperate aping of R. Kelly, lyrically speaking, because it finds our hero discovering a cheating lover and then shooting the dude. (See anything you like, Ramona Quimby?)
There's nothing wrong with making music for tweens, or lighter-lofting boomers. It's simply a matter of execution, and here these chums are scattered and grasping. Their once tightly focused pop&b is here dashed upon the rocks of all manner of oily pop-rock tricks. Next time, fellas, just focus on building a wall.