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A new year means a new beginning and era for Adam, James, Mickey, Matt, and PJ Morton in Maroon 5. Specially for returning keyboardist and long time member Jesse Carmichael. The band has released 4 studio albums, a few live albums and EPs, and even a remix album that all prove that the Los Angeles based group are never hesitant to step out of their alternative-meets-pop bubble. Known for their slick retro-rock and rich pop rock vibe, the band may be looking to either up-the-ante on their upcoming fifth studio album, set to be released sometime in the second or third quarters of 2014, or maybe go back to their chilling funk rock sound similar to that of Songs About Jane or even their 2010 Robert John Lange coated Hands All Over. But in all reality, there is nothing we can do but wonder... how will Maroon 5 make our jaws drop in 2014? What sound will they tackle this time? What producers will help manufacture this record? Well we have some predictions. 5 to be exact.
5. Clearly... a new sound!
The band has proven with every studio album that they can sound different and diverse without giving up a little. 2007's own It Won't Be Soon Before Long showed a very lighter, yet more melancholy vibe to it overall with heart breaking tracks like "Nothing Lasts Forever" and "Better That We Break," and also showed some game changers that differed from the band's previous studio album, Songs About Jane, such as the eclectic disco-driven "Makes Me Wonder" (which shot to the top of the Hot 100 in 2007) and the dance inspired track "If I Never See Your Face Again" (which was remixed with a feature from Rihanna in 2008). But what makes the band, or musicians in general, want to change their sound? Mostly producers. The band's debut album Jane seeked help from Matt Wallace and Mark Endert in which both are independent rock producers that have experience with bands and acts such as Faith No More and Train, which would explain the album overall rock, soul, and R&B sound. The band's Hands All Over record followed up It Won't Be Soon 3 years later after the band took a sharp turn down a more alternative direction with Robert John "Mutt" Lange recording in Vevey, Switzerland at Lange's palace of production. And 2012's Overexposed proved that the band wanted a more pop-driven sound with radio friendly tracks such as "Love Somebody" and "One More Night." With all their albums receiving multi-platinum success world wide it's no doubt that whatever direction Maroon 5 take on their fifth time around it'll be an eye opening one.
4. More collaborations!
We have seen the guys work with heavy hitting artists from Alicia Keys and Lady Antebellum to Kanye West and Rihanna, but it was 2011's explosive dance-pop singe "Moves Like Jagger", featuring Christina Aguilera, that proved Maroon 5 were willing to be open to write with more diverse artists. Following "Jaggers"'s success, the band collaborated with over 20 different producers and writers for their 2012 album Overexposed. From pop hit makers Benny Blanco, Max Martin, Robocop, and Shellback to low-key electronic producers D.J. Kyriakides and even a production feature from One Republic's Ryan Tedder, the band released 12 tracks in which each have a very different pop sound. "One More Night" is a reggae fused pop hit while songs like "Daylight" and "Beautiful Goodbye" stand out from their pop ballad formalities. "Sad" is also a stand-out from the album considering it's just Adam Levine's vocals and the keys. So, ringing in this assumption, maybe we can expect more collaborations from different (or the same) producers and writers on this album.
3. Less collaborations...?
Some of Maroon 5's biggest hits ("This Love", "She Will Be Loved", "Sunday Morning") have only been written by the members of the band and the members of the band ONLY. Yes, later ground breaking and char topping hits like "Payphone" and "Moves Like Jagger" were hits due to over-excessive production and perfected lyricism by other producers, but it's the classics that own everyone's hearts at the end of the day. Right? The band's first hit "Harder to Breathe" was a Matt Wallace coated track that ended up charting in the top 20 world wide, as well as "This Love" and "Sunday Morning." The band has released two albums (Songs About Jane, It Won't Be Soon Before Long) without featuring any guest vocals from other artists, and have each became a major success. So maybe the band will take a more personable road down the fifth time around and release a 10 to 12 track album of just simple Maroon 5 tracks, whether the sound.
2. The return of Jesse Carmichael!
Jesse Carmichael is a huge part of the band's history and would be a shame if "the evil mad scientist", as Adam dubs him on stage, didn't come back on the band's fifth album cycle. It has been noted many times that the J-Man would be making a comeback after the band finished touring in support of Overexposed. Upon his return, he shall bring back that earlier sound that we all miss from Jane and Hands All Over.
No. Not like actual intercourse, but dang... from the sound of it this album is going to be a hell of a sexy record. But aren't all Maroon 5 albums sexy? Yes, but let's expect more from this one. In an interview with MTV in April of 2013, guitarist James Valentine had mentioned the album to be "a little darker in its sound, maybe back a little bit more to what we kind of did on (our debut) Songs About Jane." He also stated that they all sorts of songs ready to bring into the studio album record.
So what do you want to see on Maroon 5's fifth album? What do you think the name of it might be? The album cover art? Share with us on Twitter!