Maroon 5: 'One More Night'
'One More Night,' the second single from Maroon 5's 'Overexposed' (out June 26) is just dropping, while the first single 'Payphone' remains in the Top 5 of the radio chart leaderboad. It's certainly the familiar pop-rock sound that we've come to experience and expect from Adam Levine and his bandmates. But there's a bit of a reggae style infused into the percussion, giving the song a more dancey feel.
The song is erected on a thumped out (and looped) beat, in addition to Levine's signature falsetto, where he tosses off lyrics about not getting along with (or being able to untangle himself from) his lady love. Levine is hoping he only stays with her just "one more night." Ouch. Was this song penned when things started going south with his ex, model Anne V?
The song is built upon the idea of the quintessential push and pull between what the heart, mind and body want, which are usually opposing things. Levine and his cohorts did an effective job of encapsulating that sentiment and that emotion in a booty bounceable song, complete with lots of "Ooh" parts. It's quite a seamless blend of pop, rock and reggae, while remaining uniquely Maroon 5. That's not easy to do, but Levine and co. make it seem that way.
Levine croons, "You and I go hard at each other like we're going to war" and then tempers that statement by saying, "Try to tell you 'no' / But my body keeps on telling you 'yes.'" We've all been there, but it's M5 who put the feeling in a song for pretty much the entire population of the planet to relate to. While this is not a dance floor anthem, it's certainly a windows-down, summer-ready song. Crank it while soaking up some rays at the beach.
Back To Top
Nearly four years after the release of their last album and with two fewer members in their lineup, Paramore at last returns with their fourth album, the self-titled "Paramore" (out April 9 via Fueled by Ramen/Atlantic Records). As usual, it's a punk-rock set focusing on the best and worst parts of love, the angst that comes along with the uncertainty of the future, and being totally against whoever suggests they conform to, well, anything.
Though content-wise not much has changed, musically they have grown plenty. Paramore has never had much trouble with creating monster choruses, but their chops on both guitars and drums have been upped several notches. So has their ability to blend genres: songs swirl with hints of R&B, country, and hard rock on their latest effort, but it's still as accessible as any of their other albums.
Which songs on "Paramore" are great listens? Check out Billboard.com's extensive track-by-track breakdown of the band's new album.
1. Fast in My Car - The album opens strong with a rebellious anthem. "Been through the ringer a couple times," Hayley Williams opens, "I came out callous and cruel." The music, with shredding guitar bits and thumping drums, fits the lyrics perfectly.
2. Now "If there's a future, we want it now," Williams demands on this fervent track's huge chorus. It recalls their "Misery Business" jam of yore, but is surely a progression on their rebel pop sound with its distorted guitar and tormented verses.
3. Grow Up - This the first cut of the bunch that has more of a fun bounce to it than the anger that propels the two songs prior. Still, some mild irritation is present in Williams' delivery. "I'm not a little girl no more," she sings after drying her tears and realizing she's got to drop some old friends to progress as person.
4. Daydreaming - Teetering between mid-tempo and ballad status, this track's a sweet cut about building a world that matches the ones constructed in fantasies. It's not as whimsical as its subject matter, but solid nonetheless.
5. Interlude: Moving On - This 90-second gem is a simple one, featuring acoustic strums on the guitar and a basic drum kick, while Williams coolly kisses off an old flame. "I could be angry, but you're not worth a fight," she sings. "And besides, I'm moving on."
6. Ain't It Fun - "Ain't it fun living in the real world," Williams asks sarcastically to a spoiled brat discovering that the world doesn't revolve around them. Some xylophone taps and choir-like delivery on the bridge make this more than your average rock song.
7. Part II - This song's the sequel to "Let the Flames Begin" from their "Riot" album, opening with the same "What a shame" line. "I will catch fire to let your glory and mercy shine," Williams sings—ready to sacrifice her happiness for others. It's a sullen cut, but its frenetic drum and guitar solos are fit for an action sequence in any Michael Bay film.
8. Last Hope - This one opens faintly with a few synths and guitar strums. Then the drums kick in, as does a twinkling riff. "The salt in my wounds isn't burning any more than it used to," Williams sings, suggesting that the lack of new pain is encouraging enough to believe that brighter days are coming.
9. Still Into You - The second single from "Paramore" is an uptempo love anthem, fit for couples that have been together for a good while through ups and downs. "Recount the night that I first met your mother," Hayley remembers. "And on the drive back to my house, I told ya that, I told ya that I loved ya."
10. Anklebiters - The hip-hop community refers to naysayers as "Haters," but Paramore calls them "Anklebiters"—folks who prey on other people's actions. "Someday you're going to be the only one that you've got," Williams sings to those that should rely on their own thoughts and not what anklebiters are saying.
11. Interlude: Holiday - A ukulele, bass, and claps are all the instruments heard on this simple, brief cut about maturing from a high school kid to an adult, then enjoying some time off. "I don't plan on coming back," Williams sings nonchalantly and smoothly.
12. Proof - Just as listeners are nearly cooed to sleep on the prior cut, Hayley and co. kick back in with a rock song where the singer takes her man deep-sea diving, with only love acting as their safety gear. "Proof" sores to a big finish with a call and response bridge. "Now do you love me," she asks. "Yeah," she hears back. Their audience likely will say the same.
13. Hate to See Your Heart Break - This is one of the album's lone ballads and almost feels like a country song. Williams moseys down memory lane and sings about how love can hurt all. "Love happens all the time," she mourns. "To people who aren't kind/And heroes who are blind."
14. (One of Those) Crazy Girls - This cut's a few acts away from being something out of "Fatal Attraction": Williams plays the role of a girl that refuses to be broken up with, threatening to break into her ex's home so that she can "go through your closet so I can smell your skin." Yikes, right?
15. Interlude: I'm Not Angry Anymore - This interlude is another short ukulele ditty where Williams wavers between being bitter and tooth-rottening sweet.
16. Be Alone - On this raucous offering, Williams sings of how her and her beau should be alone, together. "You should me alone with me," she suggest. "We could be alone and never get too lonely."
17. Future - This nearly eight-minute cut begin quietly, encouraging listeners to keep looking ahead and following their dreams as light guitar riffs pluck along -- but then morphs into a furious hard rock session, free of lyrics. It's a proper end to the set—gentle and aggressive all at once.
Back To Top
Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience
Six-and-a-half years after effectively conquering pop music with a highly sexual, fashionably futuristic album, Justin Timberlake has returned as a more relaxed version of himself, with a brand new palette of musical shades. Despite the reunion of Timberlake and "FutureSex/Lovesounds" producer Timbaland, "The 20/20 Experience" is not a sequel of that groundbreaking album as much as a document of growth, crystallized within the medium of classic R&B.
The propulsive moans and aggressive come-ons of his 2006 smash single "Sexyback," for instance, have been traded for big-band brass, creeping bass and open-hearted professions of love on songs like "That Girl," "Mirrors" and "Tunnel Vision." Timberlake has always been a vocal force, but the main accomplishment of "The 20/20 Experience" is the expansion of Timberlake's vision: aside from Jay-Z's guest verse on snappy single "Suit and Tie," the album features no guests, and often allows its tracks to run past the seven-minute mark.
One of the year's most anticipated pop releases is also one of the genre's weirdest -- and most fully realized -- efforts in ages. There will be many people longing for the immediacy of songs like "My Love" and "Rock Your Body," but Timberlake has offered us something more complicated, although no less accessible.
1. Pusher Love Girl - Like a more seasoned version of his opening "Justified" come-on "Senorita," "Pusher Love Girl" is an extended glide -- even if the drug-addled metaphor at the heart of the song produces some dubious lyrics, Timberlake's easy delivery will leave listeners hopelessly, er, addicted. The song morphs into fuzzed-out neo-soul during an elongated breakdown, one of the many mid-song transformations that occur on the album.
2. Suit and Tie feat. Jay-ZThe ode to high style is still not as sonically ambitious as Timberlake's last lead single, "Sexyback," but within the confines of "The 20/20 Experience," "Suit and Tie" makes a lot more sense. Funneling the succulence of "Pusher Love Girl" into a more radio-friendly format, Timberlake and Jay-Z -- who will soon be co-headlining a stadium tour -- demonstrate an effortlessness that probably took months to construct.
3. Don't Hold The Wall - Tribal chants and oozing vocal samples combat with rainsticks and spacious drums, as Timberlake correctly reads the primal tone and commands his subject to give in to her physical impulses. Timbaland's production is the star here, turning on a dime at the 4:20 mark and assuming a darker, more muscular structure. There are so many things happening on "Don't Hold The Wall" that it takes five listens just to process them.
4. Strawberry Bubblegum - The intensity of "Don't Hold The Wall" evaporates, and a cloud of electronic blips, string stabs and snappy percussion tears at the seams of a (relatively) simple R&B tune. Timberlake has rarely sounded more at peace as he does when he intones, "She's just like nothing that I've ever seen before/And please, don't change nothing, because your flavor's so original." The sashaying outro is pleasant, but the main track is sumptuous enough on its own.
5. Tunnel Vision - The instrumentation is vintage Timbaland, with fizzing beats abetted by the producer's signature ad-libs and vocal record-scratches, while Timberlake puffs out his chest and throws out a typically confident performance. The song's evolution is thrilling: not only do the ornate production details stack upon each other to create a constantly moving Jenga tower, the arrangement falls apart at exactly the right time, as Timberlake sings, "A crowded room… all I see is you. Everything just disappears, disappears, disappears."
6. Spaceship Coupe - From the groove at its gooey core to the lyrical concept -- interstellar romance! -- "Spaceship Coupe" smacks of an R. Kelly castoff… not that that's a pose that Timberlake can't successfully assume. "Spaceship Coupe" is admittedly sillier than any of the other "20/20" tracks, and Timbaland sounds out of his element here; JT sells the concept with aplomb, though, and even gets an electric guitar solo to echo across the cosmos.
7. That Girl - "Some 'em some Southern love!" Timbaland shouts during his faux-introduction of "JT & The Tennessee Kids," and Timberlake strides onstage to reside upon one of the album's shiniest surfaces. "That Girl" does not carry grand ambitions, endlessly rhyming "baby" with "lady" and keeping the whiz-bang production techniques to a minimum, but as the bass continues creeping forward and Timberlake nods to the brass section, the song reaches "immaculate soul" status.
8. Let The Groove Get In - The album's only extended dance flare-up, with canned horns popping off, propulsive percussion begging for movement and Timberlake's harmonized voice knocking against Timbaland's nimble pop arrangement. For seven minutes, "Off The Wall"-era MJ gets a tip of the cap, and Timberlake enters a zone reserved for only the most assured mainstream stars. Make no mistake: "Let The Groove Get In" will be exhilarating in concert.
9. MirrorsImagine being a newlywed and wanting to write the most epic song ever in honor of your life partner. "Mirrors" is Timberlake's version of that anthem -- how can you not think of the singer's recent wedding photos alongside Jessica Biel when he endlessly repeats, "You are, you are, the love, of my life," as if he had just soaked in the splendid finality of his romantic situation? Compare this album's second single to "Justified's" second single, "Cry Me A River," and aside from the steady presence of Timbaland's fantastically cluttered production, the difference between the song is clear: 10 years ago, Timberlake was broken, and now he is whole.
10. Blue Ocean Floor - An unexpectedly somber note ends Timberlake's third album, with the pop star digging for his most pensive expressions and pleading to be joined in his silent escape. Unlike "FutureSex's" "serious" song "Losing My Way," "Blue Ocean Floor" shows the growth of Timberlake, who gently steps into Timbaland's puddles of piano pokes and stretched-out melodies. It's a song that only a few vocalists could land -- imagine Thom Yorke trying this one on for size -- and a bold way to close a generally celebratory project.