Single Reviews: Maroon 5, Chris Lane, Luke James Featuring Rick Ross, The New Pornographers



Interscope Records

Maroon 5 has forged an enduring pop presence thanks to a seemingly bottomless collection of indelible refrains, and new single "Maps" sports a shiny new hook for the group to work, courtesy of co-producers Ryan Tedder and Benny Blanco. "Maps" isn't as musically complex as recent hits like "One More Night" and "Payphone," but Adam Levine's helium vocals make sure that the listener pays attention. -Jason Lipshutz


"Broken Windshield View"

Big Loud Mountain

While not as bro-ed out as Florida Georgia Line, newbie Chris Lane fits squarely into the feel-good, guitar-rock style ruling the country charts. And square is exactly where this single falls: Lane champions small-town life, but the tropes feel all too familiar. On the bright side, his rugged charm helps elevate the images of rough hands, gravel roads and "hometown pretty girls" above the mundane. -Jill Menze



Island Records

A hit songwriter for the likes of Justin Bieber and Britney Spears, Luke James proves himself a deft, if not quite versatile, solo R&B presence on this slow-building plea to a displaced lover. James harmonizes with the svelte sweetness of John Legend, but carries just enough grit to avoid any awkwardness when cozying up next to Rick Ross once the hip-hop beat kicks in. -Dan Hyman


"Brill Bruisers"

Secretly Canadian

After four years of solo releases from A.C. Newman, Neko Case and Destroyer's Dan Bejar, this Canadian indie supergroup reunites with a magnetic preview of its sixth set, Brill Bruisers. Featuring the band's signature onomatopoetic call-and-response vocals and epic crashing drums, the LP's title track is a resounding return after a break that lasted far too long. -Harley Brown


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.