Vocalist Adam Levine's soulful, syncopated delivery and Mickey Madden's loose, jazzy bass work make comparisons to Jamiroquai inevitable.
Vocalist Adam Levine's soulful, syncopated delivery and Mickey Madden's loose, jazzy bass work make comparisons to Jamiroquai inevitable. But Maroon5 bears a host of subtler influences—from Red Hot Chili Peppers (the wistful "She Will Be Loved") to Foreigner (the deceptively upbeat "This Love") to Stevie Wonder (the spirited "Sunday Morning"). On its debut, this Los Angeles-based quintet—a reincarnation of Kara's Flowers, formerly signed to Reprise—blends elements of R&B, hip-hop, and retro-flavored FM rock into its boundary-blurring modern-rock concoctions, loaded with heartbroken but confident lyrics. The result might be difficult for niche-obsessed radio program directors to appreciate, but it's broad enough to appeal to an enormous range of listeners. Highlights include the hard-driving opener "Harder to Breathe," the gentler "Must Get Out," and the funk-inflected "Not Coming Home." How's that for breadth? Distributed by BMG Music Entertainment.—WH