Maroon 5 didn’t really burst on to the international music scene. The band's first album, Songs about Jane, originally released in June 2002, the album finally broke into the top 100 on the Billboard charts in 2004 on the strength of such hit singles as “Harder to Breathe,” “Sunday Morning” and “This Love.” Maroon 5 capped off their methodical rise to the top with the 2005 Grammy for Best New Artist, nearly three years after the release of their first album.
Maroon 5’s second record, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long finds lead singer Adam Levine is still in a reflective yet upbeat mood. While Songs about Jane was filled with songs about the breakup with her, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long delves into the still fruitless effort to replace Jane.
Of course, it’s important not to make Levine sound like some sullen junior prince of darkness here. It Won’t Be Soon Before Long has a decidedly more upbeat feel than Songs about Jane. Sophomore albums are always a bit of a tricky proposition. Artists are in a position where the public expects a certain style of music from them, but the artist also has to make it different enough so the sound doesn’t become formulaic and boring. What Maroon 5 has attempted to do with It Won’t Be Soon Before Long is expand their lyrical and rhythmical sensibilities, while still maintaining the ‘soft touch’ that launched their success. The Police always mixed ‘power pop’ and a ‘soft touch’ very well. While Maroon 5 is not yet in that class, their style is somewhat reminiscent of Sting and the boys.
“If I Never See Your Face Again,” is a song with a driving beat and darker lyrics: "It makes you burn to learn/ You’re not the only one/I'd let you be if you put down your blazing gun / However, Levine’s bordering on falsetto delivery somehow cushions the blow of the sentiment."
Maroon 5 is an unabashed radio friendly band. Their songs stay in your head once you hear them. It Won’t Be Soon Before Long is the kind of album many will be singing along to in the car. No matter what kind of backbeat he has, few express heartbreak better than Adam Levine.