Music Review: Maroon 5, "It Won't Be Soon Before Long"
Release Date: May 22, 2007
Label: A&M / Octone Records
by Scott Juba
Published: June 4, 2007
Just when it seemed as if Maroon 5 might never release a new album after five years passed since their debut CD, the band that exploded onto the music scene in 2002 returns with their new release, “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long.” This album could be the most pivotal moment in the band members’ young careers. A sophomore album can determine whether a band fizzles or goes on to long-lasting success. After all, satisfying fans the second time around often proves to be more difficult when expectations are so high.
In that respect, the members of Maroon 5 may be victims of their own success. While “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long” is a solid release on the whole, their debut record, “Songs About Jane,” featured more songs that were clear-cut radio hits. Not a single track on this album possesses the charisma or lasting appeal of “Harder to Breathe” or "This Love."
With this release, Maroon 5 may display artistic growth in certain areas, but somehow the tracks seem more manufactured and forced than before. While their sound remains distinctive, and many of their songs are undeniably catchy, the album fails to embed a lasting impression in your brain. The resonance their first album held is distinctly absent on this record, because at its very core, the album feels flat and mechanical rather than dynamic and creative.
The sophomore release is a chance for a band to prove they are bona fide superstars. Coldplay did this with their second album, and more recently, The Killers reached that same plateau with “Sam’s Town.” The members of Maroon 5 still have a ways to go. That said, Maroon 5’s second album still ranks above the follow-up releases of many other prominent bands, such as Evanescence.
Quite simply, “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long” ranks as a good album but not a great one. Although tracks such as “Not Falling Apart” and “Goodnight Goodnight” impress, the “wow” factor I was searching for isn’t present. Can Maroon 5 do better? I think so. I just hope we don’t have to wait another five years to find out.