Maroon 5 aren't the first band to fuse R&B and rock, but they certainly are one of the most convincing.
At best, the band conjures up latter-day Motown, complete with a shuddering organ and hyperbolic vocals; at worst, they sound
like a stylized boy band, with all the attendant close harmonies and dramatic pauses. But despite these musical schisms,
Maroon 5 are a thoroughly engaging outfit, thanks to throbbing bass lines, hooky songs, and lead singer Adam Levin's swaggering
delivery. Songs About Jane's leadoff track, "Harder to Breathe" is one of the catchiest singles I have heard in a long
time. Levine spits out every word with passion, makes every last bit of the lyric seem just as important as the other.
There's even a decent guitar solo at the end. This is the song that broke the band to the public, and it's easy to see
why. The follow-up single, "This Love" is where Maroon 5 ventures off into the boy band territory. There's nothing
wrong with the song, the beat and chorus will be stuck in your head forever after hearing them, but after "Harder to Breathe"
you expect more. With "Harder to Breathe" Maroon 5 gives us a glimpse of what the band is capable of, but they fail
to recapture the magic for most of the remainder of the album.