Quite how Maroon 5 have become one of the world’s biggest groups might seem a mystery worthy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. But, as Sherlock Holmes was wont to say: once you have removed the impossible, what remains – however unlikely – must be the truth. And what remains are a handful of impeccably structured pop songs – the likes of This Love and Moves Like Jagger – that are enough to generate Maroon 5’s huge popularity. On their sixth album, that continues with the excellent Help Me Out, a single that sticks firmly to the mainstream in its melody, while being so inventive in its keyboard arrangement that it becomes irresistible. Closure, meanwhile, spends three minutes being utterly generic before slipping into eight more minutes of a guitar and organ groove that’s absolutely terrific. Singer Adam Levine has said this is the group’s R&B album, and so it is, though not in any remotely experimental way: superstar rap guest spots can’t disrupt the torpor that too often becomes a default setting.
Michael Hann is a freelance writer, and former music editor of the Guardian