“My face is on buses and it’s weird,” lead singer and songwriter Adam Levine of renowned band, Maroon 5, candidly stated in an interview with the Associated Press.
He said the words before anyone else had to. Levine’s status as both an artist and a good-looking celebrity has made his album title biographical; he is “overexposed.” The band’s most recent album, released this past Tuesday, coupled with Levine’s domination of any music charts, billboards (and, apparently, now buses) echoes that very title, both literally and figuratively.
Search the name “Adam Levine” on Google Images and a (cropped) nude picture appears of him on the very first page. Turn on any mainstream radio station and “Payphone” is most likely playing. I even came across many of my friend’s Facebook’s timelines who have snapshots of the ruggedly handsome superstar as their cover photo.
His presence on the hit TV show, The Voice, doesn’t hurt his career or his place in the world of the rich and famous either, where his signature, high pitched voice channeled in songs like “She Will Be Loved” and various others was chosen to be a singing coach. And with Levine leading his pack, Maroon 5’s fourth album explores a novel sound that simply “exposes” them in the limelight even further.
The heartthrob recently went through a heart break, and the album elicits an emotional response with the occasional melancholy lyrics that tell the stories of make ups and break ups apparent in tracks titled “Sad,” “Beautiful Goodbye,” “Love Somebody,” and the themes in the album’s most popular track “Payphone.” In this, he sings the metaphorical "I’m at a payphone trying to call home/All of my change I spent on you/ Where have the times gone?/Baby it’s all wrong/Where are the plans we made for two?"
Perhaps, ten years ago, one could find an actual payphone on all street corners of any city, but very few would know who Adam Levine was. The past decade, filled with three other albums, a few modeling contracts, and a place on one of America’s top television stations, the unique presence of the singer/songwriter now exists everywhere you turn on those same streets.
The album has exceptionally catchy tunes that are only intensified with Levine’s unique voice. For example, “The Man Who Never Lied” fosters Overexposed’s most memorable chorus, "I was the man who never lied/Never lied until today/But I just couldn't break your heart? like you did mine yesterday/I was the man who never lied oh oh oh," and “Doin’ Dirt” has a high energy dance sound that steps into new pop territory for the usual rock-band sounds of Maroon 5. Ever present on popular music albums are those tracks that fade into the background; on Overexposed those songs include the honest “Love Somebody” and predictable “Fortune Teller.”
Overexposed was released ten years after Maroon 5’s debut album, Songs About Jane. With Levine’s elevated fame not only as a recognized singer but a model and superstar too, in combination with his band’s obvious talent, Maroon 5 will continue to glow in the spotlight and experience endless success in upcoming years.