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Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane (10th Anniversary Edition) - Review

Maroon 5, Songs About Jane: 10th Anniversary Edition

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

FOLLOWING the success of recent singles Move Like Jagger and Payphone, Maroon 5 are one of the biggest bands on the planet right now.

What better time, then, to step back into their history and remember the album that first made it all possible. Hard to believe but Songs About Jane, their breakthrough, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, so fans now have a remastered anniversary edition to savour, complete with a bonus CD of demo versions, unreleased tracks like Take What You Want, Woman and Chilly Winter, as well as Rag Doll (a non-album B-side) and an alternative mix of The Sun.

From a critical point of view, the standout tracks on the original album remain the same and count as She Will Be Loved (surely the LP’s most timeless track), the chirpy Must Get Out and the emotive opener Harder To Breathe.

Of the demo versions, meanwhile, there are some interesting (if slight) variations and it’s interesting to see how certain tracks evolved into what they became.

The real point of this re-release for fans, though, is the unreleased material, of which there is arguably not enough. A really good deluxe/anniversary edition of an album should offer a goldmine… this one probably rates as a copper mine.

Still, Take What You Want is a fantastically moody slice of blues influenced rock, Rag Doll drops a cracking guitar solo midway through (that’s a far cry from the band’s more dance orientated new material), and Woman makes good use of Adam Levine’s soulful, borderline falsetto vocals and a finger-clicking beat. It’s sensually delivered, sexy and closer in spirit to the likes of Jamiroquai.

Chilly Winter, meanwhile, also cranks up the falsetto delivery to offer a mid-tempo ode to love and being true to oneself. It’s fun but perhaps the weakest of the unheard material.

An alternate mix of The Sun, on the other hand, doesn’t stray too far from the original and ends the second disc on a somewhat underwhelming note.

But all told, if you’re only just getting into Maroon 5, or a lifelong devotee, this offers something to cater for both tastes. And in original form, it remains a highly appealing listen.

Download picks: Harder To Breathe, This Love, She Will Be Loved, Must Get Out, Take What You Want, Woman

Track listing:
Disc 1

  1. Harder to Breathe
  2. This Love
  3. Shiver
  4. She Will Be Loved
  5. Tangled
  6. The Sun
  7. Must Get Out
  8. Sunday Morning
  9. Secret
  10. Through with You
  11. Not Coming Home
  12. Sweetest Goodbye

Disc 2

  1. Harder to Breathe [Demo/Bonus Track]
  2. This Love
  3. Shiver [Demo/Bonus Track]
  4. She Will Be Loved [Demo/Bonus Track]
  5. Tangled [Demo/Bonus Track]
  6. The Sun [Demo/Bonus Track]
  7. Must Get Out [Demo/Bonus Track]
  8. Sunday Morning [Demo/Bonus Track]
  9. Secret [Demo/Bonus Track]
  10. Through with You [Demo/Bonus Track]
  11. Not Coming Home [Demo/Bonus Track]
  12. Sweetest Goodbye [Demo/Bonus Track]
  13. Take What You Want [Demo/Bonus Track]
  14. Ragdoll [Original Demo/Non-LP International B-Side/Bonus Track]
  15. Woman [Demo/Bonus Track]
  16. Chilly Winter [Demo/Bonus Track]
  17. The Sun [Alternative Mix/Bonus Track]