V (Maroon 5 album)

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V
Studio album by Maroon 5
Released August 29, 2014 (2014-08-29)
Recorded 2013–14
Studio
Genre Pop[1][2]
Length 40:10
Label
Producer
Maroon 5 chronology
  • V
  • (2014)
Singles from V
  1. "Maps"
    Released: June 16, 2014 (2014-06-16)
  2. "Animals"
    Released: August 25, 2014 (2014-08-25)
  3. "Sugar"
    Released: January 13, 2015 (2015-01-13)
  4. "This Summer's Gonna Hurt"
    Released: May 17, 2015

V (roman numeral for Five) is the fifth studio album by American pop rock band Maroon 5. It was released on August 29, 2014, by Interscope Records. V was Maroon 5's first album to be released through Interscope after the band's previous label, A&M Octone Records, transferred them along with most of its artists to Interscope. The album also saw the return of keyboardist Jesse Carmichael after his absence from recording, touring and promoting Overexposed (2012). V debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling 164,000 copies in the first week. The album produced three singles, "Maps", "Animals" and "Sugar", peaking at number 6, number 3 and, number 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 respectively.

Background[edit]

In 2012, Maroon 5 released their fourth studio album, Overexposed. The record was released during a time of commercial momentum for the band following the success of "Moves like Jagger" (recorded with Christina Aguilera), a single which lead singer Adam Levine credited as having "revived the group",[3] and the album's lead single, "Payphone", which became both a critical and commercial success.[4] Overexposed was described by the band as their "most poppiest record to date", with critics giving the album mixed reviews upon its release,[5] describing the album as having lacked memorable hooks and charm,[6] and having exposed their limitations.[7] The album, however, was met with a positive note with praise directed generally at Levine's vocals and the album's production.[8]

Recording[edit]

V was recorded by the band at Conway Studios in downtown Los Angeles, California over a year-long period from 2013 through to mid 2014.[9] The recording sessions for V saw the band's keyboardist Jesse Carmichael return to the band after a two-year hiatus, which saw him absent during the recording and promotion for Overexposed.[10] V also features a collaboration with Gwen Stefani called "My Heart Is Open",[11] co-written with Sia Furler. James Valentine stated that the band has known Furler for a long time and working with her was "really cool".[12]

Artwork[edit]

The album cover for V was created by South Korean photographer Lee Jung.[13] It features a 1.3m neon lighted crosstube formed in the shape of the roman numeral for five, the title of the album.[14] The red neon display is placed in front of a reservoir in the Gyeonggi Province,[13] with mountains in the background. The Maroon 5 logo appears out of focus in the background as a sign perched on the side of the mountain, similar to the famous Hollywood Sign.[15]

Promotion[edit]

Departing from then-active A&M Octone Records, the band signed with its related label, Interscope Records in May 2014 to release the album.[16] V was unveiled by the band and Interscope on May 19, 2014, slated for a release date of September 2, 2014 in the United States.[17] Through a signed contract with Live Nation, the band had also announced that they are also set to embark on a world tour in late 2014 through to early 2015 in support of V.[9] The artwork for V was unveiled through a series of five puzzle piece clues released daily through the band's Facebook page from July 17 through to July 21.[18] After the series was completed, the album's artwork, in addition to its track listing, were unveiled on July 21, 2014.[19] Moreover, to promote the album, the band performed during the 2014 iTunes Festival at the Roundhouse in London, England, as a headline act on the night of September 11, 2014 (all of the concerts played as part of the festival were filmed and webcast live).[20] The band started their Maroon 5 World Tour 2015 on February 2015. It will mainly take place in North America and Europe until September 2015.[21]

Singles[edit]

  • "Maps", was released on June 16, 2014, as the first single from the album.[22] A teaser of the song was uploaded on band's Facebook page on June 11, 2014.[23] The song peaked at number 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100[24] giving the band their ninth top-ten hit in the country. "Maps" also reached the top-ten in an additional fourteen countries, including a peak of number two on the UK Singles Chart.
  • "Animals" was released as the album's second single on September 23, 2014. The song peaked at number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100, giving the band their tenth top-ten hit in the country.[24] "Animals" also peaked within the top-ten in an additional ten countries, and has also sold in excess of 200,000 copies in the UK alone. Likewise with their previous single, Animals achieved platinum status in the US for sales exceeding 1,000,000 copies.
  • "Sugar" was released on January 13, 2015 as the third single from the album.[25] It is the most successful single from the album, reaching the top-ten in 24 countries, including number six in Australia, number seven on the UK Singles Chart, and number two on the US Billboard Hot 100. As of April 2015, the song has sold 2.5 million copies worldwide, including 300,000 copies in the UK, and over 1,500,000 copies in the US.

Promotional singles[edit]

  • "It Was Always You" was released as the album's promotional single on July 29, 2014, peaking at number 40 on the UK Singles Chart and number 45 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[26]
The A.V. Club C+[27]
Billboard 86/100[28]
Entertainment Weekly C[29]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[30]
New York Daily News 2/5 stars[31]
The Observer 2/5 stars[32]
PopMatters 5/10 discs[33]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[34]
USA Today 2.5/4 stars[35]

The album received generally mixed reviews upon its release. On Metacritic, V received a weighted average score of 55/100 based on 12 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[36] In a four-star review, Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone called the songs "precision-tuned and lustrously polished, jammed with hooks and choruses that build a man cave in your brain."[34] Brian Mansfield of USA Today gave the album two and a half stars out of four, remarking the album was "easy to digest and contains all sorts of flavors while still being its own thing."[35] In a 86 out of 100 review for Billboard, Brad Wete argued the album "reveals that their foundation has not been removed."[28] Writing on behalf of AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine rated the album three and a half stars out of five, praising the band for "[embracing] the tuneful, slightly soulful adult contemporary pop band they've always been".[26]

Not all reviews were positive. Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly graded the album a C, suggesting Levine's songwriting didn't "live up to his ability to work a crowd."[29] Writing for The Guardian, Tim Jonze gave the album two out of five stars, dismissing it as "evidence as to why most people can't remember a Maroon 5 song two seconds after it finishes."[30] In a two star review from The Observer, Theo Leanse called the album "a gaudy chunk of over-produced electro-pop-rock", but noted its accessibility, saying it "flips a smug V-sign at us, knowing we'll never free its singles from our skulls."[32] Evan Rytlewski gave a C+ review on behalf of The A.V. Club commenting the band "stayed hip", but only by "furnishing a too-perfect, soundstage ideal of whatever the kids are into these days."[27] In the New York Daily News, Jim Farber criticized the hooks on the album for being "so annoying, you won't be able to scrub them from your mind."[31] Annie Galvin delivered a 5/10 review for PopMatters stating, "As far as lightweight, easy-listening charts pop goes, V doesn’t totally offend the sensibilities, and that’s surely more than can be said about some of Maroon 5’s overly pandering, less exploratory 'pop-rock' peers."[33]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, with first week sales of 164,000 copies in the U.S.[37] and earned their second US number-one album since 2007's It Won't Be Soon Before Long. As of January 2015, it has sold over 620,000 copies.[38]

In Canada, the album also debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, with 15,000 copies sold for the week.[39] In its second week, the album remained at number one with 7,700 copies.[40]

Track listing[edit]

V — Standard edition[41]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Maps"  
3:10
2. "Animals"  
Shellback 3:51
3. "It Was Always You"  
4:00
4. "Unkiss Me"  
  • Carlsson
  • Passovoy[b]
3:58
5. "Sugar"   3:55
6. "Leaving California"  
3:23
7. "In Your Pocket"  
3:39
8. "New Love"  
  • Levine
  • Tedder
  • Zancanella
  • Tedder
  • Zancanella
3:16
9. "Coming Back for You"  
  • Levine
  • Martin
  • Evigan
  • Lomax
  • J. Johnson
  • S. Johnson
  • Evigan
  • The Monsters & Strangerz
  • S. Johnson[b]
  • Martin[b]
  • Tejada[b]
3:47
10. "Feelings"  
  • Levine
  • Shellback
  • Oscar Görres
  • Shellback
  • OzGo
3:14
11. "My Heart Is Open" (featuring Gwen Stefani)
3:57
Total length:
40:10
Notes

Personnel[edit]

Credits for V are adapted from AllMusic[43] and Discogs[44]

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Austria (IFPI Austria)[82] Gold 7,500x
Brazil (ABPD)[83] Gold 20,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[84] Platinum 80,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[85] Gold 10,000^
Sweden (GLF)[86] Gold 20,000x
South Korea (Gaon) 6,326[87]
United Kingdom (BPI)[88] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[89] 825,000[90]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Edition Format Label
Germany[91][92] August 29, 2014
  • Standard
  • Deluxe
Interscope
Brazil [93][93] Universal Music Brazil
China[94] November 1, 2014
  • Standard
Universal Music China
South Korea[95] September 1, 2014
  • Standard
  • deluxe
  • Blu-ray
Universal Music Korea
United States[96] September 2, 2014
  • Standard
  • Deluxe (explicit)
  • Standard
  • Deluxe (clean)
  • CD
  • LP
  • digital download
  • 222
  • Interscope

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