Adam Levine acknowledges that the title of the new Maroon 5 album is something of an inside joke—a wink at the Los Angeles-based band’s seeming omnipresence, particularly in the wake of the frontman’s joining the cast of NBC’s The Voice and of “Moves Like Jagger,” the 2011 smash that topped charts in 18 countries across the globe and became one of the most paid downloaded songs in history.
“It’s like, ‘We get it—we’re overexposed,’” Levine says with a laugh. “We’re just trying to preemptively go where the conversation is headed anyway. We figured we’d get there first.”
Check this out, though: If Overexposed gets at the truth of Maroon 5’s sky-high visibility—perhaps you’re reading these words in preparation for spreading the word a little further yourself—the title carries another meaning, as well, one that runs a few inches below the surface of things. After a decade of activity in which the 3 time Grammy-winning quintet has gone from playing tiny L.A. clubs to becoming one of the biggest bands in the world, this album captures Maroon 5’s decision to open itself up to risk.
“I feel like we’ve been standing on the edge of a cliff for a long time,” Levine says. “We’re a band that’s always been close to being full-on pop, but that’s rooted in a lot of other things: rock, soul, funk, the list goes on. Overexposed is the first time we’ve ever completely embraced the idea of making pop music—of making songs for the radio. We just said, ‘Let’s not be afraid to do what we basically are.’”
The decision was more than a matter of mindset. “Moves Like Jagger” marked the band’s entrance into the waters of co-writing; until then Levine and his bandmates—guitarist James Valentine, bassist Mickey Madden, drummer Matt Flynn and keyboardist PJ Morton (currently filling in for Jesse Carmichael, who’s on hiatus)—had prided themselves on the fact that they handled all of the oufit’s music in-house. “But ‘Jagger’ was an amazing experience,” says Valentine, “so we figured we’d try it again.”