Maroon 5 - This Love
Having seen success earlier this year with Harder To Breathe, Maroon 5 return with This Love, which, like that earlier song, has been taken off their Songs About Jane album but which shows more pop nous than the white-boy funk of their debut, thereby compressing the first few years of the Red Hot Chili Peppers into two months.
That's not to say, just in case you're tempted to think that Maroon 5's taken on Under The Bridge will follow this July, that this band are yet the equal of the Red Hot Chili Peppers for as much as the pop/funk is already rooted in their sound, Maroon 5 just lack a spirit that's willing to play with their music. Despite This Love being a fine pop/rock song, backed by a pair of good b-sides including a live version of Harder To Breathe that's the better of the single version, this just lacks moments to make it great, which will only come through not playing it quite so safe.
Whether any breakthrough will come about as a result of a collaboration with The Neptunes' Pharrell Williams is open to question, as barring the occasional moment of inspiration as on the recent Cee-Lo Green album, Williams' work has become increasingly tired of late. Yet, there's the suspicion that had Maroon 5 the right partner in the studio then they, like the Red Hot Chili Peppers with Rick Rubin, would find the move out of make-do releases into great albums would be made so much easier.