I'd pretty much consider myself a Maroon 5 guru -- I've purchased every studio album of theirs, have several CD singles, their live album and have seen them live in concert twice --, and a major fan as well, but Maroon 5's 5th disc, V, takes a little bit longer to digest. While being backed by a string of successful singles ("Maps", "It Was Always You" and "Animals"), most other tracks included on the album don't feel like your typical Maroon 5 songs. Even with that being said, the new record isn't their worst one (I'd say that 2010's Hands All Over is narrowly their worst), and does have at least two to three more faired sized hits in addition to "Animals", "Maps" and "It Was Always You" ("Sugar" and "My Heart Is Open").
Lead single "Maps" kicks off the party in a really odd, yet friendly fashion. While previous hits by Maroon 5 seem to focus on all parts of the band (bass, drums, guitar, keyboards, and vocals), "Maps" sees lead singer Adam Levine in the driver seat, with the rest of the band being almost entirely replaced by extremely sugary, pop beats. However, as live performances will reveal, the rest of the band's members do have prominent roles sprinkled throughout the song. Regardless, "Maps" wound up at #1 on the CDS Music Chart Hot 50, a position it held for 5 consecutive weeks.
And to those of you "Maroon 5 superfans" that say "Maps" is terrible compared to songs on their prior albums (Songs About Jane, It Won't Be Soon Before Long, Hands All Over): all bands need to change in order to stay solid. You shouldn't complain that their new material sounds overly pop, because if they did stick to just their original rock sound, you'd be complaining that they haven't changed enough. You can't call yourself a fan of Maroon 5 if you criticize them for changing; its what all artists do.
Built around a high energy, funky, bass beat, "Animals" sounds like a radio winner for the group -- even if it takes a while to warm up.