A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the word "f--k" is sprinkled a few times in "Makes Me Wonder." The boys love to sing about sex, although most of the lyrics are poetic enough to pass as innocuous. They do cross the line a few times ("So give it up, and don't pretend/And spread your arms and legs across the bed/And when you shake, you won't regret" and "Struggled to memorize/The way it felt between your thighs/Pleasure that made you cry/Feels so good to be bad," for example). One song talks about catching someone cheating on someone and shooting the secret lover. The rest is pleasant, safe (if whiny), cute-boy pop.
What's the story?
Maroon 5's pleasant pop leans heavily on breakup songs on IT WON'T BE SOON BEFORE LONG, with one track after another addressing love gone sad. Whether wistful (\"You don't cry, you don't care anymore since you walked out the door\" on \"Not Falling Apart\"), resigned (\"It really makes me wonder if I ever gave a f--k about you\" on \"Makes Me Wonder\"), or vengeful (\"I had to shoot him dead so he won't come around here anymore\" on \"Wake Up Call\"), the band's perky delivery is at odds with its message. \"Wake Up Call\" has the most questionable content, about finding another man in your lover's bed and then shooting him. Other songs describe feelings that range from outrage to denial to apologetic acceptance after rejection -- and after a while, honestly, it gets a little tedious.
Is it any good?
Even though the band borrows heavily (if superficially) from a rich legacy of soul and R&B, there's no passion, soul, or spirit in these songs. The songs are ostensibly about the challenges of either maintaining or ending romantic relationships, but the glossy production and cute, hook-filled melodies make the less-than-clever lyrics sound as though they were phoned in. Teens going through their own breakups might find solace in these lyrics, others may simply find them whiny. Either way, this is not a "first-date" CD -- its bleak lyrics, coupled with the band's apathetic delivery, will inspire just about anything but romance.