Album: Maroon 5, Hands All Over (A&M)

The studio anchor of Maroon 5's third album is super-producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange, who apparently approached the band, rather than the other way round, before inflicting upon them the same process to which he subjected Def Leppard, Bryan Adams and AC/DC: basically, strip away everything, get them to write better songs, and start from scratch.

The results – ranging from anthemic ballads like "Just A Feeling" to funk-metal workouts such as the title track, with some bass-led funk-pop strutters like "Misery" and "Give A Little More" – will doubtless sell in colossal quantities. But all Lange's skills still can't impose a firm character on this most faceless of bands, whose songs fizz with a momentary ersatz-soul quality but evaporate almost instantly – the musical equivalent of the Cheshire Cat.

DOWNLOAD THIS Misery; Give A Little More