Maroon 5 ‘Born Again’ With Pop-Heavy Overexposed

'It's sort of like, 'Screw you ... deal with it. Come with us on this journey or bye,' ' Adam Levine says of the album's pop leanings.

The first thing you’ll probably notice about Maroon 5′s Overexposed album is the lengthy list of collaborators attached to it: a Murderer’s Row of pop hitmakers like Ryan Tedder, Shellback and Benny Blanco, with Max Martin helming it all as executive producer.

The second thing you’ll probably notice is that it’s called Overexposed. Because, reinvigorated by the worldwide success of their hit “Moves Like Jagger” — which marked the first time the band had written with outside sources (in this case Blanco and Shellback) — M5 make no bones about the fact that, this time out, they’re aiming to become the most popular, inescapable and, yes, overexposed band on the planet.

“The title is kind of pre-emptively saying, ‘Hey, we’re overexposed. Deal with it,’ ” frontman Adam Levine told MTV News during the premiere of M5′s new “One More Night” video . “Bands like to do this thing where they’re like, ‘Oh, man, we just didn’t know. Oh my God, it’s so crazy, we just wrote this song,’ and that’s true, but we like that. We want to have that experience, we want to have hits, we want to have songs that, internationally, people are going to know.

“It’s exciting when you go to a country you’ve never been to, when you go to Jakarta, and they’re singing the lyrics to ‘Payphone,’ it’s so cool,” he continued. “And that’s something that we not only love, but we pursue, unabashedly. Our sense of purpose was very dialed in. … We knew what we wanted, we knew in our minds how to achieve it on an album … and I think we found it.”

And, in a lot of ways, it’s fitting that Overexposed (in stores now) comes exactly 10 years after the release of Maroon 5′s debut disc, Songs About Jane. Because ever since that album, they’ve been hearing complaints from fans who want them to return to their roots. The difference now is that they no longer listen to those complaints. Backed by the biggest names in the pop business, Maroon 5 are going for greatness these days, and like it or not, they’re not going to change course anytime soon.

Songs About Jane was alienating a certain amount of our fanbase back then, and if we’re not alienating a small percentage of our fanbase every time we make a record, we’re doing something wrong,” Levine said. “And usually, I find that people who complain about wanting that original sound would be the same people where, if you had a record that sounded like the first one, they would say, ‘Why don’t you guys branch out and change a little bit?’ So it’s sort of like, ‘Screw you … deal with it. Come with us on this journey or bye!’

“When you’ve been in a band for a decade, even longer, you start thinking, ‘OK, well maybe now we should explore this or change things up,’ because you don’t want to have it sound formulaic or too much like what you’ve always done,” he continued. “So we’re totally cool with kind of being born again. … At the heart of it, it still sounds like us, but we embrace this side of our band, and now that we’ve fully captured it on this record, we’re going to see what happens, and I think it’s going to be really positive.”

Stick with MTV News for more from our exclusive interview with Maroon 5!