LOS ANGELES (AP) — Adam Levine knows the game.
Seconds after sitting down for an on-camera interview and before any questions are asked, the Maroon 5 frontman playfully rattles off canned responses he's used in recent months while promoting "The Voice" and the band's fourth album.
"It is our poppiest record ever. We're really embracing the pop side. Christina (Aguilera) and I are all good. We don't fight," he says brightly. "I feel great about this record! Probably our best ever!"
He lets out a stagey, fake chuckle, and it's clear that the 33-year-old Los Angeles native both relishes the spotlight and has been around long enough to grow a smidge tired of its glare.
Thus the title of the album, "Overexposed," which finds the five-man group at its commercial peak ten years after its debut "Songs About Jane." Last year's standalone single "Moves Like Jagger," featuring the aforementioned Aguilera, stayed at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 for a month. "Overexposed's" lead single "Payphone" is now in the top five.
Levine and guitarist James Valentine spoke with The Associated Press in a recording studio about Maroon 5's "identity issues," educating young fans and why Levine doesn't plan to go solo.
AP: Why "Overexposed" as an album title?
Levine: We thought we would just kind of say it before everybody else did. ... My face is on buses, which is a trip and it's weird. ... The "Jagger" tune propelled us into the stratosphere even more, combined with the show and a lot of things that are happening right now.
AP: And do the songs address that as well?
Levine: They're love songs and they're songs about dysfunction but also songs about having a good time. I used to have to be miserable to write a song. And that's kind of gone away.
Valentine: It's weird because when things are going well for him, he's just not inspired to write, because he's enjoying life and enjoying being in those moments. Then as soon as things get a little hairy, then all of (the) sudden songs come out, which is good for us.
Levine: But we also have the moments that I think are just speaking more universally. ... That kind of clarity is what's best about the record. ... It's not shrouded in too much metaphor and ambiguity and poetry. I used to think about it much more poetically but I don't anymore. I'm much more concerned with making everyone understand what I mean and what I'm feeling.