But with his brassy sass and brave forays into the upper registers of his voice on the band's criminally catchy tunes, Levine is also one more thing: part of the Holy Trinity of new-school, blue-eyed soul singers. It's a place he occupies alongside Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke.
The group's current album, It Won't Be Soon Before Long, is laden with instantly hummable tunes. It's difficult to tell whether it's intentional, but there's an undeniable bubblegum bounce. No one would be afraid to run into this band in a dark alley. Even when he's angry and spurned, as when he discovers his girl in flagrante delicto on "Wake Up Call," Levine still sounds pretty darn cuddly.
Maroon 5 might not be ushering in the ultimate revolution, but there's still a groove worth catching and following in the band's safe music for dangerous times.