Maxwell – Now (2001): Review

maxwell

Produced by MUSZE (Maxwell)
Label – Columbia

There’s a suitable time and place for almost all music. Some styles and genres comfortably fit into different environments, from the car, at home, with friends, at a club. There is often overlap with many artists’ collective output, however Maxwell’s neo soul offerings are predominantly suited to those romantic moments, usually nocturnal. He’d probably be pretty satisfied that his music was the backdrop to many a bedroom rendezvous whose participants were more influenced by the mood rather than identifiable songs or defined tempo changes. “Now” is the type of record you hear as an ambient addition to the main event, not something that you actually listen to and direct the individual merits. It’s a common theme on all of Maxwell’s recorded work, starting with his 1996 debut “Maxwell’s Hang Suite” right through to this release in 2001.

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Overall, the content of “Now” is perfectly acceptable, although one struggles to distinguish between this and any previous work. Silky smooth, contemporary soul and r&b , crisply produced, with a nod to Prince, and the soul stars of the Motown era. Maxwell has the searing sweet voice and a skilful knack for delivering a ballad with sensitivity and charm. What he does lack however,is the ability to write memorable hook filled tunes. This is highlighted by the fact that the outstanding highlight is a cover of Kate Bush’s beautiful ballad “This Woman’s Work”.

The rest is sleek, mildly forgettable and probably the soundtrack to the creation of thousands of 2002’s offspring.

6/10

Tracklist
1.”Get to Know Ya” – 4:22
2.”Lifetime” – 5:29
3.”W/As My Girl” – 3:11
4.”Changed” – 4:07
5.”No One” – 4:41
6.”For Lovers Only” – 3:41
7.”Temporary Nite” – 4:22
8.”Silently” – 5:20
9.”Symptom Unknown” – 5:37
10.”This Woman’s Work” (Kate Bush) – 4:00
11.”Now/At the Party” – 5:25

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