Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
on 4 September 2001
I was lucky enough to get an early copy from New York, and I was very excited at the prospect of a new Maxwell CD.
Urban Hang Suite is a legendary debut, and as is often the way with such exceptional debuts, the follow-ups just never quite live up to their predecessor. "Now" is an accomplished piece of work - of that there is no doubt, but it is missing that rambling, suggestive mood of his debut, and it is not layered with the dramatic and powerful saxaphone arrangements so amazingly interwoven throughout Urban Hang Suite.
Embrya was much more of an introspective CD, which worked brilliantly after the seduction of his first. Embrya is something that needs to grow and mature withthe listener, often criticised unfairly by many reviewers. Again the expectation of Urban Hang Suite II is not reasonable.
NOW is more obvious, more groove laden, more the work of an established artists, looking to keep commercially in touch!. Very evident are many other influences from the likes of Prince (really laid on thick in the opening track), shades of other soul artists feature, Macy Gray type effects, Sade is never far away...but there is something missing.
Make no mistake, you should buy this CD, there are some exceptional trax, but do not expect another Urban Hang Suite, despite many saying this is the natural successor to that CD - it is not as complete a work. This CD contains some beautiful songs, and as a seductive disc it WILL deliver, but it does not transcend soul music and it does not show any real maturity from Maxwell. Perhaps Maxwell made his life difficult by launching his commercial career with such a stunning debut, and whatever else he comes up with just isn't going to melt us all away like UHS did.
A few lessons from Prince musically, but not enough in a career sense..earlier in Prince's colourful career he (Prince) had the ability to change, to shock and to challenge the listener...he was not complacent...maybe this is the problem with "Now" from Maxwell, a little complacent.