Well, it's no "Embrya," Maxwell's 1998 modern symphonic R&B masterpiece. No matter how good Maxwell's new album is, that's the gut reaction it solicits. "Now" is chock-full of great songs that perfectly capture Maxwell's sensitive lyricism and musical craftsmanship. But within the context of his four-album career, it seems more of a step back for the artist than anything else.
Judged on its own merits, "Now" is a very good R&B album. Any doubt that Maxwell can jam with the best of them is erased the moment the first single, "Get to Know Ya," comes on. Over a bouncy bass-guitar lick and accentuated by funky horn lines, the artist comes out of the box grooving, and he stays that way for the rest of the album. Whether he maintains a steady tempo on a cut like "No One" or slows it down to a simmer on a song like "Lifetime," Maxwell seems determined here to move listeners back and forth and get them out of their seats. There are 11 songs on the disc, and each one is a ready-made single.
Problem is, Maxwell is so much more than a singles machine.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.