Faithless have been my favourite band since the late 90’s, so for my first album review it is fortuitous that the first album from Faithless lead singer ‘Maxi Jazz’ with his new band ‘Maxi Jazz & The E-Type Boys’ has been released.
Simple… Not Easy
After decades of dance, his new sound is something completely different.
The first song on the album is an introduction to the band, setting out the stall for what to expect.
Bringing memories of James Taylor Quartet, The Average White Band, James Brown you are hit with a wall of big band funk and blues before you are welcomed by the familiar tone of Maxi Jazz and his understated lyrical rhythm and melody.
Lyrics in the second song on the album – “Don’t fear the Blues” could be a message to the now middle-aged 90s dance fans Maxi Jazz has performed to over the last 20 years with Faithless.
As the album progresses, there is a slightly calmer feel to the music and just before i have settled into my own trance, the breakdown in ‘chasin’ shadows’ ahead of ‘Homesick Blues’ reconnects me with the story of the album.
Mass Destruction is a faithless cover that starts with a similar introduction of sweeping synths and percussion before reggae meets blues and reminds me that all these musical genres can be heard in faithless performances – if not a little less visible.
Playing in bands at school my love of Faithless was often dismissed as techno computer music by my musician friends. It isn’t.
Faithless are a live band that tell a story through emotive music with a positive message. Perhaps they will understand now they hear the sounds that I believe underpinned my favourite band’s anthology.
‘Stop Apologising’ further, showcases the eclectic mix of genres that influence Maxi Jass & The E-Type Boys with a more country feel. It also introduces a recognisable voice for faithless followers with LSK taking the mic.
The album provides so many references to the music that has influenced me growing up, but none more than ‘Bitter Love’ which also features on the band’s first EP release. Against the melancholy lyrics, the song is brought to life with the distinctive and empowering sound of a Hammond organ.
There are interesting layers in the music of the E-Type Boys delivered with a maturity that captures my imagination, with lingering piano, energetic brass, crisp percussion and the soothing tones of Maxi Jazz.
Storytelling is what the blues is about, and this album doesn’t disappoint with the poetic and descriptive lyrical talent of Maxi Jazz.
There is something about ‘Simple… Not Easy” that makes me want to listen to it as a complete album. I want to buy a record player, sit in my cave and digest the music as a piece of art.
It is a grown-up composition that captures the authenticity of the 70’s with genuine soul and an addictive groove. The band deliver the casual drift of the blues and the tightness of the most experienced funk orchestras.
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Simple... Not Easy
Simple... Not Easy
‘Simple… Not Easy’ by Maxi Jazz and the E-Type Boys is an enjoyable, intelligent composition that educates through story and sound. I love It.
When Maxi Jazz and the E-Type Boys are next performing up north, I will definitely be looking for tickets.