Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Rückwärts Fallen
Maxim
Rootdown Records / Soulfood Music
CD / LP
October 10, 2008

Track list
  1. Mosaik
  2. Irgendwas Mit A
  3. Rückwärts Fallen
  4. Angst Vor Der Liebe
  5. Woher Sollt' Ich Wissen
  6. Pizzamann
  7. Lieber Bluten Als Frieren
  8. In Einem Künstlichen Koma
  9. Was Für 'Ne Welt
  10. Die Beleidigte Leberwurst
  11. Fass Mich Nicht An
  12. Wenn Einer Stirbt
  13. Nicht Mein Style
  14. Könnte Ich
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
Three years after his excellent self-titled debut album "Maxim", Rootdown Records release from their small Cologne (Germany) suburb the sophomore album of Maxim that is even more impressive than his debut album. Although Maxim like many other German reggae artists also has something of a hiphop background, his reggae seems to be less rooted in those hip hop roots and (thus) less dancehall inspired, in fact much more created from a singer-songwriter's attitude. And that is exacly the musical direction in which Maxim is straying even further from reggae on this "Rückwärts Fallen" album, once more produced (in even closer cooperation) by Rootdown Records' labelboss and in-house producer Thilo 'Teka' Jocks.

From the first notes of "Mosaik", the beautiful album opener, there's a feel that musically this riddim track could as well be used by Patrice, the well-known (reggae?) singer songwriter, with Maxim's beautiful singing being as soulful and his lyrics to the point and thoughtful as the chorus
"Man kann immer nur die Scherben sehen, wenn grad 'ne Welt zusammen bricht
Doch mit jedem Schritt zurück wird aus den Scherben eine Welt für sich
Denn jede kleinste Scherbe macht das Mosaik zu dem, was es ist
Jede kleinste Falte in deinem Gesicht zeigt, wer du bist."
proves.

"Irgendwas Mit A" is a brilliant story (over what much more resembles a traditional reggae riddim) about meeting an ex-girlfriend from years ago, speaking to her with her name on the tip-of-your-tongue but not quite coming through completely, followed by the titletrack, the melancholic ballad "Rückwärts Fallen" and the wonderful (despite its sad message) "Angst Vor Der Liebe". The second - just released - single from this album "Woher Sollt' Ich Wissen" is a wonderful tune about the pitfalls of love (at first sight) as Maxim wonders
"Woher sollte ich wissen, dass sich hinter diesen göttlichen Lippen,
diesen schuldlosen Blicken der Teufel versteckt, um mein Herz zu vergiften"

and "Pizzaman" is also about falling in love, but with a nice twist as it describes the pizzaman falling for the girl he's delivering the pizza and then wondering why he's at the door with a pizza and not in tuxedo with flowers, with the door shutting in his face before declaring his love.

The brilliant blues ballad "Lieber Bluten Als Frieren" is the one song that stands out even amidst the beautiful songs collected on this album. Musically, vocally and lyrically this is THE masterpiece of this album, a heartfelt plea for being better sorry than safe, followed by the almost as wonderful "In Einem Künstlichem Koma" over a magnificent dubby riddim and the poppy sounding but lyrically depressing "Was Für 'Ne Welt". The funny uptempo "Die Beleidigte Leberwurst" with its great piano-riff in the backing is up next, before a traditional roots riddim backs the first single that was drawn from this album, the very nice way to tell an ex-girlfriend to p*ss off "Fass Mich Nicht An" and the big surprise of this album, Maxim's heartfelt take on Bob Marley's 'Natural Mystic'-riddim Es Sterben Immer Zwei "Wenn Einer Stirbt".

The mood then changes completely for the second blues ballad "Nicht Mein Style" in which he gets turned down by a girl and is speak-singing with still a bit of tongue-in-cheek in it. The last tune of this fabulous sophomore "Rückwärts Fallen" album by Maxim is "Könnte Ich", a funky rocking ballad that emphasizes both Maxim's versatility and how much this whole album is consistenly his own style. All the more reason to catch him on the road with his band Okada Super Sound and to buy this magnificent second Maxim album on Rootdown Records.