Easy To Love
Maxi Priest
VP Records
June 23, 2014

Track list
  1. Easy To Love
  2. Loving You Is Easy
  3. Every Little Thing
  4. If I Gave My Heart To You
  5. Gravity
  6. Without A Woman feat. Beres Hammond
  7. Holiday
  8. Bubble My Way feat. Assassin aka Agent Sasco
  9. Your Love To Me feat. Delarose
  10. I Could Be The One
  11. Hearts Across The World
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Essential -Votes: 4-
Very Good -Votes: 1-
Good -Votes: 5-
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Total votes : 10
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Maxi Priest was born in Lewisham, London, the second to last of nine brothers and sisters. His parents moved to England from Jamaica to provide more opportunity for their family and he grew up listening to gospel, reggae, R&B, and pop music. His cousin, Jacob Miller, a reggae icon, was the frontman in the popular reggae group Inner Circle. As a teenager, he'd lifted speaker boxes for the Jah Shaka and Negus Negast sound systems. He was also a founder member of Saxon Studio International. It was with Saxon that Maxi Priest began performing at neighborhood youth clubs and house parties, and first won an appreciative audience.

His musical career began with some independent single releases. In 1985 he hit the charts with the album "You're Safe", and one year later he released the follow up called "Intentions". His first major international album was the self-titled "Maxi Priest" which, along with his cover of Cat Stevens' "Wild World", established him as one of the top British reggae singers. He is one of only two British reggae acts (along with UB40) to have an American Billboard number one: "Close to You" in 1990. A duet with Roberta Flack, "Set The Night To Music", reached the American Top Ten in 1991. His duet with Shaggy in 1996, "That Girl", was also a hit in the United States, peaking at number twenty. In the latter half of his recording career, Priest has favored working alongside other artists, both established and up-and-coming. He has worked with Sly & Robbie, Shaggy, Beres Hammond, Jazzie B, Apache Indian, Roberta Flack, Shurwayne Winchester, Shabba Ranks and Lee Ritenour. His music is sometimes closer to R&B, and pop, than to reggae music itself.

His latest effort, "Easy To Love", is a splendid 11 track album, his first new studio album in 5 years. The songs illustrate Maxi's musical influences; gospel, R&B, roots reggae and loverís rock. The album opens with his impressive UK hitsingle Easy To Love, a smooth song dedicated to all the ladies that make it easy for their man to love them. A dancehall flavored remix with Stylo G is also available. It's produced by Collin 'Bulby' York for Fat Eyes Production. Across the same riddim Beres Hammond voiced his hittune "In My Arms", which also reached the number one spot in the UK's reggae dancehall chart in November 2012. The next tune Loving You Is Easy, an above average tune produced and arranged by reggae veteran Handel Tucker, who was one of the producers on Maxiís classic hit "Close To You" and "Just A Little Bit Longer". Collin 'Bulby' York is responsible for the next smooth winner on this set. Every Little Thing is such a great lovers tune!! John McLean gave us a superb lovers outing back in 1987 called If I Gave My Heart To You, still one of our all-time favorite UK tunes! Maxi does a decent cover version here, but stays a bit too close to the original song to make it really interesting.

John Mayer's Gravity is another cover on the album and is definitely aimed at the mature reggae audience. The same goes for the next tune. His duet, a soul ballad called Without A Woman, with reggae star Beres Hammond is not our cup of tea. Holiday is a bright and sunny summer tune, followed by Maxi Priest and Assassin aka Agent Sasco covering Dennis Brown's 'Hold On To What You Got' riddim. The popular riddim, here entitled Bubble My Way, laid down by Sly & Robbie, is a perfect backdrop for the combination Maxi Priest and Assassin... wicked tune! We continue with another duet. On Your Love To Me he's joined by (Ivy) DeLaRose, a female R&B songstress from the US, and the result is highly enjoyable. The album closes with two ballads.

A sophisticated and smooth arranged album with strong Soul/R&B flavors.