I loved Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, so it made it doubly painful to see the release of his sophomore effort and wonder if it would live up to my expectations. After all, how many times have you been screwed on a second CD? Too many to count? Oh, yes! And was I once again, you ask? No.
Maxwell hits an admirable grove on Embrya. Sweet, smoky vocals. Lots of heat pumping rhythm. And super dopey lyrics. It is best not to think about the lyrics. It is best to listen to the mood of the music and move with the beat and not hear lines, such as, “cause where you touched was such a no-no.” What the hell is that? A no-no? Is that a lovemaking term I’ve missed? If so, thank God!
Speaking of lovemaking, Embrya is long on foreplay without ever giving the listener a climax, (to use a story plotting term) or in the case of music the melody is never resolved. It sort of just goes on. Even though this is a theme CD, it would have been nice to insert a few little peak experiences in the song so the listener is left satisfied. Otherwise, Maxwell has a creamy blissed-out voice. If Embrya is flawed, it is flawed in a manner that doesn’t take away from the CD.
Ignore the words, enjoy the groove.