UK reggae star Maxi Priest is back with his first studio album in almost a decade. Easy to Love collects eleven brand new tracks recorded together with a large number of first-rate producers and musicians, including Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Earl “Chinna” Smith, Clive Hunt, Colin “Bulby” York and Steven “Lenky” Marsden.
Maxi Priest dropped his debut album almost 30 years ago and has since successfully fused reggae and lightweight dancehall with pop, hip-hop and R&B. This infectious mix has made him enormously popular, and his monster smash hit Close To You cemented him as one of the best-selling reggae artists of all time. That particular single was put out in 1990 and climbed all the way to number one on Billboard.
Easy to Love is just as the title implies very easy to get along with. It’s comfortable, laid-back and easy-going. It’s lovers rock made with perfection and quality control.
Maxi Priest has a smooth and sensual voice and it suits the silky riddims very well. Catchy reggae songs like Holiday, Easy to Love and Every Little Thing stick like glue and their melodies tend to pop up every now and then. Same goes for more R&B-oriented cuts and ballads like Without a Woman and Hearts Across the World.
Together with reggae luminaries like Beres Hammond and Freddie McGregor, Maxi Priest is one of the kings of lovers rock, and since it has taken him a long time to come up with a new album I have a feeling Easy to Love has been eagerly awaited. And even though this set offers more traditional reggae than most Maxi Priest albums, fans will definately not be disappointed.