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MAX M - Renaissance - EP REVIEW



Lille, France

Credit - Avril Dunoyer

‘Renaissance’ from MAX M is a synth-forward pop album. MAX M has produced 5 tracks of different flavours and textures within this EP and it all comes together to form a true expression of MAX M’s production and writing style. It's clean, melodic, and plays with grand scale and harmony culminating in a jovial sound that is sure to freshen up your modern pop library. A varied EP to be sure, there are two sets of vocals across the tracks that add to the distinct differences between songs. It keeps the music alive, never knowing what way a song may go. What tones will it use? And just where will it end up? MAX M has a magic mind that, if hyper-focused on one goal, creates some smashing music.

‘Imaginary Problems’ hits us first. It's warm, it’s eclectic and it's upbeat. Modern and unafraid, the vocals sit somewhere in the mezzo-soprano range and use the full birth of their skills in this track. The sound is daunting, it begins simple and grows and grows, the melody catching you at every corner being sure you keep it in mind. When the chorus hits the vocals soar up and out, layers and harmonies beef it up and the sound stage is impressive. Classic Rhianna vibes spiral about the music and vocal flairs. The bass supports, the percussion accents and the synth adds some flavour to the melody. Melding that 00s R&B feel with modern pop stylings works brilliantly here, and MAX M proves that he knows what he’s doing.

The next track switches up the vocal, baritone in range and classic in its pop enunciation. The song focuses on repetition and it highlights that throughout, it feels fast, crisp and clear. The sounds bounce off the back walls of the concert space and the vocal is the star. It's the chorus that will hook you, the vocals marry the beat, the synth titters in the back as the percussion splashes and hides the cracks. A perfect meld into the verse and you’re lost in the moment. That second, of release and hypnotisation, is what MAX M brings to the production table. Not just melodies to dance to, to rave to. But songs to become lost in, entrapped by harmonies and melodic scales. It is mesmerising.

‘Under Water’ features the initial vocal again. This song is loud and boisterous. The R&B is strong and the vibe cascades throughout the track. It adds an attitude to the EP, it's brash, not bothered about anyone else. ‘Under Water’s use of rhythm paired with bass is a masterful showcase of modern R&B. It's recognisable and fun, what more can you ask for? When the chorus hits it blows up and there’s no holding back. A standout track and my favourite from ‘Renaissance’.

‘Never Wanna Leave’ brings the flavour of ‘Renaissance’ to the dance floor. The vocals take a back seat so that the beat can shine. It's moving and it keeps the pace up. With stabs of keys, synths that rise and fall and a bass drum that whacks you in the chest, the vibrant tones of ‘Never Wanna Leave’ are full-bodied and ready for the centre stage. Not just pop, but dance too … MAX M is strutting his stuff.

The EP closes with a recipe for success. Wrap up everything you have heard so far. Modern pop, R&B, dance, both vocals and MAX M’s synthetic flair, and ‘If This Is What It Feels Like’ is born. The track is a perfect end to a thrilling album. It marks the zenith, it doesn’t ever fall. The EP builds up and up and up and ends. It leaves you wanting more and that’s just swell. MAX M’s discography is always expanding and there is plenty of his contemporary musical genius to go around. Add ‘Renaissance’ to your library and you won’t regret it. MAX M’s EP is a hard hitter for all fans of modern pop and R&B.


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