British pop producer Mark Maze releases new album
Stream the full album Uncomfortable Truths.
Mark Maze, a British pop producer that looks remarkably like Billy Zane, released his new album Uncomfortable Truths on January 1. The pop album with electro-rock elements overall has very professional, clean production, but none of the songs really stand out as particularly new or original. The album is a very typical pop/R&B piece of work with smooth vocals that remind me of a slightly better or perhaps more mature NSYNC.
The vocals aren’t bad or unpleasant by any means, but it seems instead that they are over-schooled. The album’s single “The Devil May Cry” has some clever lyrics, but the vocals come across a bit sappy. The track seems to be a song about the artist and his lover, but it’s unclear where the singer’s strife is coming from. The music video, again of superior production, furthers the longing feeling of the song but still doesn’t help it make a point. Why might the Devil cry? What’s so upsetting about the situation? There’s no clear cheating or fighting, so why all the pain? “The Devil May Cry” feels a bit short and perhaps could have built into something greater with more depth.
Watch the video here: http://vimeo.com/107016296
As a whole, all the songs on the album sort of blend together. There’s a few attempts at a catchy hook, but most of the tracks end up sounding bland and don’t grab the listener’s attention. For example “Get Gone” has a nice medium tempo dance beat with a catchy guitar sound, but then the hook just sounds like every other pop song.
Some of the tracks take a softer turn away from edgy dance beats like “Your Bite was Beautiful” which is another song of heart ache, and the title is also an interesting double entendre if you take the lyrics literally, and perhaps are into sexy pain infliction. “Crying Game,” like “You Bite was Beautiful,” uses a soft, simple piano riff and creates an R&B pop sound.
Maze is definitely not clueless when it comes to production, which is clear in “Crazy” that utilizes an alternative rock sound with cool electronic synthesizer samples, but again the voice quality just kills it for me. I really the production of “Robot Eyes,” but the lyrics are unfortunately uninspiring.
“Get Ya Back Up” is a fun dance track about being in the club that has a really cool guitar sample. It creates a really nice image of the singer and a beautiful woman dancing together in the first verse with “Feel my heart beat…” but then ruins it with “You in the club, in your LBD looking at me.” Can it get more cheesy than “LBD, looking at me”? Yes: with the chorus “Dance Dance Dance, like Michael Jackson on the floor.” You’re really gonna name drop MJ to create the main statement of your hook?
The pop sector is so flooded with over-produced synth pop and dub step that Maze’s songs just seem to be washed out in the flood. Everything sounds like everything else for the most part. To stand out pop artists need to find something fresh, or at least a fresh way to present an old technique, but it must be hard when there’s so much out there now to sound like.
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