February 8, 2001

Test Spin: Michael Maxwell

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Falling somewhere between the gruff country-rock of the Wallflowers and the deadpan lyricism of Tom Petty, NYC-based singer/songwriter Michael Maxwell crafts a pleasantly folky blend of modern rock. On songs like “I Won’t Give In,” his Tom Petty-ish growl coveys his raw emotion perfectly, while other songs are pure pop pleasure.

With a backing band comprised of capable session players — who count among their collective credits work for Lou Reed and Elvis Costello — Maxwell’s radio-friendly folk takes on an accomplished, at times world-weary air.

The melancholy piano of “Hell Or High Water” and the haunted female backing vox on “All On Your Own,” contrast well against the album’s more upbeat moments.

Archived article by Ed Howard