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Music Review: Maxi Priest delivers and reminds us why he's so 'Easy To Love'

This CD cover image released by VP Records shows

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This CD cover image released by VP Records shows "Easy to Love," by Maxi Priest. (AP Photo/VP Records)

Maxi Priest, "Easy To Love," (VP)

There's no time like summertime when it comes to releasing a collection of smooth reggae songs full of fire and soul, and Maxi Priest has just done that with the eagerly awaited "Easy to Love."

Almost a decade since his last studio album, the timing of this drop is perfect and will delight fans across the globe. With the help of talented producers, writers and fellow musicians, including Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Earl "Chinna" Smith, Steven "Lenky" Marsden, Colin "Bulby" York, Clive Hunt and the legendary Beres Hammond, it's clear this effort has the quality needed to bust the charts.

Sitting head and shoulders above the rest, title track "Easy to Love" is first-class lovers rock with its silky rhythm and Priest's buttery vocal we've come to know so well. Sitting in prime position at the top of the record, listeners will have no choice but to let this one take over as they get comfortable.

Priest keeps the fire burning on the affectionate love songs that follow. "Loving You is Easy" is a lightweight cut with an irresistible melody and "Without a Woman," featuring Hammond, is a romantic keepsake with overpowering lyrics filled with meaning.

Turning the hardest hearts into a fantastic mess, Priest offers timeless covers of John Mayer's "Gravity" and John McLean's "If I Gave My Heart to You," with latter reviving that rub-a-dub quality from the 1980s.

The hit-in-waiting title goes to "Holiday," a song that pulls at the heartstrings as Priest serenades his woman to the sweet sounds of the old school. And "Bubble My Way," featuring Assassin aka Agent Sasco, is sure to damage a few speakers with its incredible bass.

Despite the 10-year wait for this record, it's evident that Priest's talent comes in abundance. "Easy to Love" will not disappoint.

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