Maktub

Khronos

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Seattle's Maktub shouldn't be doing this. Sure, artists like Macy Gray and Alicia Keys have made a stab at resurrecting soul, but Maktub do the job properly. From the first notes of "You Can't Hide," it's quite apparent that the band's heart lies in the late '60s and early '70s, the golden years of soul, all helped by a bit of a studio gloss that's definitely form the new millennium (courtesy of, surprisingly, Steve Fisk), but which never threatens to smother what they have going on -- which is a definite groove. "So Tired" is Al Green fronting Sly & the Family Stone -- singer Reggie Watts floats into falsetto so easily and purely, he's a joy to hear. The guitars can get a little dirty at times, and the analog synths add a real period flavor to the proceedings. But for much of the time, they have the substance to back up the style of Fender Rhodes and Hammond organs. "Give Me Some Time" even has Northwest rock references in its choruses, and "Baby Can't Wait" is airy bliss, even down to the sitar touches. In fact, until their cover of Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter," this is almost a perfect record. At that point, however, they drop the ball a little. "No Quarter" has the locked-in groove, but that's about all -- certainly not enough to justify its eight-minute length. After that, "Motherfucker" is something of a mess, and the closing "Then We'll Know" never quite gels. But any band that can get it so right for eight cuts -- and even the remaining three aren't awful -- deserves fame, fortune, and mass adulation. Welcome back to soul. [When Velour picked up Khronos for release in 2003, they changed the artwork and removed "Motherfucker."]

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