On Now, the message is clear: Maxwell wants people to know that he's only human.

On Now, the message is clear: Maxwell wants people to know that he's only human. Overflowing with emotional and musical growth, Now showcases Maxwell's talent for soulful expression of vulnerability and strength without being too sentimental. Opening track, the funky "Temporary Nite," is a standout, as are such ballads as "Lifetime," "Was My Girl," and "Symptom Unknown," which invite listeners to feel Maxwell's pain, as well as his desires. The beautiful "Fortunate," the No. 1 Billboard R&B song of 1999, is a hidden bonus cut. A cover of Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" is one of Maxwell's finest moments—he makes the song his own with a delivery that's both passionate and subtle. This album leaves little doubt that when it comes to expressing the joys and heartbreak of life, few R&B singers do it as gracefully as Maxwell.—CH

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