Home Read Classic Album Review: Maxim | Hell’s Kitchen

Classic Album Review: Maxim | Hell’s Kitchen

The Prodigy vocalist's solo albums packs some heat, but there are too many cooks.

174

This album came out a couple of decades ago. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


No, it’s not a tie-in CD from the T&A-crazed men’s mag.

This Maxim is Maxim Reality, aka Keeti Palmer, aka one of the vocalists for U.K. electronica rebels Prodigy, aka not the guy in the punk rock getup, aka the other one. Funnily enough, he’s nearly as hard to identify on his latest solo album. Hell’s Kitchen is an ambitious, confident mix-tape of hip-hop, trip-hop, trance, electronica that certainly lives up to its title — the throbbing, umbral grooves and noisy buzzing textures are blended into a dark, nasty and downright sinful stew (especially when Prodigy mastermind Liam Howlett lends a hand). But for some reason, Maxim too often lets others do the talking for him. About half these tracks are voiced by rappers and rockers like Divine Styler, Blood of Abraham and Skin from Skunk Anansie, to name a few. When Maxim pokes his head out of the shadows and cuts loose in his raspy wheeze, Hell’s Kitchen delivers. The rest of the time, it feels like there may be a few too many cooks.