Maxime Boublil was born in Paris, France, into a musical theater family. His father Alain, wrote the musical adaptation of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, his mother was the first Cosette in Les Miserables in France. As a child Maxime played the cello and then went on to study photography Academy of Arts University in San Francisco, but he discovered what he really wanted to do, when he picked a guitar in a friend’s dorm room. After studying Music in Visual Media, Maxime went on to pursue a career as an engineer at Furstock Studios with three-time aria award-winning engineer Doug Brady. All the time, he continued writing songs, his catalog eventually urging him to produce and record his own music. The result is “The Honest Me Pt.1” – the first part of a cinematic project written produced and performed by Maxime.
“The Honest Me Pt.1” takes all of the specific things about Maxime Boublil – his background, his interests, his musical talent, his legacy – and tells an inspired story with a skill that is surprising and delightful. Well, considering his father’s storytelling mastery via musicals, we can remove the surprise factor.
As much has he would probably beg to differ, Maxime’s way with music and words certainly continues his dad’s legendary legacy. Maxime of course adds his own resonating voice to his musical creations, for a full immersion experience of his dramatic and dynamic, cinematic pop compositions.
“The Honest Me Pt.1” is an excellent, earnest piece of pop music that feels individual and unique. It opens with “Is This Love” an acoustic driven banger which is a mostly straightforward pop track, the kind of tune that makes you want to wind down the windows and sing at the top of your lungs. Beautiful, classic strings and a pulsing beat, with crystal vocals floating over it all.
“WTTW (Welcome To The World)” Feat. Naby is our first encounter with Maxime’s theatrical and affecting vocal delivery, which offers a poignant interpretation. Things become even more intense on “Look At Me Now (Feat. Sheryl)”. Brilliantly arranged and orchestrated, this is an absolute album highlight, with all the attractive mainstream wizardry built into the beat.
“Little Words”, once again demonstrates Maxime’s absolute voice control, as well as his ability to orchestrate his music with just the right doses of rhythm, melody and harmony. One moment the song sounds like a chart banger, the next it morphs into an eloquent movie soundtrack.
This is a frequent formula throughout the recording, making “The Honest Me Pt.1” such a unique piece of work in the current music scene. This is a really affecting album, but that’s not what’s only interesting about it to me. What’s fascinating is how specific it feels, unlike anything else you will lay your ears on in 2019. The stunningly emotional piano and cello backing of “Damned”, only confirms this feeling.
There is something almost otherworldly about Maxime Boublil’s music – beautiful, yearning, shimmering, and a little melancholic. Even when he moves the tone up a couple of steps, as on “Tonight”. This is what makes his compositions so captivating. The closing track, “Apologies”, is similar – gentle, sad, and haunting – even when the driving rhythm sets in.
The music of Maxime Boublil has exciting new paths to follow even while adhering to the current trend of beat amplification, echoed choruses and vocals chanting lushly in the background. “The Honest Me Pt.1” is fantastic from start to finish.