As the hottest band to break out of Seattle in more than a decade, Maktub walks a high road of expectations. To come out on top in that market, to be voted Best Band in the Seattle Weekly over hometown heavies like Pearl Jam, to more than hold their own while opening for headliners like the Dave Matthews Band Earth, Wind & Fire and Coldplay, Maktub has to be that good.
More than that: They’ve got to be different even as they draw from artists like Prince, Led Zeppelin, and Sly Stone — those who also channeled multiple influences into a sound unlike anything played in their time.
Maktub’s new CD, Say What You Mean, compresses the diversity of their first two releases, Subtle Ways and Khronos, into an exhilarating, high-impact style. Locked into a taut groove behind singer Reggie Watts (known throughout the Northwest for his passionate vocals, riveting presence, live onstage sampling, and spectacular Afro) the band digs down to its essence and comes up with a sound that’s original yet accessible to the widest range of listeners.
Think of it as a Soul sprinkled with psychedelia and a high-octane, pop/rock blend. Better yet, don’t think at all until you give Say What You Mean a spin. The thundering drum lick that kicks off “Promise Me,” the Memphis heat and teasing beat of “Say What You Mean,” the crescendos that whip the choruses of “20 Years” into explosions of emotion — whatever you want to call this music, it’s impossible to ignore and even harder to forget.