Maxwell – “Lifetime”


“Lifetime” is a song by American R&B/soul singer Maxwell, and is the second single from his album titled “Now,” released October 16, 2001. The song was a top-five hit on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart and peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Neo-Soul –

Along with fellow musicians D’Angelo and
Erykah Badu and Maxwell have been credited with helping to shape the “neo-soul” movement that rose to prominence during the late 1990s. Along with D’Angelo’s Brown Sugar (1995) and Badu’s Baduizm (1997), Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite has been recognized by writers for beginning neo soul’s popularity and helping the genre obtain commercial visibility. However, in contrast to D’Angelo, Maxwell was more conventional in his approach on his debut album.

In commenting on the “new soul revival” in music, Maxwell told Entertainment Weekly in 1997 that “everything out there musically was inspired or influenced by something from the past. It’s not about creating some super-fresh new thing. If it doesn’t lend itself to your history, how is it going to extend to your future? That’s what’s really brilliant about looking into children’s eyes—you can see their parents in them.” The Washington Post called him “the Marvin Gaye of the ’90s.” Its columnist wrote that Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite “heralded the arrival of a top-of-the-class graduate of the old school of soul, one who could sing about romantic aspiration and tribulation with heart-wrenching emotion. It was as if the aesthetic that Gaye ascribed to — ‘music that has feeling, hope and meaning – all the things people are looking for’ — had been rediscovered after a long, hedonistic interlude.”

Maxwell’s role in writing and producing the album exhibited a level of artistic control by an R&B artist that was uncommon in the recording industry at the time. On his emergence with Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, writer Carol Brennan cited him, along with the Fugees, D’Angelo, and Tony Rich, as neo-soul musicians that “exhibited the identifying characteristics of this new breed of R&B artists: lyrics that give voice to intense personal expression, creative control over the music, and an unexpectedly successful debut.”

Song Lyrics –

I was reborn when I was broken

I wouldn’t believe, I wouldn’t believe, no

Been through a storm, no use in hoping

That you would come rescue me

Somehow your love set me free

And I, I can let my life pass me by

Or I can get down and try

Work it all out this lifetime

Work it on out this time

I can let it all pass me by

Or I can get down and try

Work it all out this lifetime, lifetime

There was a time when love wasn’t chosen

Now I’m just open for more

Now I’m just reaching out for something better

Than I had before, girl

There ain’t a bottom line in your world

Ooh and I, I can let my life pass me by

Or I can get down and try

Work it all out this lifetime

Work it on out this time

I can let it all pass me by

Or I can just try and try

I can move to the light

Oh if I take it one day at a time (oh I)

Oh spread my love out and fly

Oh I (I can move to the light)

Ooh I can just make you understand

That love is not a fairy tale in a melody

If you want it you can have it girl

Maybe you will see, maybe you will see

Ooh oh oh whoa oh

(Lifetime, lifetime)

And I, I can let my life pass me by

I can just try and try

Work it all out this lifetime, lifetime

I can let it all pass me by

Or I can get just, all right now

(Lifetime, lifetime)

I can let my life pass me by

Work it on (Lifetime, lifetime)

I can let my life pass me by

There’s no way, there’s no way

I won’t leave you, I won’t leave (Lifetime, lifetime)

I can let my life pass me by

You’re so mine, baby

(Lifetime, lifetime)

Written by: Musze, Hod David

S. Matthewman

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