MAXO - can't hold me back


MAXO, a solo artist hailing from Australia has put out a brand new single, Can’t Hold Me Back. An anthem in delivery, and tinged with plenty of pop-rock stylings, it’s a very simple track that’s full of energy and classic popular musings. 

With its feeling of simplicity laced throughout, it takes a familiar formula and sticks to it rigidly. With a sound that’s ripped straight from the early 2010s, it’s hard to not wonder if you’ve heard the song before because you’ve heard stuff like it. That is ‘Can’t Hold Me Back’s’ biggest downfall right there, it’s a little too familiar. 

Whilst the simple use of gang vocals, an acoustic guitar, and MAXO’s stellar vocal performance, are all excellent assets and are used to great effect here, the sound is nothing new. It’s a stomping anthem that’s triumphant and powerful, one that’s sure to have head nodding and foot tapping galore, but also one that stirs very little in the way of inspiration. It’s got the same stylings as an old reliable car, it gets the job done well, but that’s all it does. 

Despite this, the overall production here is on point. Everything from the cleanly edited sound incorporates everything together elegantly and familiarly. The simple drum beat and acoustic guitar make for a great basis, as it brings in this folk-pop feeling that still sounds great in the present day. 

The shining point is MAXO’s delivery though. It’s a solid performance that’s full of heart, with this triumphant feeling throughout that does stir the listener. It’s the one thing a solo artist needs to break themselves out into the music scene, a good set of pipes. MAXO has this in spades, and it really defines the quality of “Can’t Hold Me Back”. 

Whilst its abundantly radio-friendly, inoffensive sound is pleasant to listen to, it’s this same safeness that undermines that strive for innovation and a new sound that music should constantly be striving for. It’s a tale of two songs in some ways, with a fantastic beat and feel, but a letdown in its lack of originality.