During the late 1980s and 1990s, Richard Marx’ music told a story. His string of hits went from the romance of “Endless Summer Nights” to the heartbreak of “Should’ve Known Better,” and post break-up regret in “Right Here Waiting.”
He sold millions of records and won a Grammy, but today, the 56-year-old pop-rock singer-songwriter’s music tells a different story. “Limitless,” his first album of original songs in six years, represents a new beginning.
After falling in love later in life and remarrying, Marx said, “I’ve never felt so optimistic about my future,” which he channeled into “Limitless,” almost by accident.
A point person for Marx said he wasn’t available for an interview because of the launch of his current tour, which stops at the Paramount Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, but Marx posted to social media recently, “This is the first time I’ve made an album without the conscious thought of ‘I’m making an album.’
“In my past, my only criteria was to write and record songs that pleased me, and hopefully other people would like them, too,” he said. “So I returned to that ideology and dismissed any concerns of stylistic consistency, and the next thing I knew, I had recorded a diverse album I really liked.”
Co-written with his son Lucas Marx, singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, and his wife, former MTV VJ Daisy Fuentes, among others, Billboard says “Limitless” “successfully navigates the tricky line between familiar and fresh, managing to sound enough like classic Marx to satisfy longtime fans yet also inventive enough to attract new ones.”
“I’ve been concentrated so much on touring — that’s been the main focus of my career for the past few years,” Marx said. “But I started out as a songwriter, and I had to remind myself how important that is. When I was young the impetus for me to write a song was because it brought me great joy. I wanted to come back to that. I had lost sight of the purpose, but I started focusing on writing again.
“Writing this felt very effortless,” he said of the title track. “The lyrics are very much a love letter to Daisy.”
The tumultuous affairs in his lyrics of 30 years ago are replaced in “Limitless” with tracks like “Love Affair that Lasts Forever,” “Let Go” and “This One.”
“The lyrics are very reflective of change,” he explained. “It’s about literally letting go, and relinquishing your white-knuckled grip on life.”