Friday, July 3, 2009

MUSIC SNOB Review: MAXWELL


"He's BACK."

That's what just about every woman (and yes, even some men b/c they KNOW what this could mean in the late night long run) is saying. Maxwell has finally - officially - graced us again with his voice. I instantly loved his voice from his '96 debut to his last album sighting in '01. Maxwell vanished to get away from the sex symbol "hysteria" Black women surrounded him with but he has returned with BLACKsummers'night (July 7th), the first disc in a 3-part trilogy. You all will still love me after this review...right??

I don't love it. I have honestly tried but BLACK is missing something to me and I will continue to listen to figure out what it is. "Pretty Wings," which we all know is the lead single, is lyrically a beautiful song but it doesn't tug at my heartstrings like most Maxwell songs tend to do to me. The intro song, "Bad Habits," is my personal favorite partly because of the lyrics (again) but primarily because of the band. As a matter of fact, the only part of the cd I DO love is the band - they manage to SHINE throughout every song. Another favorite is "Playing Possum" where it seems [to me] that we get a little glimpse of the man with "the voice." His tone isn't too high or too low; on the contrary, it just...fits. It embodies what the album could have been. Other than that, the other six songs just seem like songs you play at a dinner party and not pay any real attention. It's also important to note that Maxwell has found a very interesting raspiness to his voice that we've never heard.

So, what was the problem? I think Maxwell is in a different place so, at the very least, we're not seeing too many of the ballads we've come to know him for and so we get his version of "funk." But with only 9 songs, it is super important that we aren't questioning "where he's going" with this album. It's okay though - I'm happy he's back. No really, I am...just not loving his Welcome Back party of a cd. I'll patiently wait for 2010 when blackSUMMERS'night is supposedly released.

We're still friends, right??

10 comments:

K*Mack said...

*stare*

*blinks*

ummmm errrr yeaaa....ionno. Your review has strained our friendship for sure. I will come back to this after I have listened to the album...

hmph.

Mz. SunShyne said...

Hey, it's me, N.O. LADI. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the band on this cd. "Fistful of Tears" is my favorite song on the cd. "Bad Habits" has great lyrics as well. I totally agree that something is missing. It's not in the same vein of prior Maxwell joints. I know artist evolve & grow but I think some times they have to hold true to the thing that makes them unique. I am waiting to hear the remaining 2 discs of this trilogy.

Ummi said...

Yes we're still friends. But I have yet to check it out. Thanks for the review.

Eb the Celeb said...

Girl... that's why we cool cuz we keeps it real... I dont love it either and I got all kinds of side eyes for saying so. I loved bad habits when I say it live last year but it didn't relay as well on CD. My fav track is "Fistful of Tears." Like you I also love Playing Possum. But overall... after 8 years... I expected more. Hoping the trilogy gets better.

LovinMe4Me said...

Before I start (AHHHHHHHHH.....MAXWELL IS BACK!!!)

Ok, I'm back, yes we are still friends. Truthfully, there are some songs that will grow on me but overall I REALLY REALLY LIKE IT!!

I'm happy Maxwell is back and I can't wait to see him live.

XOXO

Southern Girl said...

I'm glad that I'm not alone. It's definitely different, and it has taken me a lot of times to listen to like it. But something is missing.

K*Mack said...

I've had the chance to review it and unfortunately I am one of the few of you all that love it. I think the prob is that everyone is expecting another Cococure or Now album and that's already done. He's def singing with more feeling and edginess which I happen to adore. I love the entire album.

Lynette said...

from what I have heard I like the CD. Thanks for the honest review.

Lyrically speaking said...

This post had me laughing, cause some people are thrilled that Maxwell is back while others are like "whatever", lol, I'm ok that he's back. I was never a huge fan, but my sister is and just 2 nights ago her husband surprised her with Maxwell tickets at this spot in Cleveland Ohio. She said it was very crowded, mostly women but that they had front row seats, she went out of her mind, especially when Maxwell layed his body on the floor on stage, she explained how he was extremely sexual. "He's a freak!" is what she told me. My brother downloaded some of his new songs for me in my Ipod, to me they're ok. I'm really looking for the day Sade comes back to us,now that will get me all excited

Organized Chaos said...

I know I'm late, but, I just purchased it this weekend. I'm with you, (and yes we are still friends) it is lacking SOMETHING and but I can't figure out what it is. I loved the band, as well, but I didn't buy it for them, I bought it because it is MAXWELL and that wait was killing me! I can't wait for the remaining CDs of this trilogy, I am hoping for more or what makes us all love him so much to show up and caress my soul.