Friday, July 3, 2009
MUSIC SNOB Review: MAXWELL
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??