Maxwell has artfully managed to transfix music lovers for more than two decades, releasing 4 studio albums, all in his own time - all duly anointed as classics. Now, the Brooklyn-born soul legend returns with his 5th album, BlackSUMMERS’night, the long-awaited second installment of his trailblazing trilogy, a powerful reminder that great music really is about more than moving the twitter needle.
Maxwell’s reentry into the pop orbit straddles but never strains the fertile groundwork he’s already laid as an R&B/soul pioneer. His seminal 1996 debut album, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, which the New York Times credited for ‘turning away gangsta’ machismo to reclaim the utopian spirit of 70s soul…’has been enthusiastically re-celebrated recently in an avalanche of commemorative articles marking the 20th anniversary of the genre spawning debut. His last album, 2009’s #1 debuting, Grammy-winning BLACKsummers’night and its signature single “Pretty Wings,” (which owned the top spot on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Chart for 4 and a half months) tamped down Chapter 1 of the sensual, pathfinding trilogy. The album landed on most critics’ Year’s Best lists and snared 2 Grammys, with Rolling Stone praising it as an ‘album about love, not sex, for grown-ups who know the difference.’