Maxwell - BlackSummer's Night

2009-09-21 17:23
 
BlackSumemr's Night
 
This is a different sounding Maxwell. The brother has gone back to his old school soul and R&B roots to bring you a ballad-driven album of heartache and heartbreak.

R&B ballad opener "BadHabits" does help to restore the faith with its low-down sexiness and moody instrumental bits. "PrettyWings" retains those trademark two-line 'ladies jam' lyrics that percolate in your brain long after the song has ended: "I came wrong you were right/Transformed your love into like". And "Love You" will remind you of the old couple crooning Maxwell with lines like "If you take this rib don't let go" just waiting to make it into R&B wedding vows.

Then Maxwell slows it down even further for "Fistful of Tears" and "Playing Possum". The man makes remorse seem as alluring as John Legend makes cheating sexy. But just when you think he is all grown up and regular "Cold" and "HelpSomeBody" take the floor back from the ballads. Once you've listened to the whole album though, you might wish that the former's Latin fusion flavour appeared later on as a spicy break between ballads. Lyrics like "Hell hath no fury than the flurry of your snow, Global warming ain't got nothing on this chick", prove that this tune has a bit of a bite.

It's no righteously wronged rant though. "HelpSomeBody" reveals that Maxwell's focus has moved from the 'me' to the 'we'. He wants to make the world a better place ("Help somebody…give a little bit more"), but he's just a bit uncertain ("If you see the future, ask it if I'm there"). The closing "PhoenixRise" is an apt metaphor and an amazing musical flight that allows you to capture the image of a soul in decline and then reborn triumphantly.

So here's the bottom line: with the 'fro went most of the funk but fans will still dig the R&B ballads, soulful trumpet solos, and lyrics that percolate.

Fans who loved 2001's Now (2001) might well give BlackSummer's Night a rather frosty reception. You'll be missing the funky guitar riffs and wonder what happened to the guy who brought you lyrics like "they be tryin' to bring you flowers, you prefer your roses blue".

What to read next: Kalahari

PRESHEN GOVENDER 2009/09/22 7:41 AM
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Great music to have 2 $ex with
PRESHEN GOVENDER 2009/09/22 7:42 AM
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Great music to have 2 $ex with
PRESHEN GOVENDER 2009/09/22 7:45 AM
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Great music ,it puts you in the mood to have $ex
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