Studio Album by released in 2009
BLACKsummers'night's tracklist:
Bad Habits
Pretty Wings (Uncut)
Help Somebody
Stop the World
Love You
Fistful of Tears
Playing Possum
Phoenix Rise

BLACKsummers'night review

BLACKsummers'night is the first part of the trilogy

Neo-soul and R&B singer Maxwell was born and grew up in New York, the US. In spite of the fact that a young man was very religious and sang in a local Baptist choir, he decided to choose music as his profession only at age seventeen. However, when Maxwell made his mind to be an artist, he did all that was possible and tried hard to achieve success. He got a contract with the major label Columbia in 1994. Nevertheless, the management of the label had serious doubts about the potential of the young singer and postponed the release of Maxwell’s debut for two years. When the disc Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, fulfilled in the best traditions of the classical soul, saw light, the artist made an overwhelming leap to the fame. The disc was certified gold and got the Grammy nomination. Maxwell fastened his success with no less acknowledged albums tilted Embrya and Now. However, since 2001, he did not make a record. The public started to forget about the artist, but in 2009, Maxwell promised the listeners the long-play BLACKsummers'night. Moreover, this disc is going to be not only the marvelous come back by the performer on the big scene, but also it will be the first part of a trilogy. The second disc is planned in 2010, while the third should be expected in 2011. Right now, we can enjoy the beauty of all the tracks on BLACKsummers'night and get cheered by this wonderful gift for the listeners – especially the long-time appreciators of Maxwell.

Maxwell is still a perfect story-teller

The new work by the performer shows us that Maxwell both still in a perfect vocal shape and a wonderful sty-teller. His piercing ballads grasp the soul thanks to the strong melodies, the expressive voice of the artist and his masterful verses. The disc opens with the swift and emotional composition Bad Habits, in which Maxwell demonstrates us the richest abilities of his vocal chords with the accompaniment of a life orchestra. The track Cold narrates of the pure and passionate love of a man to a woman, and the lyrical character is not afraid to make his feelings public. However, a strong disappointment is prepared for him – the object of his passion is ice cold to everyone. The sentimental and elegant tune Pretty Wings also tells us how the relations are spoiled and destroyed with the time, even if the beloved are connected by really strong affection from the beginning. The neo-soul track Help Somebody can be called the classical number for Maxwell in the matter of music, while the lyrics is devoted to such topic as forsaking one’s selfishness in a relationship. Such wonderful tracks as Stop The World and Love You became juicy and metaphor-filled stories by Maxwell about the changes and happiness that love brings into our life. However, they are followed by such tragic compositions as Fistful Of Tears and Playing Possum, the latter written about a wish to revitalize the dead love. The album closes with the beautiful instrumental number Phoenix Rise.

The artist grasped the second breath

We do not know what Maxwell did for those eight years of his career that he was absent from the scene, but we can guess from his songs that the personal affairs were a hard challenge to him. Nevertheless, the artist did not lose his charm and elegance and his come-back with the disc BLACKsummers'night looks like a harmonic and awaited move, in spite of being clumsy, as it happened with some other singers. For almost a decade of a creative rest, the musicians not only kept in touch with his knowledge and skills, he also did not lose his feeling of time. The arrangements, vocals, texts – all these elements of the album are fulfilled scrupulously and accurately, in the moods of classical soul, but they do not have a slightest hint for being obsolete. The BLACKsummers'night release features only nine tracks, but each of them can be called a little masterpiece without exaggeration. All these songs were worth eight years of waiting, especially for the devoted fans of the neo-soul artist. Well, somebody may think that nine track are not enough for a triumphant come back of the artist, but the total absence of filling songs will eliminate such thoughts immediately. If you take in consideration that we should expect two more albums in the following years - and Maxwell already knows in which style both of them will be recorded, by the way – then any doubts in his talent should be abandoned. The mysterious absence of Maxwell is over, while the world neo-soul disc collection is enlarged by such a priceless edition as BLACKsummers'night.

Ninelle Kazakoff (20.07.2009)
Rate review4.50
Total votes - 214

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