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Thursday, July 9, 2009

BLACKsummer's night - Maxwell

(((Rating: 5)))

Bangers: Bad Habits, Pretty Wings (Uncut), Stop the World, Fistful of Tears

Perhaps I wasn't as musically astute as I am now, when Maxwell first hit the scene with his debut album Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite in 1996. Now, some odd years later after releasing 3 platinum albums and one gold, MTV Unplugged, he has returned with his silk voice and satin lyrics. Has our BLACKsummer's knight come to capture us all again?

Bad Habits - As Maxwell described, the rhythm is that of a windshield wiper, and not that of a melody you would usually hear. He uses his vocals in a falsetto that is sure to make love to many listeners. "This is the highest cost, take you and make you off, love you and leave you lost....will you forgive me?" Maxwell proves here, quickly that he will be the Bad Habit, if only for 8 more songs. Repeat.

Cold - Funky. Horns. More horns. There's a type of syncopation here in the rhythm. You can catch it and then you lose it. "How can you be so colddddd....?" Definitely danceable if you can find your rhythm.

Pretty Wings (Uncut) - If there was ever a song to perfectly describe finding the person perfect at the most inopportune time, this song would be the epitome of such encounter. The lyrics are lovely to say the least and the melody is close to a lullaby as Maxwell sings, "pretty wings, pret-ty wings..." Excellent first single choice.

Help Somebody - When I hear this song, it honestly makes me want to help someone. I can envision this song during the climax of a movie. It is very dramatic, involved and intense with live instruments being played throughout. Repeat. "Help somebody, help somebody, show em what it is, give a little bit morreeee..." Awesome song.

Stop The World - "Someone stop the stop, yeaa, seems like a moment has come and I'm gonna get you girl..." Maxwell croons in a mid-tone and mid-falsetto melody here and it is truly beautiful as he explains his needs for a lady. This is definitely a song for the lovemakers. Kiss. Make Love. Repeat as needed.

Love You - This song is on a mission, as it sounds like Maxwell and every instrument playng alongside him, is running. "I can be everything you want me to be, I just want to love you." Nice.

Fistful of Tears
- I fell in love with this song upon first listen and it is very old Prince-esque musically and innovatively written. The piano and drum beat is stellar. "Feels just like a weight has been lifted, how can I repay you, help me understand currency, a fistful of tears, I can afford...time will reveal, all along you're the one who's losing."

Playing Possum - Very mellow. Interesting to say the least. "Speak your regrets, baby call out my name..." Maxwell sings along to an acoustic guitar as he calls out his lover and pleads for her to stop "possum playing". Lovely.

Phoenix Rise - Synths. Various live instruments seem to vibe off one another in a experimental jazz-fusion kind of way. Instrumental all the way through as Maxwells vocals aren't heard one time but his essence is everywhere in throughout the song.