After all the talk and thousands of Tweets, I finally listen to Maxwell’s new album titled “Blacksummers’night”. It starts off in a cloud-like manner as he sings in his trademark high note in the very beginning of the first song, promising he’s back like he never left. The end leaves you in that same cloud-like feeling with the band, especially the drums, playing very celebratory. Feels like this album is going to be the bomb, right?
One thing I enjoyed about the album is that he taps back into the roots of Black music, with musical ties in gospel, blues, and jazz in his style and production. It is definitely a grown and sexy kind of album, the kind of album the Keri Hilson and Lady Gaga fans may not love, but will respect.
Well, one thing I wasn’t a fan of was his lack of strength in his voice. It seems like the heavy subject matter called for a stronger delivery, a delivery which Maxwell did not give. He came at the album very relaxed and chill, which is cool, but can hurt the listeners who need to listen. The people who really listen to lyrics, and need that sort of food for the soul, will not be convinced that he’s serious about them.
However, if he’s going for a chill, travel/leisure, grown-up type of music, then he got it. You can tell he had fun recording this album, as you can hear in his delivery throughout the album. He gives off this sense of fun, no matter how depressing the subject of the songs will be, which seemed to be the majority of the album; this along with his voice puts the Blues back in R&B. Most of what you’ll hear has to do with forgiveness, living in a crazy world, love (of course), and growing. You get the feeling that he wants to be an inspiration to someone who’ll listen. Hopefully his many followers on Twitter will actually listen to his album instead of his hype because it’s actually a good album.
Best Song – Cold: It was a tough decision to make, but this song comes the strongest in delivery and subject matter. He has so much fun with it, you almost go into the character he speaks of.
Worst Song – Helpsomebody: This was a tougher decision, but this song had the worst delivery, yet this was the song he needed it in the most. The whole “we must save the world” thing is becoming played out. The only way to make someone listen is to tweak it to a particular style or deliver a powerful blow to the listener with strength and range, and Maxwell didn’t do much of either. It was a well-written, strength-lacking song on a beautiful album.
Star’s Grade: B+