'09 | BLACKsummers'night, Maxwell

Take a break from your scavenger hunt for Michael material to be blessed with what will be one of the best R&B albums of the year. Yesterday Maxwell released the highly-anticipated BLACKsummers'night, his first studio album since 2001's Now. The nine-track set envelopes listeners to a sound of R&B from the past, similar to the work of Al Green who Maxwell honored in his comeback performance at last year's BET Awards. On the push of the first single "Pretty Wings," a somber swan song to a lost love, Maxwell works effortlessly to evoke such emotion and honesty in his lyrics that current R&B has missed. In "Cold" he urgently describes the woman whose frozen his heart on top of warm horns. And with "Fistful of Tears" he tackles the lamenting compromises it takes to keep a relationship's love alive. Even the ending instrumental "Pheonix Rise" is electrifying, signaling the return of a true artist and the return of R&B music to the fullest. No featured rap artist or auto-tune.


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