After receiving a whopping six Grammy nominations, Maxwell’s “BLACKsummers’ night” is being hailed as the Album of the Year by several media outlets.
His Grammy Nominations Concert Live performance got the best musical performance of the year from the LA Time’s Ann Powers.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
..Eight years later, [Maxwell has] re-emerged with his moving BLACKsummers’night, which uses a personal love affair and its heart-rending breakup as the emotional well for a subtly sensual set of songs that reflect the pleasure, pain and ultimate sense of loss he experienced. And rather than enlist the usual retinue of star producers and songwriters to score a quick radio hit, he chose to rely on his soaring falsetto, intimate lyrics and a live studio band.
Maxwell: “Sometimes I Just Get Sick Of Myself”
New York Times, (Jon Pareles)
1. Maxwell’s fourth album…defies current R&B on all fronts. It’s gentle and imploring, not cocky. It’s elliptical, not blatant. It’s hand played, by a band complete with a horn section, rather than programmed. It’s so improvisatory that melodies change from verse to verse. And even when the rhythm gets funky, the sad, lovely songs — about a crumbling romance — are suffused with a yearning that’s almost too intimate. It’s soul music reinventing itself, moment to moment.
Washington Post (Chris Richards)
1. Maxwell’s R&B masterstroke topped charts with a poise that evoked past, present and futures unknown. And while the neo-soulman’s falsetto can bend time, heartbreak remains inescapable.
NY Daily News (Jim Farber)
1. …Rather than simply mimicking the sensual old sound of Marvin Gaye, as so many neo-soul stars do, Maxwell offered a compete rethink. The new songs unfold slowly and cunningly, like mystery stories, with surprise melodies and fresh arrangements evolving along the way. Better, Maxwell’s falsetto has never sounded more flexible, sweeping between the notes with the agility of an aerialist.
Los Angeles Times (Ann Powers)
Best of 2009
Few artists make music as attuned to the subtle dynamics of love and sex as this soulful tone poet. That this album was a hit proves that, even in the age of the Auto-Tuned booty call, some listeners still have taste
Associated Press (Nekesa Moody)
Best of 2009
..with BLACKsummers’night — a compact, cohesive gem of an album — we were reminded of how much we missed Maxwell’s sensuous songs and plaintive croon. Maxwell’s music also provided R&B with what it sorely lacked: a grown and sexy man who offers layered songs about relationships instead of sex, sex and more sex (are you listening, R. Kelly?).
Philadelphia Inquirer (Dan Deluca)
Best of 2009
The first in a proposed trilogy, BLACKsummers’night derives its power from its persistent melancholy, and sublimely patient approach. Grown-up music that’s full of feeling, but never overplays its hand.
Talent wins every time!!!