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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite (1996) – Album Review

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Rapper Turned Actor

Bernie Mac

Jelisa M.
Jelisa is a lover of all music, but 90's R&B has a special place in her heart. She considers the 90's a groundbreaking era for black entertainment that should be celebrated more. "Music is my love language and movies are my mistress."

Music Review • First of all, Maxwell been bae since 98 so back off HOOCHIES! I almost didn’t know the love of my life existed because according to a Rolling Stone 2021 interview, Maxwell had doubts of being a singer. “I wasn’t so sure that I really wanted to be in the front. I saw in the media how people are mocked and destroyed — I didn’t have that kind of thick skin.” He was only writing for other artist until Stuart Matthewman, well known writer for Sade, heard his demo for “Til the Cops Come Knockin” and the rest is history.

The first single released off his debut album “..Til the Cops Come Knockin” made the ladies weak in the knees. Those smooth vocals over that sensual beat were instant panty melters. That man said “I’ll be your lotion,” and I suddenly need lotion. Whew! Although this single didn’t have much commercial success, the second single “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)” helped Maxwell get that commercial success he deserved. With that jazz sound that you could hit a cute 2 step with, this sound earned him the comparisons to Marvin Gaye and Prince.

maxwell gifs | WiffleGif

The third single “Sumthin Sumthin” gave the audience another mid tempo groove that will make you hit that aunty at the cookout dance moves with that YAK in the cup. The alternate version “Sumthin’ Sumthin’: Mellosmoothe” that was released on the “Love Jones” soundtrack is probably one of my favorite Maxwell songs. If you go over someone house & this is playing in the background, just go ahead & get ready for a long night. 

To end it off, “Whenever, Wherever, Whatever” was that track that you play when you want to let someone know that you’re in love with them. “I give you the breath that I breathe” is pretty extreme but that’s why 90s love ballads are superior. They talked about REAL LOVE! Ugh! I miss that kind of music now.

This is a timeless album that you put on when you want to sit back and vibe. You can do a few 2 steps, get a little jazzy with it and then end it with a nice night cap all within an hour. For sure one of the top Neo-Soul albums of the 90s. Maxwell gave us pure organic R&B/Soul with a side of jazz on this classic album.

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