8.4 - PITCHFORK 4* - THE GUARDIAN 4* ROLLING STONE 4.5* - ALL MUSIC
'blackSUMMERS'night' is Maxwell's first album in seven years. It is the second instalment in a musical trilogy that began with 2009's platinum-selling, 'BLACKsummers'night,' which debuted at #1 and was one of the year's most critically lauded releases.
The new album comes 20 years after his genre-defining debut 'Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite.'
The singer and songwriter recorded 'blackSUMMERS'night' in New York over the last several years.
"I'm working with all of the same people on the new album. It's always been a family type of thing, and I think that that's what, maybe, has made it special. It feels, to me, even better than what we did twenty years ago," he said recently.
Maxwell redefined classic soul music in April of 1996 when he released his critically acclaimed debut on Columbia, 'Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite.' It earned Grammy nominations, double platinum status and RIAA gold for the single, "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)."
The platinum albums 'Embrya' (1998) and 'Now' (2001) followed. After eight years, 2009's 'BLACKsummers'night' debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and won two Grammys, including Best R&B Album.
To date, Maxwell has achieved 13 gold and platinum certifications from the RIAA.