Results for Maxwell

reviews
blackSUMMERS'nightblackSUMMERS'night available on iTunes

Maxwell blackSUMMERS'night

Neo soul artist Maxwell does things his own way and on his own schedule. Over his twenty year career he has put out five albums, sometimes with long periods of time between them. In 2009 he released BLACKsummers'night and announced it as the first of a trilogy. Seven years later, he has finally released part two of that series with the confusingly similar title blackSUMMERS'night. Jim and Greg both say Maxwell's sensitive style on this album is well worth the wait. Greg notes that Maxwell bucks the R&B trend of loading up on guest appearances and star producers. Instead he does it on his own and creates a sound that is unique and complex. And that complexity carries through to the album's“bedroom jams”adding a level of“lyrical density”to the genre. Jim hears echoes of Prince on the album as“gender gets lost in the mix”and notes an overarching respect for love and relationships. blackSUMMERS'night gets a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 554
BLACKsummers'night (Deluxe Version)BLACKsummers'night available on iTunes

Maxwell BLACKsummers'night

After breaking out of the neo-soul movement along side Lauryn Hill and D'Angelo, singer Maxwell took an almost decade-long hiatus. Now he is back with BLACKsummers'night. Greg likes that he doesn‘t hear anything trendy on this record. It reminds him of artier soul albums from the late ’70s. The hooks aren‘t in abundance, but it’s got grit. Greg gives Maxwell a Buy It rating. Jim wishes he could be as enthusiastic. There are a couple of great songs, but for the most part he found the album sleepy. He wishes Maxwell threw a little more fire into BLACKsummers'night and gives it a Try It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 189
dijs

Greg

“Emma”Hot Chocolate

Maxwell got Greg in the mood for some of that great soul music from the late '70s era. For him the British group Hot Chocolate stands out from the rest. They had a big hit with "You Sexy Thing," but that track doesn't do them justice. Hot Chocolate came out of the ska and reggae tradition that emphasized great storytelling. You can hear this on the song "Emma," Greg's Desert Island Jukebox addition for this week.

Go to episode 189

Jim

“Flew a Falcon (Nut & Bolts Version)”Richard Barone

This week, Jim chose what he calls a "perfect power pop gem" for his desert island jukebox pick. He selected Flew a Falcon (Nut & Bolts Version) by Richard Barone. Barone was the frontman of New Jersey power pop band The Bongos. Jim says Flew a Falcon is about a teen "realizing that there are incredible forces inside you, and you don't know what to do with them". The song is also a nostalgic pick that reminds him of his days sneaking into to the rock club Maxwell's in Hoboken as an underage fan in the 1980s.

Go to episode 624
lists

The Best of 2009… So Far

Lists are just too much fun to do them only once a year. Here are Jim and Greg's mid-year best album lists.

Greg

  • St. Vincent, Actor
  • Neko Case, Middle Cyclone
  • Amadou & Mariam, Welcome to Mali
  • The Decemberists, The Hazards of Love
  • Maxwell, BLACKsummers'night
  • Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • Mastodon, Crack the Skye
  • Dan Deacon, Bromst
  • Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It's Blitz

Jim

  • Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • Neko Case, Middle Cyclone
  • The Decemberists, The Hazards of Love
  • Lily Allen, It's Not Me, It's You
  • Morrissey, Years of Refusal
  • Franz Ferdinand, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
  • PJ Harvey and John Parish, A Woman a Man Walked By
  • Moby, Wait for Me
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It's Blitz
  • Passion Pit, Manners
  • Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • Metric, Fantasies
  • K'Naan, Troubadour
  • Cursive, Mama, I'm Swollen
  • Bob Dylan, Together Through Life
  • Leonard Cohen, Live in London
  • St. Vincent, Actor
  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
  • Mastodon, Crack the Skye
  • Sonic Youth, The Eternal
  • U2, No Line on the Horizon
  • Wilco, Wilco
  • The Handsome Family, Honey Moon
  • Art Brut, Art Brut vs. Satan
  • Peaches, I Feel Cream
  • Screaming Females, Power Move
  • Dan Deacon, Bromst

A message from Jim: The following, LISTED IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, is my tally of albums mid-year in 2009 that have all warranted 3.5 stars or more on the Chicago Sun-Times‘ 4-star ratings scale (making them all very enthusiastic“buy its”on the“Sound Opinions”scale). I will mention that these are in no particular order (sorry, but that’s reserved for the year-end list), that this list is not all-inclusive (I will no doubt catch up with quite a few discs released earlier in the year by the time I tally the year-end list) and, also, because this always confuses people, THESE ARE IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER. Yet. But they're all really, really, really good albums.

Go to episode 190
news

Music News

(Unfortunately) the music news is often focused on a death in the industry. This week it's the death of a club. Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ will be closing its doors next month. This is the famous bar where Nirvana performed, Bruce Springsteen shot the video for "Glory Days," and Yo La Tengo celebrated Chanukah. This is also the place where a young Jim DeRogatis came of musical age. Read his tribute here. And check out our own live recording at Maxwell's with The Feelies.

Jim and Greg also say farewell to Marvin Junior who sang tenor in the Chicago R&B group The Dells. As Greg explains, the original members performed together for six decades, something many groups from that era weren‘t able to do. Perhaps that’s why Robert Townsend captured their story in The Five Heartbeats.

Go to episode 393