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Blacksummers'Night

Blacksummers'Night

6 Jul 2009

£5.79 (VAT included if applicable)

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 3 July 2009
  • Release Date: 3 July 2009
  • Label: Columbia
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 37:18
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002CIER98
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,674 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Mehmet on 6 Nov 2009
Format: Audio CD
Eight years on and the very talented Maxwell is back. He has a new look and a slightly new sound and this initially made me nervous because in my view if something is working then don't tamper with it. But I guess with maturity comes evolution and the result is a fairly short album but one that grows each time you play it. As you would expect from a Maxwell CD, the tracks are dreamy, smooth and soulful and I would be hard pressed to choose a favourite. I also think its genius to end the album with a funky instrumental, which should feel out of place but works very well. I'm pleased this is the first of a trilogy because I very much look forward to parts 2 and 3. A welcome return!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Yorkshire Walker on 10 Jan 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I discovered this album while listening to around 20 albums of various genre on a long haul flight, and I bought it as soon as I got home. I'd never heard of Maxwell, despite having had a liking for soul music since my youth. There were shades of Lynden David Hall on some tracks, one of my old favourites who sadly died young a few years back.

This album sounds like it features top notch session musicians with plenty of brass, piano and great clear, crisp vocals by Maxwell on all tracks. So it's time for me start buying the back catalogue I reckon, and look forward to getting the second part of the Black Summers Night Trilogy when it is released. This is an outstanding album for lovers of soul music.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Music Lover on 11 July 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The cover photograph in black and white indicates that much has changed in the years since 2001's 'Now', and fans might well wonder if the markedly changed physical appearance captured on the cover is likely to be reflected in the music to be found on this album.

Arguably the answer is 'yes'. Lasting just 37.26 the music is like the photograph, lean sounding and shorn of unneccesary production flourishes. The opener 'Bad Habits' opens with the reassuringly familiar Maxwell vocal hovering over a sustained keyboard note before descending to caress over a gradually developing organic groove. Fans of the 'Urban Hang Suite' will recognise the soundscape, but will note the live playing which ends with a delightful instrumental coda featuring the light touch trumpet playing of Keyyon Harrold. Fans familiar with the work of Roy Hargrove and Russell Gunn will likely hear echoes of their work too.

This continues with 'Cold', where Maxwell's voice is married to a searching percussive groove again featuring the notable melodic trumpet work of Harrold. 'Pretty Wings' is instantly recognisable as the standout melodic song on the album, and may well serve as the most commercially viable way for fans unfamiliar with Maxwell to engage with him, supported by the fact that this was the song performed by him at the 2009 Black Entertainment (BET) Awards. 'Help Somebody' is the most obviously rock influenced track, and whilst it might not appeal immediately it has an undeniable quality that will seduce the ear over time.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Apollo 11 VINE VOICE on 21 July 2009
Format: Audio CD
I was expecting a lot (nay, a great deal) from the first Maxwell album in far too many years, and upon the first listen I was... underwhelmed. However, after a few spins I'm really appreciating, and fixed on how genuinely different and well crafted this album is. So much so that I'd say the man's still got it and he's still evolving. Papa M's most definitely got a new bag, and it's bizarrely retro; yet in being so, his fourth proper album is utterly fresh and forward facing. And it's just in time because music desperately needs a cleansing air blown across its stale, stagnant waters.

Where much neo-soul (for want of a better compartment) is overly fussy, cluttered and generally synthetic once you get past the vocals, BSN is primarily organic and straight up. Which explains why I was initially underwhelmed. I've always favoured Maxwell for, amongst other reasons, his inventive way with instrumentation and song structure. Having been unafraid to bring ambient and leftfield ideas into his mix, arguably the greatest male soul artist of his generation, has always sought to offer up something unique, to buck the trend. Often to his detrement, commercially. However on that front, BSN is quite an about-face. As a collection it appears to be all about the possibilities of simple instrumentation and the priceless interplay of live players. In other words, this is RnB in the true, original sense of the term; yet a re-take on classic RnB that is reflective of the here and now.

There's no clickety-clack drum machines. No smoke and mirrors fancy editing hiding a lack of fundamental song structure. In fact it's so refreshingly real that it actually strides miles beyond the mainstream studio fodder of everyone from Beyonce to Angie Stone.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Craig H on 8 July 2009
Format: Audio CD
After an 8 year hiatus, Maxwell finally returns with an album of fresh material. Joined by his excellent session band, Maxwell launches in to the album with 'Bad Habits', a lush arrangement of brass and organs, and lyrically Maxwell is once again on top form. This song sets the tone of album nicely and Maxwell clearly isn't afraid to let the band play. 'Playing Possum' is a beautiful stripped down acoustic moment, featuring an extended trumpet solo and 'Pheonix Rise' is an instrumental that straddles the line between electro-pop and neo-soul. However, Maxwell seems his most triumphant when he returns to his soul roots. 'Fistful of Tears', 'Stop The World' and 'Pretty Wings' all find Maxwell on his A game as he croons over the gorgeous arrangements.

It's rare to find an album these days where the artist pays as much attention to the musical arrangement as they do the vocals and lyrics but BLACKSummers'Night certainly doesn't suffer from this problem. Maybe this is why so many hold Maxwell in such high regard. It may only have 9 tracks but these are 9 of the finest tracks you will have heard in a long long time.
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