Handsome in his designer clothes and angelic, nappy dreads, Maxwell styles himself a modern-day urban love prophet in the tradition of Marvin Gaye. He concocts a conceptual music suite that purports to tell a fully rounded... more » tale of meaningful love set in the tough but misunderstood inner city. What he delivers, however, contains only the faintest hints of what he promises. Instead we get a whole lot of the same tired R&B elevator slush and lyrics like "Gonna take you in the room suga'/ Lock you up and love for days." Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite is significant only in that it recasts the same old same old as something monumental, and nearly pulls it off. Initially, there's a lot to like about Maxwell: On his openers, "Urban Theme" and "Welcome," the early '80s full-band R&B and jazz pop grooves are reminiscent of Maze's brightest days and Steely Dan's coolest nights. But soon even Maxwell's passionate voice gets lost in a flat mix that turns every song into faceless background music. While R&B is at no loss for suave and sexy personalities to take the stage, a dearth of new ideas keeps the genre for the most part floundering and visionless. In the end, Maxwell's urban hang suite is just another empty room. --Roni Sarig« less
Handsome in his designer clothes and angelic, nappy dreads, Maxwell styles himself a modern-day urban love prophet in the tradition of Marvin Gaye. He concocts a conceptual music suite that purports to tell a fully rounded tale of meaningful love set in the tough but misunderstood inner city. What he delivers, however, contains only the faintest hints of what he promises. Instead we get a whole lot of the same tired R&B elevator slush and lyrics like "Gonna take you in the room suga'/ Lock you up and love for days." Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite is significant only in that it recasts the same old same old as something monumental, and nearly pulls it off. Initially, there's a lot to like about Maxwell: On his openers, "Urban Theme" and "Welcome," the early '80s full-band R&B and jazz pop grooves are reminiscent of Maze's brightest days and Steely Dan's coolest nights. But soon even Maxwell's passionate voice gets lost in a flat mix that turns every song into faceless background music. While R&B is at no loss for suave and sexy personalities to take the stage, a dearth of new ideas keeps the genre for the most part floundering and visionless. In the end, Maxwell's urban hang suite is just another empty room. --Roni Sarig
Mark M. (bvilleborn) from NASHVILLE, TN Reviewed on 8/7/2006...
Groovy...worth it for "Sumthin' Sumthin'"
.... Just the beginning for Maxwell
J. Highsmith | Mitchellville, Maryland United States | 08/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a R&B music fan and you don't have this CD in your collection, you might want to do some soul searching. This is one of the best CDs of all time, in my opinion. I first heard Maxwell when I saw the video for "Til The Cops Come Knockin'". For most new artists, I have to hear a few songs before I buy their debut CD. That wasn't the case this time. Then, to make it even better, "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)" was released to radio, before "Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite" was released. After I purchased the CD and listened to it a couple of times, I realized that Maxwell had a classic on his hands. I would put this CD right up there with D'Angelo's and Chico DeBarge's debut CD, as well as Eric Benet's and Erykah Badu's. Although, their styles are all different, their CDs bring light to a different form of R&B, separate from what you hear most of today. My favorite two songs on the CD are "Welcome" and "Whenever Wherever Whatever". Those two songs represent the best uptempo and slow song on the CD, in my opinion. "Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite" is really an r&b CD with a jazz appeal to it. That's one of the reasons why I like the CD so much. Other gems include, "Sumthin' Sumthin", "Lonely's The Only Other Company" and "Suitelady". I would also recommend that you pick up the "Ascension" (Don't Ever Wonder)" CD maxisingle, because it has a remix version of the original song and a song that is not on the CD called "Lock You Up In Love For Days". You should also pick up "Maxwell's MTV Unplugged" for the classic "This Woman's Work" and his 2nd disc "Embrya". Believe me, you won't be disappointed."
THIS NEO-SOULER'S 2 CENTS....
Neil Sol | Los Angeles, California United States | 09/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yeah, it came out way back in '96, but I just had to throw my 2 coppers in the mix for those on the fence about getting this CD. Get it. NOW! (You like that play on his last CD, huh?)Anyway...this is the most sensual CD ever to come out during the Neo-Soul era. Period. The theme is brilliant: Pick one sexy, soul sista...and rap to her like she was the last jewel on this planet known as Earth. Nuff said. This CD oozes with lust, passion, sex, and overall....love. The jazzy feel, as he WELCOMES you to his URBAN HANG SUITE and makes you his SUITELADY, inviting you to DANCEWITME, puttin' it down so you'll know that without him LONELY'S THE ONLY COMPANY...until the REUNION of you two causes y'all to make love TIL THE COPS COME KNOCKIN', doin' it WHENEVER, WHEREVER, WHATEVER, as your ASCENSION to the heights of love progresses, and all he requests is that you do a lil SUMTHIN' SUMTHIN' to let him know his services were appreciated. I ain't mad at him. But, brothas, let me put it to ya this way...if you ain't in the thongs 30 minutes into listening to this CD...then you wasn't gettin' 'em anyway! You can plan babies off this cat's CD. Get it."
V. Ryan | London Uk | 03/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
GET THIS ALBUM!!If your a lover of quality R&B then this should be in your collection. If its not, then your not as cool as you think you are!!Maxwell, brings an album which is totally fresh and full of great tracks.
Vocally he is top notch and the music will satisfy all.Track 1
The Urban Theme
Basically its an intro. But funky and sets the mood. You've opened the doors to Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite here.Track 2
So your into the Hang Suite now, and Maxwell is welcoming you. This is the first taste of his voice. Its a very cool track that is great to kick back with a drink in your hand and listen too.Track 3
Now we really get into it. This track is out of this world. You might know this one, it was a single. Catchy chorus but oh so cool. Sexy sexy track.Track 4
Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)
This just beats Sumthin Sumthin for the title of the albums best track. One of my favourite songs of all time. Once again its cool and catchy, but its a beautifuly written song. With Maxwell's voice oozing soul, this track is without a doubt fantastic.Track 5
This track is bassy and once again really chilled. Maxwell is making a move this woman and telling her to dance with him. Its another sexy track. Not to be missed.Track 6
Til' The Cops Come Knocking
This is the first ballad on the album. If you want to impress a lady fellas, make them dinner, bottle of wine, with this track playing in the back ground. A winner for sure. Track 7
Whenever Wherever Whatever
A sentence most people like to hear. Another classy ballad. Not a great as Til the cops... but still a beautiful track.Track 8
Lonely's The Only Company
The theme of the album is a chilled one. This ballad is not only fantastic but very emotional. Maxwell's voice range is in full flow here. A corker.Track 9
Bit more upbeat here than the previous three. Still a cool song. Maxwell continues his emotional mood. Superb.Track 10
Suitelady (The Proposal Jam)
Fellas, want to propose to a lady? Let Maxwell do it for you!
His voice shows a completly new side here. Sounds almost like another singer. Its just testement to his vocal ability.
A lady won't say no!Track 11
The Suite Theme
Its the farewell tune. But while other people are leaving the Hang Suite, Maxwell wants one particular lady to stay with him.
Its love making music baby! Fantastic end to a uttely superb album.Overall
I cannot recommend this album highly enough.
You must buy it. Your missing out if you do not have it.
Its just fantastic."
Maxwell---You Take My Breath Away!
Miss DTP | San Antonio, TX USA | 04/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maxwell has restored my faith in R&B music. His beautiful sweeping falsetto takes my soul on a spiritual journey! Just listen to him deliver the opening notes of 'Ascension'-it's like butter.
He switches to an ultra funky tune called 'Dancewitme'. Just lay back for this one and allow the rhythm to penetrate you.Talking about penetration, the haunting single--- 'Til The Cops' does just that. This has to be one of my all time fav Maxwell singles. At the time this single came to radio and BET, nothing else could touch it. Can you believe his record company sat on this album for a year? He again chills you with that heavenly falsetto, moaning how he plans to 'lock you up and love for days'-... :o)The stunning ' Whenever, Wherever, Whatever' is another standout. Mawell sings sweetly as a guitar strums quietly in the background. 'Lonely's the Only Company', 'Reunion', 'Suitelady (The Proposal Jam)', 'The Suite Theme' round out this stellar debut CD. Great Job Mawell!"
A True R&B Album
luvchld2 | Baltimore, MD | 06/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Instant R&B classic. The best debut album i have ever seen from anyone.From start to finish this album is amazing. Everything this man touches turns to gold that will soon become platinum. Even the songs he did for the "BEST MAN SDTRK." were excellent. Here are my picks for the best songs on the album: Ascension- no doubt the song that brought him to our attention. A never-get-old song. Great vocals. Sumthin Sumthin a surprising single that established him as more than a one-hit wonder. Suitelady stand out song becuz of the change in style of singing. Shows his range as a complete singer. Not much else to say about Maxwell but that he can't miss with anything he does. Go get it. It will be worth more than what u paid. Sleeper pick: Till the Cops Come Knockin' unknown first single but still sensual and moving."