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Interview:
Album Trilogy Rejuvinates Maxwell
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

An eight year gap between R&B hero Maxwell’s albums only made fans’ hearts grow fonder.

The Brooklyn-born singer/writer/producer lodged “BLACKsummer’s Night,” his follow-up to 2001’s “Now,” at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart during the summer, with 316,499 copies marking the best sales week of his career. The fans obviously missed him, and Maxwell says he’s just happy they’re still interested.

“I definitely missed it,” he acknowledges. “Sometimes there was a fear, like, ‘Am I waiting too long? Have I ended my career?’ Some people wondered if it was over for me — all those natural things that happen.

“But in the end, I feel superrejuvenated. I feel like I have a zest for what this is again, something that was slipping away from me. Music is such a special thing to me; it’s a gift from God, and I never want to feel like I can’t be bothered with it or something. So I think the time (away) kind of leveled all that and made it new again for me.”

We won’t have to wait long for more Maxwell music, either. “BLACKsummer’s Night” is part of a trilogy that will see the release of the more spiritual and gospelflavored “blackSUMMER’S Night” next year and “blacksummer’s NIGHT,” which he describes as “all slow jams,” slated for 2011.

“I’m not one for keeping everything the same,” explains Maxwell, 36. “I came out with ‘Urban Hang Suite’ (in 1996) and then I put out ‘Embrya’ (in 1998) and they were just totally different records. A lot of people thought I was crazy — ‘You got a thing, man. Stay with it!’ — but that’s safe to me.

“Safe is good, but it’s not exciting. I like people who take risks.”



Maxwell, Robin Thicke and Chrisette Michele perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 26) at Joe Louis Arena, 600 Civic Center Drive, Detroit. Tickets are $20-89.50. Call (313) 471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.

Web Site: www.olympiaentertainment.com

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