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10/28-10/29 Music for Lovers

Posted by novoscene on October 28, 2008

Jealous men take note and single ladies take heed, lovers grab each other and everyone head over to the Paramount tonight or tomorrow-Maxwell’s in town.

Since his 1996’s debut, Urban Hang Suite, redefined just what it meant to be “Grown ‘n Sexy” (even though he wrote most of the album before he was even old enough to set foot in a club), the Maxwell falsetto has branded its smooth sound onto the collective ear of soul music lovers. He’s made listeners all hot and sweaty on “…Til the Cops Come Knockin’,” reassured every morning after “will they call me” fear on “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder),” and killed, I mean absolutely killed a live cover of Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work”. On 1999’s “Fortunate,” he even did the impossible-dude made an R. Kelly song sound good.

Largely thanks to a skittish record label, Maxwell’s output has been pretty minuscule-three albums and a couple of guest appearances in 12 years-but his influence looms large. Along with Erykah Badu and D’Angelo, he moved R&B into a modern age and made music so dope that we overlook that fact that the genre he helped create eventually dissolved into Neo Soul mediocrity once he and fellow founders left the helm. But hell, how can anyone be mad at that baby face and those eyes you could get lost in, all topped off with his moppy afro of love?

In preparation for the release of his comeback album, a trilogy titled Black Summer Nights, Maxwell spends the next two chilly October nights in downtown Oakland. Grab someone to snuggle with and head over. -kwan

Paramount Theatre
2025 Broadway, Oakland

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