Friday, April 23, 2010

Rockin' with Maxwell . . .

Music Night this evening at The Wild Reed spotlights “Til the Cops Come Knockin’,” one of my favorite tracks from Maxwell’s 1996 album Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite.

Of this particular album, Wikipedia notes:

[Maxwell’s debut album] received generally positive reviews from most music critics who perceived it as a departure from the mainstream-oriented R&B of the time, earning Maxwell several accolades and comparisons to soul singer Marvin Gaye.

Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite had a considerable impact on Maxwell's career, helping elevate his reputation to that of a sex symbol and a serious performer on the music scene. Maxwell has been credited with shaping the “neo soul” movement that rose to prominence during the late 1990s. Along with D’Angelo’s Brown Sugar (1995) and Erykah Badu’s Baduizm (1997), Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite has been recognized by music writers for providing commercial visibility to neo soul. It has been cited by critics as Maxwell’s greatest work and remains as his best-selling release with domestic sales of over two million copies.

I have to say that I think Maxwell is one of the most beautiful and sensual male singers out there. And I say this not just because of the subject matter of his songs or the way he sings them, but also because of the way he moves – as you’ll see for yourself in the music video below.

For me, it all comes down to appreciating a guy who’s secure enough in his masculinity to get in touch with his feminine energy. And remember, we all have both within! Maxwell is clearly one such secure dude. Note, for instance, how he makes compelling use of his falsetto. This, coupled with his fluid body movements, ensure that tenderness vulnerability, and romantic (as well as sexual) longing are all sensually conveyed.

And none of it detracts from his masculinity. I mean, you don’t doubt for a minute you’re watching a man - even when he's rolling luxuriously (and rather submissively) on the floor! Everything, in fact, works beautifully together – like the rich, multi-layered soul music Maxwell is celebrated for creating. Yes, he’s definitely my kind of guy!

And you’re definitely in for something special with this particular song and video. Enjoy!

For more of Maxwell at The Wild Reed, see:
Maxwell’s Welcome Return
Maxwell in Concert
The Return of Maxwell

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
A Fresh Take on Masculinity
Ian Thorpe’s “Difficult Decision”
The Inherent Sensuality of Roman Catholicism
A Glorious Pop Moment

Musical artists previously featured at The Wild Reed: Enigma, Yvonne Elliman, Lenny Kravitz, Marty Rhone, Don Henley, Propeller Heads and Shirley Bassey, Stephen Gately, Nat King Cole, Enrique Iglesias, Helen Reddy, Australian Crawl, PJ and Duncan, Cass Elliot, The Church, Pet Shop Boys and Dusty Springfield, Wall of Voodoo, Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy, Pink Floyd, Kate Ceberano, Judith Durham, Wendy Matthews, Buffy Sainte-Marie, 1927, Mavis Staples, Maxwell, Joan Baez, Dave Stewart & Friends, Tee Set, Darren Hayes, Suede, Wet, Wet, Wet, Engelbert Humperdinck, The Cruel Sea, Shirley Bassey, Loretta Lynn & Jack White, Maria Callas, Foo Fighters, Rosanne Cash, Jenny Morris, Scissor Sisters, Kate Bush, Rufus Wainwright, and Dusty Springfield.

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