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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
311-B Jefferson St. Lafayette, LA 70501
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
All records are visually graded by our experienced staff, using a bright lamp and an Audio-Technica ATLP-120 turntable.