Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. For those who like their pop delicate and unapologetically deep, this is one for turning up loud and wallowing.
  2. Mar 16, 2011
    It's one of the best things you'll hear all year. Bring on the next two.
  3. For all its dimensions and progress, the album is simultaneously designed to ensure that devoted fans will feel the wait was worth it.
  4. The first album in a series of three (all with the same title, differing only in capitalizations) BLACKsummers'night isn't just the soul album of the year, but also a top-tier addition to the canon of a once-fizzling scene.
  5. Maxwell might be delivering one course at a time, but for now, delivering one of the best albums of 2009 will sate your appetite just fine.
  6. Mar 15, 2011
    It's free of gimmicks (Hey, an R&B record without Auto-Tuned vocals!) or trendy producers (No Kanye, no Timbaland; instead, guitarist Hod David does most of the work). No wonder BLACKsummers'night walks its own confident path down the artier fringe of R&B.
  7. 80
    It represents the singer's best work since the aforesaid "Urban Hang Suite." [Sep 2009, p.93]
  8. 80
    The first single's called 'Pretty Wings,' but the whole thing flies.
  9. The album teeters on adult contemporary but never lets go of Maxwell's characteristic playful glint. Anyone remotely interested in his sound should pick this up.
  10. BLACKsummer'snight is a testament that Maxwell hasn't lost a beat.
  11. BLACKsummers'night is however, an impressive return to form. This is undeniably enthralling music: masterful, captivating and marvelous.
  12. While it lacks the iconic significance of his debut, BLACKsummers'night is a record more than worthy of Maxwell's talents, because it trades the physical sensuality of his earlier work for a deep emotional resonance, the performance of an artist whose focus and attention to detail gives his expression a singular veracity.
  13. His sentiments rarely transcend the boudoir--and listeners lulled by the album's unvaryingly sleek, high-gloss beats may just drift off to dreamland before they get there.
  14. Upon first blush, there isn't much to chew on in BLACKsummers'night. Upon second pass, the absences become haunting.
  15. A few tracks (the fuzzy 'Fistful of Tears') miss the mark, but this is the necessary R&B return from one of our great--and seemingly lost--soulmen.
  16. Maxwell's voice is so unusually rich and supple that at best, as on the mercurial 'Bad Habits,' you cannot help but disregard his fondness for cliche.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. Oct 16, 2010
    Fantastic neo-soul album. Maxwell has a been away for way too long, and I'm glad he came back with something so powerful. When someone can actually make an album that you can connect with, rather than just a bunch of junk available for sale, then I remember why I love music so much. Full Review »
  2. Jul 6, 2012
    In my head I knew Maxwell, but this was until I heard the entire BLACK album. Anytime I ear a song of him i get something new that he try to teach me...

    This album is generous. 9 track, yes but that never will want you to miss those 22 records tracks. It is generous in terms of emotion, lyrical content, musicality and humanity. Maxwell shares it all.
    He crosses barriers and shows everyone the most vulnerable side of him. This is a more blues man Maxwell here that tells how broken he is by his previous relationships..
    During his early 20's in the 90's, he definitely was this sex symbol, now he still is but with this added fact that he his a grown man, and we can sense that.
    Every song whether you like them or not, will move you, but still you will like them but you're untitled to your opinion when it comes to which one is you favorite.
    I would say that Black is far from Urban's Hang Suite in so many levels but pretty much link to the 1st album of the soul singer. The sound is different, bold and completed with the generosity add by the sound delivered by his 10 piece band. We can hear wild blues-funk (Cold) slow jams (Stop the world) as far as ballads like the 1st single 'Pretty wings'.
    But it's quite evolved, the arrengements sounds very contemporary (Pheonix Rise) and the way the vintage feeling that occured doesn't seems fake or besides the point. It does shows a deep statement : NOWADAYS SOUL STILL EXISTS.
    The Grammy award winner let us understand that it was better for him to step away for a moment so that he could 'live life to create after' and bring us some raw material and it was WORTH waiting for so long. And still, if you don't know who Maxwell is, I would say that it is never too late. His discography justify what a lover of music he is and how his music doesn't respond to all the dictated codes of the industry and the shift that soul/rnb music is taking.

    ENJOY this album and keep you ears wide open and feel every sound of it.
    Full Review »
  3. albertaa
    Sep 11, 2009
    This album was worth the wait. These days the public are forced to listen to music with no story, lyrics with no meaning and voices with no soul. Maxwell has definitely given us 'real music'. Music that will be remembered and appreciated for a long time. Full Review »