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Maxwell is one of my favourite artists and his four albums are amongst my favourite R&B/Neo Soul albums. He was one of the prominent R&B artists of the 1990s and has continued his success into the 00s. This is a collection of his Greatest Hits and of course features some of his greatest work. The majority of the songs on this collection are romantic ballads but a Maxwell collection would not be complete without his more uptempo tracks.
1.) Sumthin' Sumthin'
This track opens with a catchy drum beat and then gets into full swing with a lovely seductive soul sound with fine backing vocals and Maxwell's relaxed lead vocals. A very good track to open the album with and also a fine example of Maxwell's talent for vocal delivery and also the musicianship of the band with some excellent funky soul parts and some excellent soulful guitar licks. A really good example to start the collection with.
2.) Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)
This is one of the more up tempo tracks on this collection, It pleases with some funky licks again. This track really showcases the wonderful falsetto from Maxwell which is really a pleasure to listen to. I like the way the punchy best works with the other instruments to create a very pleasant sound. An excellent track which showcases many strengths of Maxwell as a vocalist and composer.
This is one of my favourite tracks from Maxwell. It's a lovely ballad which really shows off his vocals to great effect. It's another fairly long intro but his vocals come in with a fine emotion which is expressive and relaxed. His vocal performance is rather commanding whilst sounding very natural and laid back. It's an absolutely brilliant track which really shows off his emotion dripping vocals and the lovely musical backing that this song rightly deserves. This is a really beautiful song. A fantastic track to recommend to someone who asks about Maxwell's music.
4.) ...Til The Cops Come Knockin'
This is the one of the best tracks on the album, This is a brilliantly flowing track which tells the story of a romantic evening in which leads into frantic passionate sex which leads to the police being called by the Neighbour due to the Noise. This is a very impressive track. Great stuff. I really like the flow of the track as it moves along at a nice pace and has a catchy feel.
5.) For Lovers Only
This is another beautiful track which is laid back and seductive. His gorgeous falsetto is there again in all it's glory and this song just feels so good and relaxing. There's some really backing music and a catchy beat that runs through the track. Beautiful Sax comes and goes. Wonderful. It is some excellent music to chill to and the words will hit home and relate with some.
This is a really catchy mid tempo track which has some funky beats and hooks which combine well with his sweet falsetto to create a nice sound. This track is one of the more different tracks on the album and really works quite well for that and other reasons. It's chorus has a strong melody with the backing harmonies and music combining well. This is again one of the better up tempo tracks on the album which shows a different side to Maxwell. A contender for best up tempo track on the album.
7 This Woman's Work
Every so often a song comes along that totally changes your opinion of a song and this was it. An absolutely extraordinary and beautiful version of a song by Kate Bush which I didn't care about at all. This is truly one of the greatest covers I have ever heard or more specifically, Perhaps the best cover version of a song I didn't like before, making an amazing song out of the original. The falsetto from Maxwell is quite superb and the emotion is incredible. This is one of my all time favourite versions of any song. An extraordinary effort which shows all facets of his voice to outstanding results. Just Beautifu
8.) Whenever Wherever Whatever
This track is a lovely stripped down ballad about devoting yourself to someone you love and that you will be there for them. This track really shows off the emotion in her voice as well as his gorgeous falsetto which is very impressive indeed. Lovely song which really showcases the great vocal ability and also the great structure that he brings to his songs. great stuff.
9 Suitelady (The Proposal Jam)
This Is another very fine track indeed. This Mid tempo ballad has a great flow and the seductively smooth backing vocals add a great touch to Maxwell's fine vocals. This is another outstanding ballad. Wonderful stuff which is a fine inclusion on this collection.
10.) I'm You:You Are Me And We Are You
This is another up tempo cut which made the collection. It starts with some funky hooks and some taut beats, the track develops with Maxwell's vocals which come in after a while and the song develops rather nicely. Some of the vocals are in Spanish which works pretty well alongside the English vocals. This is one of the lesser known tracks on the collection but it's still a good track.
11.) Matrimony: Maybe You
This is a really nice groove which has a slow pace but features catchy guitar licks. It also features some smooth backing vocals which blend well with Maxwell's lead vocal. Not one of his more well known tracks this is still a rather good track which has a lot going for it and has the fine examples of his vocal purity and the music has a nice flow too. This is a decent song with a decent sound.
This is a lovely song which really showcases his falsetto well. The musical backing of gentle beats and guitar works well. Maxwell shows off the range of his voice on this track to good effect. This is not one of his most well known tracks from the album but it's one of the best and towards the end he shows off a phenomenal falsetto part which tops off the song beautifully. One of the best songs on this collection. The falsetto on the song is absolutely brilliant.
13 Get To Know Ya
This is a catchy track which starts gently with some nice progression from the intro. As it gets into it's stride it's a funky slice of Neo Soul which showcases Maxwell's voice very well. The musical intro is fairly long and after around thirty five seconds gone he starts singing. He's backed well by the backing vocals which blend well with his lead vocal. This is a strong track which is one of the more up tempo tracks on the album. Good track.
14.) Gotta Get: Closer (Unplugged)
This is a nice unplugged version of an uptempo track which has a really catchy feel. I really like the change between the two versions and I always think it shows the talent of an artist when they can take a song and make it new with a few tweaks or changes. Good version which is a worthy addition to the collection. Good stuff.
15.) The Suite Urban Theme
This is a catchy moment to end with, It's a vibrant uptempo track with catchy beats and nice percussion with a lovely feel. Maxwell's vocals are absent here so it's just a lovely instrumental but he and his band really showcases some excellent musicianship which really sounds good and I think tops things off well on this excellent collection.
If you are a regular buyer of greatest hits collections as a way of introducing yourself to an artist and their most popular songs then this would be ideal for you if you have heard and liked some of his songs, It's an excellent collection which features work from three of his albums and has some fine ballads and very strong uptempo tracks. If you like R&B/Neo Soul then you should certainly check this album out and I am sure that some songs will go down rather well with you. Enjoy.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Sumthin' Sumthin'
2 Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)
4 ...Til The Cops Come Knockin'
5 For Lovers Only
7 This Woman's Work
8 Whenever Wherever Whatever
9 Suitelady (The Proposal Jam)
10 I'm You:You Are Me And We Are You
11 Matrimony: Maybe You
13 Get To Know Ya
14 Gotta Get: Closer (Unplugged)
15 The Suite Urban Theme (The Hush) (Unplugged)