Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite is the debut album by American R&B singer-songwriter Maxwell. It was recorded in 1994 and 1995, then released on April 2, 1996, by Columbia Records. Maxwell largely wrote and produced the album himself, recording in sessions at Electric Lady Studios, RPM, Sorcerer, and Chung King Studios in New York City, and CRC Studios in Chicago. The resulting music features a mellow, groove-based sound with elements of funk, jazz, smooth soul, and quiet storm. A concept album, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite was composed as a song cycle that focuses on an adult romance, based in part on Maxwell's personal experiences. Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite was not an immediate commercial success, but it was helped by the release of its second single "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)" in July 1996, and the album eventually became a million-seller. It was also a success with critics, who praised it as a departure from the mainstream, hip hop-oriented R&B of the time, while earning Maxwell several accolades and comparisons to soul singers of the past, particularly Marvin Gaye and Prince. The success of Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite elevated Maxwell's reputation to that of a sex symbol and a notable performer in the music industry. He was credited with shaping the "neo soul" movement of musicians that rose to prominence during the late 1990s. Along with D'Angelo's Brown Sugar (1995) and Erykah Badu's Baduizm (1997), the album provided commercial exposure to neo soul and has since been cited by several critics as Maxwell's greatest work.Wikipedia
can someone please help me. i accidentally put this album on through the speakers in my room and the all encompassing smoothness has removed all friction from every object in the room. I can't open the door as i no longer have fingerprints and the door handle is slipperier than the soap in the prison showers. once i finally get out of this room the question remains will my new orb shape be the new fashion and shoot me to international fame or will i be shunned as the weird ball boy who looks like Duncan Goodhews head rolling around.
This album is so "smooth" it slid in one ear and back out the other, leaving no impression behind other than a slightly slimy film to mark its passage.
An entire album of songs that all managed to sound the exact same. And they sucked.
A very 3 album for me. I kept waiting for some unexpected element to surprise me and draw me in but it never really came. I like most of the arrangements/atmosphere (808s!) but nothing I can really sink my teeth into. Just makes me want to listen to Marvin Gaye.
Hey, what's up Cum Knuckles? Fancy joining me for a burger and fries this coming Tuesday? We can put on some Maxwell, talk about our feelings and re-create the Hindenburg disaster.
When the first track kicked in and was pretty smooth, I was wondering what the hell Robert Christgau was smoking—or perhaps more appropriately, what he wasn't—that made him give this one of his "dud" grades, and then the first vocal track started. Maxwell has a fine voice, but not a *fine* voice; I thought Sade's Diamond Life was sexier than this, and certainly better paced. This would make for a pretty good instrumental album to vibe and/or bang to, but almost every track has about 3 minutes of material for its 5 or 6-minute runtime, to the point that there are multiple tracks that sound like they're ending, only to ramp back up for another fruitless minute. I mean, seven whole minutes of Til the Cops Come Knockin', plus a 90-second reprisal at the end of the record? No wonder Public Enemy said 911 was a joke. Key Tracks: The Urban Theme, Suitelady (The Proposal Jam), The Suite Theme
Sounds like George Michael having a stroke
I did not need to hear this album before I died.
This sounds like joke music
A few nice funky parts but overall very boring r&b/soul. And a terrible album cover.
Wow, it's like someone made a big batch of "every-R&B-trope-I-hate" juice and forced me to chug.
This... just might be my gateway drug to full-on R&B.
Just what I needed to listen to today!
Never heard of Maxwell but really enjoyed this. Very mellow.
Very very good
Very cool album, nice change in pace
fantastically smooth and sensual. impossible not to get into the mood while giving this a listen
this is now on regular, workday rotation. great background for cleaning out Outlook...
This is straight-up bang-time music. Red curtains, candles, glasses of wine...yeah, this is great.
What a great piece of work. I wonder how I never hear of him before.
Why I have never heard this before? I don't know if it just didn't get any airplay or land in the UK, but this ought to have been massive. By turns funky and mellow, and the warmness of the production just draws you in. An album you need to listen to in one go.
Smooth and funky
If Mamas Gun was the companion to Voodoo this is the precursor. Jazz influenced R&B which feels both classic and modern at the same time. The title perfectly describes what we hear, as the songs flow seamlessly into each other. My only criticism is that some of the songs are a little too similar to each other but overall this is a great album.
A debut from a twentysomething that is a concept album about a relationship. Sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen. I bought this when it was first released, and it blew me away. It still does. While there are refences to Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Al Green, Maxwell's view is his own. A great listen from start to finish.
I hear a lot of childish gambino in this project. It was a very smooth album. My Favorite was the saxophone in loves the only company
super fun - 9/10 maybe this should’ve come out 20 years earlier but I’m not complaining good vibes
Fuck amazing. Smooth when it needs to be smooth, grooves when it needs to groove, and a couple bangers along the way. And it only gets better the longer you listen. “Urban Theme,” “Dancewitme,” “Whenever Wherever Whatever,” “Suitelady,” and “The Suite Theme” are gems.
Lounge at its peak. Whole thing drips with sex and innuendo in a hilarious way. Would never get away with this on a first date.
Very smooth. I've heard Maxwell before, but never listened to this album.
Pretty cool and sexy, Maxwell is just a classic classy guy with a solid voice. Hard to be mad at him
quite calming :))
Immediately feelin this, neo soul, bit like D'Angelo, but Stevie Wonder-ish but more smooth. Feels classy, decent chill tunes. Tailed off a bit in the middle and at the end, went a bit wet. Start was still real decent tho. 4/5.
No idea how to describe, but I thought that this is a great album full of underwhelming individual songs. I overuse "vibe" but that's what it is, it's a overwhelming feeling of goodness permeating my daily life. Very pleasant
Perfect album as the weather is heating up, lol. For some reason I feel like driving through a busy city on a Saturday night with my windows down.
I remember this being released and a huge buzz around it but not much else - it just wasn't the right time for me to appreciate it... ...as opposed to now: wow - this just hits all the right notes (sure, pun intended). Smooth in the best ways but for me it is rarely boring - tremendous production and musicianship. It took everything I liked about the best Marvin Gaye but this is better - just the right doses of edge that Marvin rarely ever had (e.g. angular guitar lines on "Dancewitme"). Also point of note: while Maxwell the "singer" is clearly the feature here, the music is the big standout for me - the album starts with a great instrumental which sets the tone that this will be not just a vocal album. A great album for its genre, which while not ever going to be my favourite/daily listen it is so well-crafted that it's a keeper. 8/10 4 stars
Apparently Maxwell is credited with establishing the neo-soul genre, and I always think that's so cool when an artist starts a musical trend. I really enjoyed this album...it got a little repetitive to my ears after a while, but his voice is heavenly, and the songs were cool.
Wel dit was aangenaam! In het begin zeker 5 waardig maar daarvoor is het net iets te lang en viel het wat plat naar het einde toe
This music is downright erotic
I have no idea how this dude managed to produce two #1 hits in my lifetime and not ring a bell for me at all, but I enjoyed listening to this album. After a catchy opening it felt a bit slow for a while, but the album definitely grew on me once I hit "Whenever Wherever Whatever" and "Lonely's The Only Company".
Ahhh que chabochito .
A pretty smooth album, for sure, 90's neo-soul at its best. Will get back to it.
Jazzy and smooth
Better than I expected - really pretty groovy
Du bon R'n'B/soul qui se laisse écouter tout seul. Crée une bonne ambiance détente ou pour créer un mood avec un.e partenaire.
An undeniably smooth album that is very easy on the ears. I liked this one quite a bit.
A super-smooth soul album. Incredible production and I could see myself putting it on when I'm in the mood, though it does wash over me a bit without any memorable or stand out moments.
This was a remarkably smooth album. This neo-soul record had tinges of contemporary R&B, funk, and a lot of jazz. The influence of Marvin Gaye especially could be felt. I also heard some Michael Jackson-esque vocal delivery patterns. Overall Maxwell very successfully brought these elements together in a sharp departure from the hip hop centric R&B of the mid 90s.
I am so down with music that makes you sexier – not just feel sexier, but actually be sexier and enhance your performance, too. Just buttery smooth and awesome. Neo-soul forever.
Feels wacky having this be the second album after Herbie Hancock's Headhunters today. This guy is smooth and with a silky upper register. Til The Cops Come Knockin' is a song that drips.
Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Ascension, Dancewithme, Til the cops come knockin, Reunion
90’s cheese aside it was a surprisingly smooth and good album
Very fun album. I jammed to this all morning. Very smooth and felt a little ahead of its time in some ways. I feel like I've heard some of these beats in current songs. I'll be down to hang with this album!
Bit like a long bubble bath. Relaxing and smooth has hell, but after a while you get a bit bored.
Taki Stevie Wonder
Old school funk and soul. Nice.
4.2 - Sexy mood music that draws heavily from the best R&B of the 1970s (Barry White, Marvin Gaye, Shuggie Otis...), performed exceptionally well so it sounds sophisticated and not kitschy or derivative. I especially love the synths on "Urban Theme", the slap bass on "Sumthin' Sumthin'" and the lush orchestration on "Lonely's the Only Company." A gentle and romantic journey from start to finish.
Smooth and soulful with really good musicianship. I especially like the bass lines throughout the album. I could see this as an album Marvin Gaye might have made.
Smooth and Funky
So extremely awesome. A bit too long but man. Smooth.
very smooth. easy to listen to, mellow aber nicht boring
Chill easy listen, liked it a lot
Enjoyable. Don't see myself going back to this one though.
Good sex music, nice bass.
Chill af, still good
Spotify. Fave song Ascension. Ok listen
Decent R&B but too long and fails to be more than background music
Wel door maar net iets te soft na meerdere nummers
Jizz jazzity goodness
This funky jazz just doesn't really do it for me. Definitely better than Jamiroquai or whatever the hell that was, though.
First impressions, oooh this is nice. Funky grooves. I do not know much of the genre "neo-soul". This does not sound like 1996 at all. Very modern sounding, if this is the original they did an amazing job in the production, sounds like a modern remaster. Love the bass on this, the piano, the synths, the sax. All the instrumentation is superb. Vocals are good, if not straightforward, but I would almost prefer it without. I like the falsetto parts, if it were more of that I'd be down. As the album went on I started to get kind of bored though.
Very very smooth. I liked it.
It starts so strong, and then drags and gets too midnight stormy.
Quite a vibe. Definitely something I would put on again
i'm confused as to how the mid-90s produced such a mid-80s album. i am not a fan, but there's huge talent here.
Baby making music. I get it. A little repetitive over an hour.
started off good but then got a little boring/too easy-listening
It started really good and it was a nice breathe of fresh air after yet another dreadful new/synth wave album (the 19th one!) but it started dragging after a while. i like the istruments and I think is good overall.
I was digging it at the beginning, but as it went on it kinda lost me. Favorite tracks: “Sumthin’ Sumthin’” and Dancewitme”
Some more sex-having music. Sometimes it moves a bit too far into "weather channel" territory.
The album carries a theme throughout and the production is really good and Maxwell delivers well. But I couldn’t help but find the songs a bit too long, slow and frankly, a tad boring at points.
not for me brooooooo
Funky music all throughout but kind of sounds like clothing store music. 6/10.
Good neo soul album. Very atmospheric, ideal for intimate moments.
Quite liked it. Good bass
Good old school R&B. Can hear similarities to Sade and Erika Badhu. Nice background music; especially in a Spotify Playlist called Kitchen Swagger.
Nobody wants to be here - the twilight sad
Solider r b. Kommt aber nicht auf die playlist
Hustle Kings vajbovi sa vokalima brateeeeeeeeeee
Baš je ugodan album. Le sexy time. Warm record for sure, odlična kombinacija soul+jazz+rnb. Prvo sam mislio po imenu da idem slušat neki house, međutim dobro da nije.
The downtempo sexy slow jams aren't my usual wheelhouse, but there are some smoldering jazzy tracks in here. A good find that I'd never heard of before.
SLOW JAMS. Funky music to chill out to. Could be background music at a laid back coffee shop or party or something. Makes sense. Sounds like I'm at someone's "urban hang suite".
Smooth jazz. Melodic and relaxing. Not a bad album but the main theme melody seems to be in every song, making the album feel a bit repetitive.
nothing completely special or out of this world but it was a funky and fun sound
Certainly had some promise, though it fades a bit too much by the end. Not enough energy to finish nicely. But enjoyable background music.
2,7 Not sure if good office or bedroom music... Leuk voor in de achtergrond maar meer niet
Funk songs great, soul not my thing
“Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite” by Maxwell (1996) R&B with a smooth jazz flavor. Very nice. Compositions and arrangements with foundations that could have been generated in the 70s are developed and matured with late 90s colorings. Truly beautiful. Maxwell has a very good voice, bringing forth standard R&B stylings with precision and flair. But he offers no real vocal surprises, which is mildly surprising for an R&B album from 1996. Shimmering waves of electronic background like fluid reflections of urban lights, undulating comfort and gratification. Summer. Nighttime. Driving slow. Mmmm. The album is an excellent example of thematic cohesion and development, moving from lovers’ introduction through courtship and (monogamous, mind you) romance, pain in separation, joy in “Reunion”, leading to marriage proposal in the final track. The album tells a story. And it’s a wholesome one, produced in an era that was famous for its urban cultural vectors that were misogynistic, violent, and dehumanizing. Maxwell, for one, respects his lady. Cool. The basic message of this album is that I have deep feelings, baby, and my best ones are coming your way. I wanna make love to you “Till the Cops Come Knockin’” (Now there’s an under-considered justification to defund the police. The social worker may as well stay home too.). An essential feature of any music in this genre is well designed and well executed bass lines. And this album excels in that department. All other performances are likewise first rate. Now I know that the return to vinyl has been all the rage for some time, but when scratches and pops are programmed in at 33rpm in order to simulate the LP experience (“The Urban Theme”), I’m distracted, disappointed, and mildly amused. I hope this is a fad that fades. Also, and fatally (in both the iTunes download and streaming on both Spotify and Apple Music), there’s an annoying repeating flaw in the left channel beginning at :29 in track 9 that continues through track 11, making them simply unlistenable. And it’s not the ‘simulated LP’ effect. What’s going on? It’s in the 2021 remaster, because it fades with close of tracks 9 and 10. What a spoiler. Brings the album down from a “5” to a “3”. This could have been a great album. But the listener is still left with one unanswered question: Did she say “Yes”? 3/5
Empezó fuerte y creí que me iba a gustar mucho y luego se hizo plano planísimo.
Suave. Tranquilo. Buena voz. No destaca especialmente.
Serviu para conhecer novas opções de grooves
putting the fun in funky.
Surprisingly decent downtempo R&B
We recognize that this was a pivotal album in the popularity of neo-soul, but it felt a lot like background music to a dentist's office or something
Was laughing out loud, have never heard of this guy before. Respect the commitment to the lovin'
Groovy, I suppose. But except for The Urban Theme, nothing struck a chord with me.
7,8 Muito bom
Not great but didn’t hate it
3/5 nice lounge sound, but nothing much.
kinda groovy ngl 3.5
Definitely feels very 90s R&B but it's a bit less hokey than most of that so I can enjoy it some more. The funk elements also add to it.
Not my thing. Was bored out of my skull 6/10 F.t.: Urban theme
Eh ein netter shaft Disco funk. Aber nix aufregendes
30 seconds into this I could tell I was going to like it. No idea how I missed this in the 90s. Honestly a little goes a long way though unless you’re in a bedroom situation.
Very smooth, very slow, very sexy, very Marvin. Not very outstanding. Great musicianship, particularly sinuous bass lines that get under the skin. I like, but not extraordinary.
surprised. a throwback for sure. hints of curtis mayfield were nice
-Cool bass line in "Sumthin' Sumthin'" -Generally pleasant R&B, but nothing super exciting
OK. very slick. over produced. a bit boring.
Great album, with a smooth, sexy, retro vibe. My main critique is that so many of these songs are longer than they need to be, with more than half clocking in at over 5 minutes. It could be a tighter album. Still it's a lovely, fun listen. "Ascension" is the best song on the album, a classic. Fave Songs: Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder), Sumthin' Sumthin', Whenever Wherever Whatever, Dancewitme
Soul lentillo. Ni fu ni fa.
Довольно типичный, но приятный соул. Хорошая музыка для свидания.
Background slow jams
I hope this album sounds just like it looks. Yep, sure does. Smooth and groovy. Of course, just the one groove, but it's a pretty good groove.
It's nice background music - nothing special from what I can hear so far
The one where Maxwell fucks off his silver hammer in favour of '70s soul tinged r'n'b.
Some smooth grooves in there but that’s way too jiggy for me.
Funky. Decent r and b music. Ascension is a good song.
Smooth, I like it. Not my normal jam, but good background music. 3
I really liked this. It slipped past me at the time, but I love this sonic update of the Curtis Mayfield sound.
som agradável, suave
I enjoyed the mix of jazz and modern r&b in the first song. The second song was a bit underwhelming. Sounds like classic 90's R&B music. Not a favored genre of mine or one that I'm very familiar with. It is easy to listen it and I don't hate it.
Not as sexy as they claimed it is. That voice alone can kill any sane guy's sex drive. The faster first tracks are actually a nice jam, but the latter, slower ones are pretty bland and boring. Overall, it's mostly soulless computerized soul. Not recommended for sexy sessions. Enjoy the vibe of the first half and stop as soon as it gets too slow.
This was pretty smooth. No hard edges, all.... smooth. But I did fall asleep. In a nice way, but I still fell asleep. 3/5.
Started out groovy and fresh. Kept going and got stale. Seems that through the Album you can see the 90s "r&b" influence. Regardless there's some pretty great instrumental parts. Loved the bass early in the Album.
So 90s it needs cargo pants. It's not my thing at all, but he's got a nice voice and some of the songs are well-written.
I've had this guy pop up on a few of the Acid Jazz collections I bought back in the 90s. I remember that his songs weren't my favourites on the collection, a bit too sweet and smooth for me. Though he has a lovely voice, the instrumentation is subtle and the accompanying musicians are top-drawer.
Funky en zwoel R&B album. Niet echt m'n ding, vind het eerder iets voor op de achtergrond
A nice break from the usual rock fare, an R&B/soul project from someone I've never heard of. Is this the guy who makes the coffee? This was a decent project. His vocals aren't much to write home about, but the instrumentals were really solid. Still, fun to take a break from rock. Favorite tracks: The Urban Theme, Sumthin' Sumthin', Dancewitme. Album art: Kind of confusing here, is this a wall and floor meeting? The UPC on the front is throwing me off a bit too. Colors aren't bad but it's a bit boring. 3/5
Might be cool… The urban theme is a good opener as instrumentals go this is really pleasant. Welcome works really well bouncing off the last song his vocals sound perfect so do the instrumentals but the lyrics are quite filler. Sumthin sumthin is okay for a song that was released as a single though this seems like album filler. Ascension has the same kinda criticism to it it’s just so smooth that it just goes in one ear and out the other ( not what a single should be). Okay dance with me has a cooler rhythm the breathing strangely works quite perfectly 6 minutes does feel a drag for this song but it’s still cool. Again till the cops come knocking is literally one of the better songs but it just drags. Whenever wherever whatever is a nice tranquil break from the bulk of the album (but it happened too late). Lonely’s the only company ( 1 and 2) it’s a good sonic very morose but it actually fits well with it’s long time length. Reunion is a bit Basic and filler but nothing offensively bad. The penultimate track suitelady ( the proposal song) isn’t my kinda thing but I see why it could be a banger for some . The suite theme is a unique sounding closer for the album but like (almost) all of the 6 minuters on here it’s such a drag. With everything good about every song there is a criticism that comes with it a very easy 3/5.
Nice chill vibes, and Ascension in particular was a big ol slice of groove, but it did get quite samey towards the end
In het algemeen wel een funky album. Ik vind het wel te zacht naar mijn smaak, zit te weinig pit in.
Smooth soft-porn jams. Some very tasty melodic lines in there, but a real one-trick pony lyrical vibe.
Good soul album from the 90s, didn't pique my interests.
Smooth, sultry understated evening R&B/jazz that will do well in a candlelit dinner or a late night wine bar. Best: Dancewitme Worst: Whenever Wherever Whatever 2.5 Stars
good music. not my taste. didn't listen to all the songs..
Now I've had all the neosoul artists that are credited with the revival. Honestly, having listened to the others I found this was probably the strongest. A high 3, but with a lot of bloat and lackluster tracks that keep it from 4.
R&B that's so silky smooth. A lot of what this album has going for it is in the subtleties of it's production, letting the sounds build up and blend into a tasty neo-soul cocktail. My main gripe is that I don't find this sort of songwriting particularly interesting. For all the lovely things it has going for it, Maxwell is not for me.
Þessi plata byrjar á rosalega flottu grúvi og maður býst við hinu besta. En svo rennur þetta út í tilþrifaminni nýsoul. Rennur mjög ljúflega og allt það, en kveikir engan neista við fyrstu hlustun.
I found this album really tough to rate. It started off cool, but then it faded into the background while I was listening to it. A lot of it seemed to be pretty straightforward R&B. The quality of the album overall is good, but it didn't stand out to me as particularly groundbreaking in the context of when it was made. 3/5
Pretty chill and sexy
особо не расслушала)
Today’s artist is another that I’ve never heard of, and from a genre I rarely listen to. I’m going into this a little apprehensively, but still somewhat optimistically. Songs I already knew: none Favourites: Whenever Wherever Whatever, The Suite Theme I think that the act of me listening to this album might have gotten everybody in my neighbourhood pregnant. I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a solid hour of porntastic music before today, so I can now scratch that off my bucket list. This was soul/funk throughout and never strayed much from this. The musicians are clearly very talented and I did enjoy listening to this album, but I’m not sure it enticed me enough to want more. Overall, I enjoyed this and would recommend it to anybody trying for a baby.
Instrumental was brilliant, the rest not my cup of tea.
1996. Key Songs: Sumthin' Sumthin', Ascension
sunday night slow jamz
If I ever have a sensual relationship with a black panther I will put this on this give me some good vibes. Apart from that, really not my style.
At the start I was really into it. Got a little weird as it went on. Overall a good funky jam
This is lounge jazz music not my style kinda cheesy. The thing you would hear in the background of a home makeover show
I really enjoyed the first track and was hopeful, but recognized that it could go either way depending on what happened next. It had a potent mix of funky-as-hell, kind-of-cheesy, and that Kool and the Gang summertime vibe. I was disappointed that the subsequent tracks descended into the 90's idea of baby-making music. Kind of went gradually downhill throughout the album for me.
It is just too slow and uninteresting. Too much of it sounds the same and there's nothing that is particularly catchy or stands out.
Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite is the debut album by American R&B singer-songwriter Maxwell. A concept album, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite was composed as a song cycle that focuses on an adult romance, based in part on Maxwell's personal experiences.
Like I said before, lofi hip hop beats to study to
Did you stop at a motel by the road with your hooker? Enjoy Maxwell's progressive soul!
Seemed liked music you'd hear at a hotel bar or cocktail lounge. Was over it after a few songs
I didn't understand it.
R&B isn’t my thing
I did not like it very much. No further comment.
Couldn't do it. First tune was funky, cool bass lines, but can't get into the lyrics/vocals. Very 90s Rn'Baay
Not my favorite genre but pretty groovy!
This whole album sounded like one continuous song to me, though I’m admittedly not a huge R&B fan. Fine as background music, but not my favorite.
There will be days when the fit isn't there, or totally there. No doubt this is a better experience when the listener is in a better mood.
Grand, not really my thing
yeah idk. smooth r&b isnt my thing
Just really forgetable.
Really nice grooves at times. Not the kind of music I like to listen to, though.
The groove is too deep for me.
I vaguely remember Maxwell being part of the current music scene at some point. I don't know if I've heard a full song from him before, but I was pretty sure back then that Maxwell is not for me. In general, I want to listen to about 0% of the "oo, baby oo" songs. This album was a solid 2 for me (I did not like it). The one song that has even the possibility of a replay was "The Urban Theme" and it was an instrumental. The music wasn't enough to get me past anything with lyrics.
This not my style of music and I won't listen to it again.
This wasn't my thing. A few songs I could get into but that early 90s commercial R&B vibe isn't for me.
Maxwell has a great voice but this music is too chill for me to listen to without getting sleepy. Appreciate his whole deal though. I’m just a sleepy person.
There’s no denying this LP is well-constructed, but it leans so hard into one-note rhythms and song structures that it all kind of blurs together into an overlong porn Muzak compilation