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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on September 26, 2002
Yeah, it came out way back in '96, but I just had to throw my 2 coppers in the mix for those on the fence about getting this CD. Get it. NOW! (You like that play on his last CD, huh?)
Anyway...this is the most sensual CD ever to come out during the Neo-Soul era. Period. The theme is brilliant: Pick one sexy, soul sista...and rap to her like she was the last jewel on this planet known as Earth. Nuff said.
This CD oozes with lust, passion, sex, and
The jazzy feel, as he WELCOMES you to his URBAN HANG SUITE and makes you his SUITELADY, inviting you to DANCEWITME, puttin' it down so you'll know that without him LONELY'S THE ONLY COMPANY...until the REUNION of you two causes y'all to make love TIL THE COPS COME KNOCKIN', doin' it WHENEVER, WHEREVER, WHATEVER, as your ASCENSION to the heights of love progresses, and all he requests is that you do a lil SUMTHIN' SUMTHIN' to let him know his services were appreciated.
I ain't mad at him. But, brothas, let me put it to ya this way...if you ain't in the thongs 30 minutes into listening to this CD...then you wasn't gettin' 'em anyway! You can plan babies off this cat's CD. Get it.
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on August 3, 2000
If you are a R&B music fan and you don't have this CD in your collection, you might want to do some soul searching. This is one of the best CDs of all time, in my opinion. I first heard Maxwell when I saw the video for "Til The Cops Come Knockin'". For most new artists, I have to hear a few songs before I buy their debut CD. That wasn't the case this time. Then, to make it even better, "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)" was released to radio, before "Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite" was released. After I purchased the CD and listened to it a couple of times, I realized that Maxwell had a classic on his hands. I would put this CD right up there with D'Angelo's and Chico DeBarge's debut CD, as well as Eric Benet's and Erykah Badu's. Although, their styles are all different, their CDs bring light to a different form of R&B, separate from what you hear most of today. My favorite two songs on the CD are "Welcome" and "Whenever Wherever Whatever". Those two songs represent the best uptempo and slow song on the CD, in my opinion. "Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite" is really an r&b CD with a jazz appeal to it. That's one of the reasons why I like the CD so much. Other gems include, "Sumthin' Sumthin", "Lonely's The Only Other Company" and "Suitelady". I would also recommend that you pick up the "Ascension" (Don't Ever Wonder)" CD maxisingle, because it has a remix version of the original song and a song that is not on the CD called "Lock You Up In Love For Days". You should also pick up "Maxwell's MTV Unplugged" for the classic "This Woman's Work" and his 2nd disc "Embrya". Believe me, you won't be disappointed.
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on March 18, 2004
3 words...
If your a lover of quality R&B then this should be in your collection. If its not, then your not as cool as you think you are!!
Maxwell, brings an album which is totally fresh and full of great tracks.
Vocally he is top notch and the music will satisfy all.
Track 1
The Urban Theme
Basically its an intro. But funky and sets the mood. You've opened the doors to Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite here.
Track 2
So your into the Hang Suite now, and Maxwell is welcoming you. This is the first taste of his voice. Its a very cool track that is great to kick back with a drink in your hand and listen too.
Track 3
Sumthin' Sumthin'
Now we really get into it. This track is out of this world. You might know this one, it was a single. Catchy chorus but oh so cool. Sexy sexy track.
Track 4
Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)
This just beats Sumthin Sumthin for the title of the albums best track. One of my favourite songs of all time. Once again its cool and catchy, but its a beautifuly written song. With Maxwell's voice oozing soul, this track is without a doubt fantastic.
Track 5
This track is bassy and once again really chilled. Maxwell is making a move this woman and telling her to dance with him. Its another sexy track. Not to be missed.
Track 6
Til' The Cops Come Knocking
This is the first ballad on the album. If you want to impress a lady fellas, make them dinner, bottle of wine, with this track playing in the back ground. A winner for sure.
Track 7
Whenever Wherever Whatever
A sentence most people like to hear. Another classy ballad. Not a great as Til the cops... but still a beautiful track.
Track 8
Lonely's The Only Company
The theme of the album is a chilled one. This ballad is not only fantastic but very emotional. Maxwell's voice range is in full flow here. A corker.
Track 9
Bit more upbeat here than the previous three. Still a cool song. Maxwell continues his emotional mood. Superb.
Track 10
Suitelady (The Proposal Jam)
Fellas, want to propose to a lady? Let Maxwell do it for you!
His voice shows a completly new side here. Sounds almost like another singer. Its just testement to his vocal ability.
A lady won't say no!
Track 11
The Suite Theme
Its the farewell tune. But while other people are leaving the Hang Suite, Maxwell wants one particular lady to stay with him.
Its love making music baby! Fantastic end to a uttely superb album.
I cannot recommend this album highly enough.
You must buy it. Your missing out if you do not have it.
Its just fantastic.
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on June 7, 2000
Instant R&B classic. The best debut album i have ever seen from anyone.From start to finish this album is amazing. Everything this man touches turns to gold that will soon become platinum. Even the songs he did for the "BEST MAN SDTRK." were excellent. Here are my picks for the best songs on the album:
Ascension- no doubt the song that brought him to our attention. A never-get-old song. Great vocals.
Sumthin Sumthin a surprising single that established him as more than a one-hit wonder.
Suitelady stand out song becuz of the change in style of singing. Shows his range as a complete singer.
Not much else to say about Maxwell but that he can't miss with anything he does. Go get it. It will be worth more than what u paid. Sleeper pick: Till the Cops Come Knockin' unknown first single but still sensual and moving.
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on May 15, 2006
If I had to name one album that altered the course of my musical reality in the 1990s, this would be the album. I mean this album changed my life. I even grew me hair out into a 'fro to be like this cat.

I graduated from college in May of 1996. About a month later, I was working in the Nation's Capital, and there was this song I was always hearing on the radio that I was calling "Don't Ever Wonder." I didn't recognize the voice, and it seemed that every time I heard the song, the DJ would never mention who it was. One morning, the on-air guy finally said, "That's a hot new song by a guy who obviously hasn't seen a set of clippers in a long time. His name is Maxwell." Needless to say, I was intrigued, and I set about trying to find this CD by Maxwell. I found it, and I had to wait until I got home to play it as only had a cassette player in my car.

I really wasn't prepared for what I heard, but I was bowled over by the opening cut: "The Urban Theme." I just couldn't believe that there was a guy MY AGE who was doing music like that, playing with Wah-Wah Watson and what-not. By the time, the following four songs were done, I was crushed. Here was a guy my age that was doing the kind of music I WANTED TO DO and doing it the way I would. I just couldn't believe it. It heralded the era of "neo-soul" (even though D'Anelo's first album predated this album by a couple of years).So I spent the next year looking for any and all things Maxwell...even though I never got to see him live. It's the only time in my life that I was that much into a male performer. This album is a MUST-HAVE

Now, if I speak so highly of this album, you may wonder why I only gave it 4 stars. Well, if you read some of my other reviews, you know I think of myself as a FUNKATEER. The one problem with this album was that the FUNK QUOTIENT dropped tremendously after the fifth song ("Dancewitme"). From that point forward, the album became an album for the ladeez as far as I was concerned. Without a doubt, it was first rate material for the ladeez, but I just felt that the FUNK should've flowed throughtout the album.

Make no mistake, though, that the first five songs on this album can go TOE-TO-TOE with ANY of the material that our favorite master soulsters/funksters since the mid-1960s recorded at their creative peaks. The album itself is still one of the best albums since the 70s. My favorite cuts are "The Urban Theme" and "Sumthin' Sumthin'" which would fit in perfectly during the funk bass-players Golden age (from around 1978 to 1982). "Sumthin' Sumthin'" is the kind of of song that R&B had been missing since the demise of the LIVE bass player in the mid-80s.

This is Maxwell's crowing achievement. The problem for him I suppose is that he set such a high standard for himself right out of the box that he has never been able to replicate the quality of this album. His subsequent albums have been a'ight (EMBRYA) and pretty good (NOW), but if you could only have one album, THIS ALBUM is it...and it's not even close.
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on April 19, 2002
Maxwell has restored my faith in R&B music. His beautiful sweeping falsetto takes my soul on a spiritual journey! Just listen to him deliver the opening notes of 'Ascension'-it's like butter.
He switches to an ultra funky tune called 'Dancewitme'. Just lay back for this one and allow the rhythm to penetrate you.
Talking about penetration, the haunting single--- 'Til The Cops' does just that. This has to be one of my all time fav Maxwell singles. At the time this single came to radio and BET, nothing else could touch it. Can you believe his record company sat on this album for a year? He again chills you with that heavenly falsetto, moaning how he plans to 'lock you up and love for days'-... :o)
The stunning ' Whenever, Wherever, Whatever' is another standout. Mawell sings sweetly as a guitar strums quietly in the background. 'Lonely's the Only Company', 'Reunion', 'Suitelady (The Proposal Jam)', 'The Suite Theme' round out this stellar debut CD. Great Job Mawell!
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on August 22, 2002
As the cliche goes, you sometimes need to look to the past in order to move forward. After New Jack Swing swung out of favor in the early 1990s, r&b was losing its creative steam and running out of interesting things to say. You either had the sugarcoated Black pop of Boyz II Men or the raunchiness of Jodeci. But when Maxwell (a brutha of Latino and Caribbean descent) dropped his debut (with little hype, it should be said), all that changed. A welcome throwback to the soul of Marvin Gaye and Prince, "Urban Hang Suite" was a peerless, soothing album of sizzling funk, soul, and jazzed-up r&b. Maxwell's voice, never less than stellar, glides over these tracks like hot butter. The disc opens with the ear-grabbing instrumental "The Urban Theme," a slice of retro-neo funk with a welcome sax bit from Sade's Stuart Matthewman. And, yes, there are the singles "Sumthin' Sumthin" and "Ascention." But the track that wins bonus points from me is the lovely "Whenever Wherever Whatever" a love ballad of unquestionable sincerity. As with other r&b releases of this quality, I still don't think the mainstream relaizes what a tremendous album this is. But it's not too late to discover this CD. It's a "Suite" worth checking into.
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on June 17, 1998
Whew! Talk about sexy-sensual-cool! Maxwell offers a treasure chest of soulful tunes reminiscent of Marvin Gaye and early 80's R&B. Stewart Matthewman of Sade and Mike Pela (produced Sade's "Diamond Life") offer class and restraint. From beginning to end I couldn't stop myself from saying "Yeah, Yeah!" This is it soul lovers. Take off your shoes and let daddy Maxwell soothe you blind. Solid: "Acension (Don't Ever Wonder)," "Sumethin' Sumethin'," and "Whenever, Wherever, Whatever." Ooooh, bahbah, babe. If you like: Sade, Sweetback, Earth, Wind & Fire, Lisa Stansfield, Erykah Badduh, Chaka Khan.
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on July 15, 2013
INCREDIBLE!!! If anyone says anything else other than good things about this amazing CD they must be going crazy! This is the bomb! You NEED this great, great music to add to your favorite r&b collection. I am so glad that I purchased this CD. Maxwell, you are so talented! Your voice is just heavenly! Thanks for all of your hard work! Sincerely!!!!
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on June 22, 2005
This is definitely, no doubt about it, absolute in my top ten- ever. It's seductive and beautiful- his voice is silky, the lyrics are also beautiful- I can, and have listened to this CD, over and over again. Actually, it should have a "CAUTION, HOT!!!' label on it- theres no tellin' what might happen when you listen to this gorgeous CD
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