Maxwell ‎
Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite

Columbia / Legacy

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A TAV Essential Listening Album

Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite is the debut album by American R&B singer Maxwell. It was released on April 2, 1996, by Columbia Records. Maxwell recorded the album between 1994 and 1995 at Electric Lady Studios, RPM, Sorcerer, and Chung King Studios in New York City, and CRC Studios in Chicago. The record's 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.

Although Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite was not an immediate commercial success, it was helped by the release of its second single "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)". Eventually becoming a million-seller, the album 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. – Wiki

“Alongside players whose résumés included sessions for greats like Marvin Gaye and Sade, Maxwell hammered out a set that was lavishly instrumented and bedroom-y, but not lasciviously so. His voice cut through Urban Hang Suite's thick soundscapes effortlessly, charging these songs with a sensuality that studiously retraced the moves of bygone classics like I Want You and Musical Massage. Columbia sat on it a calendar year, fretting over its tenuous connection to the hip-hop soul movement that ruled the mid-'90s, but the minute they let it out it was apparent they'd been sitting on a game-changer. Sales were respectable, but beyond that he helped alter the course of '90s R&B, briefly loosing the union with hip-hop to set the scene on a journey to mine its '60s and '70s roots.” – Complex

“In Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, Maxwell embodies the best of neo-soul. He is soulful with quiet passion, letting the pervasive mood and theme permeate with ease. From the opening to closing tracks, Maxwell asks us to explore the sensual wonders of his suite… Maxwell moves into vulnerable territory and his voice accordingly makes the transition, transforming from purely an instrument to an emotional vehicle, conveying basic, human feelings…His consistent but subtle deviations and overall maturation during the course of the album make it cohesive yet nuanced, allowing Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite to stay in the pleasant chill zone as well as preserve enough variation to maintain interest.” – Sputnik Music

Item description:


Maxwell ‎


Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite


Columbia / Legacy


2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Reissue, Metallic Gold, 140 gram



Release Date:

This reissue: 2016 | Original – 1996


Soul, Hip Hop


Neo Soul

Catalog No: