Single Review: Maxwell dives back onto the scene in “Lake by the Ocean”

Vincent Anthony
2 Min Read

Not every artist can take a seven year break in between albums and return to the very same open arms (and probably legs, too, in his case) as well as Maxwell can. However, the neo-soul fanbase is a loyal one, and of course fiercely so for one of its pioneers. For that reason, Maxwell is able to effortlessly pick up where he left off with BLACKsummers’night. The first single from the follow up album in the triology, blackSUMMERS’night, is entitled “Lake by the Ocean.” A song he has teased his fans with for years in live shows, “Ocean” is classic Maxwell fare.

Other artists might be criticized for not reinventing themselves, but with Maxwell, his consistency is welcomed and appreciated. With an artist like him, the fans know exactly what they want and his aim is to please. The cut is a midtempo, soulful groove with sensual romanticized lyrics. His vocals are effervescent and atmospheric as ever, flawlessly bouncing along the lush production. While its predecessor sounded a bit more heartbroken, “Lake” hints at the second installment of the trilogy being perhaps a more positively enamored sequel.

The full set arrives on July 1st, ending the agonizing wait. This year is indeed a special one for Maxwell and his fans. Not only does it boast his return to the scene after his seven year long hiatus, but this month also marks 20 years since the release of his debut album, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite. Later this week, we’ll go into further detail on that milestone anniversary, so make sure you’re following our Facebook to catch that retrospective!


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Vincent is the founder of the magazine and has had a strong passion for popular music since, well, 1997! If it's not obvious, his favorite artists include Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, P!nk, and many more. Vincent lives in New York, where he is a high school English teacher, and currently he is pursuing a Master's in Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.