Maxwell and K'Jon Force Soul Music to Grow Up

Maxwell, K'Jon lead return to classical soul era's adult themes and sound
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2009 3:52 PM CDT
In this July 4, 2009 file photo, Maxwell performs during the Essence Music Festival at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, file)
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(Newser) – Soul music has always been adult, conveying mature themes like financial insecurity and emotional anxiety. Now, with the emergence of K’Jon and the return of Maxwell, it finally sounds adult, too, Jon Caramanica writes in the New York Times. “K’Jon and Maxwell represent a strain of R&B that has remained blissfully ignorant of the rise and domination of hip-hop,” writes Caramanica.

Caramanica heaps praise on K’Jon’s major-label debut, I Get Around, calling it “one of this year’s most promising R&B albums and also one of its least expected.” Although slightly more critical of Maxwell’s offering, BLACKsummer’snight, Caramanica praises both artists as throwbacks to classical soul, standing their ground against hip-hop tyranny. With stars of earlier eras taking notice, and soul popping up in unlikely places, the adults are finally back in the room.
(Read more soul music stories.)