Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Maxee: Sampler (Unreleased) (Mercury, 1999)

Cheyenne "Maxee" Maxwell was originally a founding member of 90s R&B group Brownstone along with Nichole "Nicci" Gilbert and Monica "Mimi" Doby. They were signed to Michael Jackson's label MJJ Records between 1995-1997 and were best known for their hit single If You Love Me which went platinum in 1995. By the end of the decade the group split and all three members (including new member Kina Cosper) decided to pursue solo careers. Unfortunately it was not without incident. Gilbert signed to MCA
Records but was dropped after only one single. Her debut solo album Grown Folks Music was shelved and in 2005 she had to pay out of her own pocket to release it independently. Out of her strong desire to pursue a direction different to her former group, Maxwell made the mistake of signing to Mercury Records in the UK which, by the time the millennium rolled around, was starting to drop artists like hot bricks. Despite much praise heaped on her from the-then managing director, she disappeared after only two singles and her album was never released. While Gilbert stayed on the traditional R&B path and Cosper attempted to reinvent herself as a bluesy rock singer, Maxwell's music is mainly a continuation of her work with Brownstone mixed with a little Sade and a little Brandy. I don't know if her husband Carsten Soulshock had a hand at producing any of the tracks but the original non-Darkchild version of When I Look Into Your Eyes was produced by UK producer Ollie Twist. Such a shame that none of it was not released but I am inclined to think that things might've been different had she pursued a contract in the U.S... 

I Wanna Be 4:33
So Divine 3:31
I Miss You 3:37
Look Into Your Eyes 3:26
This Is Where I Wanna Be 4:07
Part Of Me 3:34
Your Face 4:53
Find Somebody Else 3:34