There's two artists that have a certain gravitas when it comes to neo soul: Maxwell and D'Angelo. When I say contemporary, it's stretching the definition a little - Maxwell's last album, Now, was released in 2001, whilst D'Angelo last gave us a lil sumthin' sumthin' in 2000 (the truly exquisite Voodoo).
D'Angelo's troubles have been widely publicised (eagerly, given his fall from grace as the chiselled demi-god seen in the video for Untitled (How Does It Feel) to the bloated everyman peering at the camera in police mug shots) and there's been various rumours about the reasons behind Maxwell's lack of productivity.
Whatever the reason for the delay between Now and the long-mooted Black Summers' Nite, the wait should be worth it. Maxwell's magic is unparalleled, a fact readily apparent on the snippet released this weekend on his official myspace page. Go there now to hear it.
In a recent myspace bulletin Maxwell had this to say: "it's been the coolest summer but we got a hot busy little winter planned out for you. hint hint hint!!!"
Perhaps, finally, the time is Now...