The album experienced a critical backlash similar to that of other artists' work that broke their previous releases' successful formulas in favor of more compelling projects, now being termed "neo-soul." In a retrospective review for Allmusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that Maxwell "overstuffs his songs with ideas that lead nowhere" and called Embrya "a bit of a sophomore stumble, albeit one with promising moments." Arion Berger, writing in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), found the songs monotonous and called the album "unfocused and pretentious ...
full of overwrought, underwritten songs with obscure, fancy titles revolving around a sort of sexual gnosticism." Later in the year he released "Fortunate", a single written by R.
The experience made him a deeply religious child, and during his childhood he sang in a Baptist church.
After receiving a low-cost Casio keyboard from a friend, the Brooklyn, New York-native began composing music at age 17. Band and Rose Royce, Maxwell began to teach himself to play a variety of instruments.
He had created enough of a buzz that he was signed by Columbia Records in 1994 and immediately began working on his debut.
He adopted the stage name Maxwell, his middle name, out of concern for his family's privacy.
The single peaked at number one on Billboard magazine's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks chart.
As a child he sang in his Baptist church's choir, but he didn't become serious about music until he was about 17. He waited tables and saved up enough money to record a demo.
He started writing his own songs using a cheap Casio keyboard he received from a friend and was inspired by '80s R&B acts like Patrice Rushen, The S. Over the next few years he wrote and recorded more than 300 songs and continued playing at venues around the city.
Already a fan of what he described as "jheri curl soul", which was the trademark of early 1980s R&B acts such as Patrice Rushen, S. According to him, the R&B of the early 1980s contained "the perfect combination of computerized instrumentation with a live feel", and that the genre's dynamics later became lost due to the influence of hip hop on R&B.
Despite facing ridicule from classmates for being shy and awkward, he progressed and continued to develop his musical abilities, and he also adopted the look of a more bohemian style outwardly in his clothing, growing long sideburns and letting his hair grow out wildly and combed in an extreme style, or sometimes putting his hair in long dreads.