Maxwell Borrows From NIN, Kate Bush

June 27 [7:55 EDT] — When you only have one album, how do you round out a full set worth of material in concert?

If you’re Maxwell, you pull a few covers out of your bag of tricks. The silky smooth R&B singer is still touring on his debut album, which was released more than a year ago, and is punching up his set with songs from some unlikely sources. The singer, who released “Urban Hang Suite” in April of 1996, belted out versions of Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” and Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work” during a taping for an upcoming “Unplugged” performance.

“I’ve always done ‘Closer’ live,” Maxwell explained to MTV News.

“‘Closer’ isn’t done the same way as Nine Inch Nails did it. I mean I love them, but I’ve got to be me doin’ it. [600k QuickTime] So I’ve worked it out so it comes off like that, and as far as Kate Bush, it’s just such an appropriate song because my album and what I really believe in as far as matrimony and
relationships and achieving some sort of… trying to find the one woman.”

Fans can catch those covers, and a few other numbers, when Maxwell’s “Unplugged” special premieres on Tuesday, July 22, one week after a soundtrack album of his performance hits record stores. If you’d rather see Maxwell in the flesh, the singer hits the road Friday in Las Vegas with Zhane opening up.