After almost a decade, singer-songwriter Maxwell, best known for big hair and sultry love songs, is back with his new offering 'BLACKSummers'Night,' due July 7. The recluse joined a crowd of music industry elite last night at the exclusive listening session/press conference for the album, which is the first installment of a trilogy.

Tunes from the singer's highly anticipated upcoming project, including the first single 'Pretty Wings,' played through the speakers as the eager crowd of critics, journalists and label folk soaked in the view from atop the Sony building. A video collage of his journey back to the stage -- where he admits to being most comfortable -- played as the singer asks a pretty valid question: "Will you forgive me for taking this long?" Forgiven.

The singer, who looked surprised by the turnout, made his way to the stage and humbly thanked everyone for their support. "This is just amazing I'm so grateful for all of you coming tonight ... I'm scared of what I do sometimes," Maxwell revealed as he scanned the room.

As for his musical hiatus, Maxwell offered up a simple explanation. "I've been making music for myself," the singer told reporters. "I didn't know it was going to take so long. But there's something to be said about being missed. No one's going to say, 'Oh, it's you again,'" Maxwell says of the eight years since his chart-topping 'Now' album.

Sufficiently missed by his patient and anxious fans, Maxwell expressed that he has no expectations for his new project but hopes his new music can act as a soundtrack of sorts. "I want people to be able to clean their kitchens, make love to their girl [or guy], make a baby and raise a family" with his songs as the soundtrack.