Tuesday, August 19, 2008

RIP Issac Hayes: Sex Music has Lost its Patriarch

He's not R. Kelly, and his fuck-song language seems subtle nowadays, but Issac Hayes' music was, in fact, Sex Music in the grand tradition. Many of the songs had a decidedly "love" oriented tone, but fucking is the subtext in almost all of them. Each track has a long (in some cases, 3 minutes or so), scratchy guitar intro that alternately makes you want to dance or, you know, lay down.

Take, for instance, "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right," an ode from a married man to his (much younger) lover.
"Am I wrong to hunger for your gentle touch? ... Are you wrong to give your love to a married man?"
And then there's "Walk On By," the longest, most gut-wrenching breakup song of all time. It's 12 minutes of erotic, sexy, "Make believe you don't see my tears." Never has a man sounded so unbelievably sexy talking about crying uncontrollably.

Lastly (at least, in my iTunes library) is "Shaft,"about the "Black Private Dick who's a sex machine to all the chicks."

Let's not forget Hayes' contributions as Chef from South Park, wherein he mocked his own genre. "Chocolate Salty Balls" comes to mind first, but South Park wouldn't have had any sexiness at all if not for Chef.

I'll be listening to "Walk On By" all day.

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