Musical Sadness and Goodness

I was saddened to read of Isaac Hayes’ death this weekend, which is unusual, since I don’t usually have any sort of reaction to the passing of people I don’t personally know. I truly admired his work as a singer, songwriter, arranger and producer. Hot Buttered Soul is one of the greatest albums ever recorded, the ultimate in smooth, sexy songcraft, especially on the 19-minute masterpiece “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” If you only know the Glenn Campbell version of that song, you owe it to yourself to hear what Ike did with it. After the song’s 9-minute spoken word over tapped cymbal and organ drone introduction, you can really feel the reason that the song’s protagonist hit the road, and you’re right there with him, and you understand why she just didn’t know that he would really go. A masterpiece.

I’m also thinking that in a few days I may grant that label to a new record I just got today, Darker My Love‘s second full-length album, sensibly titled 2. I first learned of these guys when two of their members were deputized on short notice to join The Fall when Mark E. Smith’s English band walked out on him during an American tour. Guitarist Tim Pressley and bassist Rob Barbato did some monstrous good work with MES in an awesome two-bass lineup that appeared on the under-rated Reformation Post-TLC. Check out the stupendous video for “Two Ways Out” to see what they do in their own band. A very impressive disc that’s making a very strong first impression on me.

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