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Isaac Hayes: Black Moses

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A great album can be something bigger than the sum of its parts. When the late Isaac Hayes released Black Moses in 1971, it was surrounded by controversy, more so for the title and cover than the actual music. The double album was released with a six-panel sleeve that folded out to feature Hayes in a flowing hooded robe, standing with arms outstretched in a "Christ-like" pose. Ultimately, it ended up hanging on many apartment walls. Now reissued, the packaging is identical to the original, but with 5-inch panels. What's ironic is that Hayes became a Scientologist, and in his later years was uncomfortable with the nickname "Black Moses." But what matters most here is the music, two full discs of Hayes' unique cover tunes and sultry original raps. Applying his own groove to standards such as Kris Kristofferson's "For the Good Times" and Burt Bacharach's "Close to You," Hayes created a masterpiece. This is bedroom music, baby. 5 out of 5 stars.

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