...To Be Continued
As its title implies, 1970’s …To Be Continued expands the ideas first presented on Hot Buttered Soul and The Isaac Hayes Movement. Hayes incorporates slow, sensual renditions of pop tunes into a program of lush, rich orchestration. As with his other works, …To Be Continued isn’t just a sequence of songs, it’s an experience. The album begins with the sound of crickets, as Hayes’ baritone emerges from the mist, whispering a farewell to his young lover. This monologue segues into a majestic version of “Our Day Will Come,” in which Hayes drapes the lush orchestration over his listener as if he were placing a fine mink coat on a lady’s shoulders. The sense of hope that begins the album eventually resolves itself with the devastating blues of “Runnin’ Out of Fools,” but the two most important pieces are contained in the middle. The 16-minute medley “Ike’s Mood I / You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” epitomizes Hayes’ art, and it also gave hip-hop one of its most enduring samples — the chiming, minor-key piano interlude that arrives about two minutes into the track.