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Isaac Hayes - Can You Dig It? The Ultimate Isaac Hayes Review
by Kevin Wierzbicki

Hayes is best known these days for being the voice of "Chef" on the animated program South Park. Old-schoolers will know that Hayes has been cookin' for a long time though, and back in the day made a funky splash on the pop charts with the soundtrack to the movie Shaft and its theme, cleverly titled "Theme from Shaft." But Hayes has mostly earned his keep cranking out make-out music, often taking bland songs and sexing them up with his unforgettable voice. Who else could take middle-of-the-road schmaltz like "For the Good Times," "Baby I'm A-Want You" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and turn them into soulful bedroom anthems? This generous compilation covers the singer and multi-instrumentalist's (piano, vibes, organ, sax, and xylophone) career through 1977, so of course there is a lot more Ike out there. But this era was his heyday, and fans will find lots of familiar songs here that they may have forgotten. Released for the first time are versions of three songs that Hayes recorded at one of Jesse Jackson's PUSH expos in 1972; "Brand New Me," "If Loving You is Wrong (I Don't Want to be Right)" and a great take on the traditional gospel song "His Eye is on The Sparrow." Fans will also say, "Yeah, I dig it!" to the short bit of film included on a bonus DVD.

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