Rolling Stone - p.794 stars out of 5
-- "[Hayes] mourns a collapsed marriage across two discs that seem to spin in slow motion as Hayes flexes masculine strength through vulnerability."
Spin - p.95
"[Hayes] played the prophet of heartbreak, delivering two platters of wistful covers wrapped in symphonic strings..."
Living Blues - p.62
"BLACK MOSES is an emotionally lush set....BLACK MOSES is probably most closely associated with its lead single, Haye's stirring version of the Jackson 5's 'Never Can Say Goodbye'..."
Pitchfork (Website) - "[I]t was a massively ambitious statement album, a collection of covers and originals that documented the collapse of Hayes' marriage. It was an enormous success..."
Clash (magazine) (p.112) - "This album's spiraling grooves and lush sonic landscapes have inspired everyone from hip hop producers to Portishead..."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.945 stars out of 5
-- "Hayes' most heartbreakingly intimate, emotionally sincere and brave release."
Uncut (magazine)3 stars out of 5
-- "What he brought to the '70s party, apart from sheer chutzpah...was sonic nous, the ability to play an entire studio and to integrate technical innovations like fuzztone and wah-wah guitars."
Personnel: Isaac Hayes (vocals, piano, electric piano, organ, vibraphone); Charles Pitts (guitar); Sidney Kirk (piano); Lester Snell (electric piano); Ronald Hudson (bass); Willie Hall (drums, tambourine); Gary Jones (bongos, congas); Hot Buttered Soul (background vocals); The Bar-Kays.
Originally released on Enterprise (2-5003). Includes liner notes by Chester Higgins.
Digitally remasterd by Kirk Felton (1989, Fantasy Studios).
Personnel: Isaac Hayes (vocals, piano, electric piano, organ, keyboards, vibraphone, background vocals); Charles "Skip" Pitts, Charlie Spitts, Michael Toles (guitar); Sidney Kirk (piano); Lester Snell (electric piano, keyboards); Ronald Hudson (bass guitar); Willie Hall (drums, tambourine); Gary Jones (congas, bongos, percussion); Hot Buttered Soul Unlimited (background vocals).
Audio Remixers: Dave Purple; Isaac Hayes; Ron Capone.
Liner Note Authors: Chester Higgins; Chester Higgins; Rob Bowman.
Recording information: Stax Records; Stax Records 10th & Parker, Ber.
Editor: Daryl Williams.
Photographer: Joel Brodsky.
Arrangers: Dale Warren; Isaac Hayes; Johnny Allen.
Isaac Hayes is nothing if not ambitious, and this double-disc collection is a case in point. Released the same year as the breakthrough SHAFT soundtrack, 1971's BLACK MOSES melds Hayes's superior skills as an architect of progressive soul sounds with his talent as a song interpreter. Except for his smooth, boudoir-savvy "raps"--there are three within the set, acting as intros to songs about love and devotion--Hayes's own songwriting energies take a backseat to tunes by some of the preeminent pop songwriters of the '70s.
Clifton Davis's magnificent "Never Can Say Goodbye" is given loving--and arguably definitive--treatment here. In its rich majesty, Hayes's reading of Kris Kristofferson's "For the Good Times" provides an intriguing counterpart to Al Green's spare 1972 version of the same tune. Two Bacharach-David songs, "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and "Close to You," sound not at all misplaced beside two Curtis Mayfield numbers. That's because Hayes (and his collaborator Johnny Allen) re-imagined the songs into new versions via lush, orchestral charts, so that each tune bears the team's stamp indelibly. Though full of covers, BLACK MOSES is an Isaac Hayes record through and through, and in its continuity and smarts, one of his finest.