Entertainment Weekly - 6/2/95, p.56
"...On BRANDED, he doesn't update his sound as much as reassert it..." - Rating: B+
Q - 7/95, p.1183 Stars
- Good - "...No new tricks....but life in the old dog yet."
Vibe - 8/95, p.127
"Isaac Hayes...[is] the bridge between James Brown and Burt Bacharach....BRANDED is a study in defying convention....He delivers in two lines what rap groups can't do in an album..."
Melody Maker - 6/3/95, p.37
"...not a classic, but not damn bad for a man of 56, either..."
Musician - 6/95, p.71
"...offers Hayes-the-crooner on topics such as sex, ecology, sex, mysticism and sex....Hayes' arrangements and rhythm tracks provide him with a lush sonic bed in which his seductions have their greatest credibility..."
NME (Magazine) - 12/23-30/95, pp.22-23Ranked #34
in NME's 'Top 50 Albums Of The Year' for 1995.
NME (Magazine) - 6/10/95, p.509 (out of 10)
- "...as big, bold and idiosyncratic an album as he's recorded....Hayes stands alone as a father figure who can take on the suffering and injustice that spawned rap and the rampant machismo that sired soul and take it all to church..."
Personnel includes: Isaac Hayes (vocals, keyboards); Michael Toles (guitar); Andrew Love (saxophone); Lester Snell (keyboards).
Recorded in Memphis, Tennessee. Includes liner notes by David Ritz.
Personnel: Isaac Hayes (keyboards); Chuck D (vocals, rap vocals); Charles "Skip" Pitts, Michael Toles (guitar); Andrew Love (tenor saxophone); Lester Snell (keyboards); Jimmy Kinnard (bass guitar); Ron Christopher (drums, percussion); James Burke (drums); Milton Comeaux (percussion); Donald O'Connor, Watoto Deafrika, Angelo Earl, Myra Walker, Brenda Williams (background vocals).
The last album of new material Isaac Hayes released in his lifetime, 1995's BRANDED moves forward and casts a fond look back at the same time. On one hand, there are remakes of two songs from Hayes's '70s glory days, SHAFT's "Soulsville," and "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquadalymistic" from HOT BUTTERED SOUL. At the same time, Hayes works his patented slow-jam deconstruction methods on something more contemporary by giving Sting's "Fragile" the kind of treatment he once employed to transform '60s pop hits into soul rhapsodies. Even on the album's new compositions, Hayes harks back to his heyday just a bit, teaming up with old cohort David Porter for "Thanks to the Fool," though the production throughout BRANDED is far from retro-sounding.