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Songs that start off slow and sexy and then go completely off the hook
June 14, 2014 4:52 PM   Subscribe

Okay, I feel like mixtape questions are about the laziest questions you can ask, and yet I'm going to lose my mind if I listen to these two songs back-to-back one more time. I'm listening, non-stop and endlessly, to Hozier's Take Me to Church and Jeff Buckley's Lover, You Should Have Come Over.

Here is what I think they have in common, but I'm open to suggestions.

They ooze sex, obviously. More specifically, sexual frustration? This isn't a requirement for the songs you give me but I feel like it links thematically into the sound I'm looking for, which is the slow, crooning beginning that ends up at a completely over-the-top breakdown in the chorus.

Basically, I really love songs where, at the beginning, you could imagine the singer approaching the microphone in a silent auditorium, completely poised and polished, and then by the end, they're a sweaty wreck and their hair's all wild and the crowd is losing it and screaming. You know what I mean?

A song that's almost like that, but maybe lacking a certain je ne sais quoi of sexiness is Pulp's Like a Friend. It's not quite there, but it's close. I feel like a lot of Ray Lamontagne song's almost get there but don't go wild enough - although I haven't listened to everything he's done, so if you can think of a song that works, tell me.

Female vocalists are also very welcome.

Thoughts?
posted by pretentious illiterate to Media & Arts (36 answers total) 72 users marked this as a favorite
 
The live recording of Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long" maybe? It certainly starts off kind of mellow and then just...arghhhh.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 5:02 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


PJ Harvey - Rub Til It Bleeds
posted by billiebee at 5:06 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Also, Damien Rice's "Woman Like A Man"
posted by sara is disenchanted at 5:11 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


My Morning Jacket - Phone Went West

Tell me I'm wrong/Tell me I'm right/Tell me there's nobody else in the world
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:34 PM on June 14


Xenia Rubinos - Cherry Tree
posted by prewar lemonade at 5:50 PM on June 14


In My Time of Dying, Led Zeppelin version.
posted by stillmoving at 5:58 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


D'Angelo's Untitled (aka the song that gave most man-loving people my age their sexual orientation) is about the purest example of the genre.
posted by tchemgrrl at 5:59 PM on June 14


Oh man, I read your question and immediately thought of Paolo Nutini "better man"

The song starts with just paolo and an acoustic, then a 4 minute crescendo of sexiness and losing control. Such a tremendously sexy song.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 5:59 PM on June 14 [2 favorites]


Love is Blindness by the White Stripes.
posted by divabat at 6:02 PM on June 14


One more: Lucius - Go Home

Pretentious illiterate, I adore the mixtape questions!
posted by prewar lemonade at 6:02 PM on June 14 [2 favorites]


Prince - "The Beautiful Ones"
posted by mrmarley at 6:06 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Also, early smashing pumpkins played with this dynamic, Soma in particular, though Billy's songs were usually about dying alone in a bathtub rather than love.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 6:32 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


The great Etta James: A Sunday Kind of Love
posted by sevensnowflakes at 6:33 PM on June 14


Frank Sinatra - The Best Is Yet To Come
posted by Room 641-A at 7:14 PM on June 14


Maybe Urge Overkill's version of Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon?
posted by heisenberg at 7:18 PM on June 14


Fiona Apple does this pretty well. Check out Slow Like Honey and Shadowboxer in particular.
posted by cocoagirl at 8:02 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


I think whether this one's sexy depends on your stance on Gavin Rossdale's vocals, but "Alien" by Bush starts slow, builds through the middle, then ebbs again.
posted by xenization at 8:21 PM on June 14


Jane's Addiction — Three Days

Aerosmith — Dream On

Pearl Jam — Black

Tori Amos — Pretty Good Year, The Waitress
posted by John Cohen at 8:47 PM on June 14


Lake Street Dive's cover of I Want You Back.
posted by HotToddy at 8:50 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Band of Horses - The Funeral
posted by maggieb at 10:31 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Death in Vegas - Dirge

LCD Soundsystem - Yeah (Crass Version)

Jonsi - Grow Til Tall
posted by rottenindenmark at 11:03 PM on June 14 [2 favorites]


Love Reign O'er Me - The Who
posted by SisterHavana at 11:53 PM on June 14


This describes most of the songs on Kristin Hersh's Sunny Border Blue, but especially Your Dirty Answer and William's Cut.
posted by Sonny Jim at 7:18 AM on June 15


Findlay's Off and On might fit the bill. I had a slight obsession with this song for awhile.
posted by Hopeful and Cynical at 9:51 AM on June 15


Nick Cave's Sorrowful Wife.
posted by beanie at 9:57 AM on June 15


Elvis Costello's I Want You
posted by DanielDManiel at 11:07 AM on June 15 [1 favorite]


The Antlers & Neon Indian - Rolled Together
Devendra Banhart - Rats
Sufjan Stevens - Chicago (Multiple Personality Disorder Version)
Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye
if you can abide a more electro sound, Sylvan Esso - Hey Mami (that fat beat is perfect)
posted by a halcyon day at 11:53 AM on June 15


Basically, I really love songs where, at the beginning, you could imagine the singer approaching the microphone in a silent auditorium, completely poised and polished, and then by the end, they're a sweaty wreck and their hair's all wild and the crowd is losing it and screaming. You know what I mean?

I Know It's Over by the Smiths, live in 1986.
posted by jabes at 1:50 PM on June 15 [1 favorite]


The live recording of Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long" maybe? It certainly starts off kind of mellow and then just...arghhhh.

Similarly, "Try a Little Tenderness" has the whole "they're a sweaty wreck and their hair's all wild and the crowd is losing it and screaming" thing going on.
posted by zabuni at 2:32 PM on June 15 [1 favorite]


Rufus Wainwright, Go Or Go Ahead. Definitely.
posted by shiu mai baby at 3:07 PM on June 15


Civil Wars - The One That Got Away

Damien Rice - Rootless Tree

Stars - Your Ex-Lover is Dead
posted by SarahElizaP at 6:02 PM on June 15


Ike and Tina Turner's version of Proud Mary.
posted by LynnDee at 9:45 PM on June 15


Oh yes that Hozier song hits me right in the feels too. Heres some stuff that scratches the same itch.

Autre Ne Veut - Play by Play
The Boxer Rebellion - Promises
Paloma Faith - Only love can hurt like this
Kendra Morris - Here
Asaf Avidan - Different Pulses

And the queen of building to a satisfying denouement: Sia
I'm in Here
Breathe me
Day too soon
Where I belong
Dont bring me down
Soon we'll be found
posted by Ness at 11:00 AM on June 16


Oh also Charlotte OC - Stolen Car

And whilst they stay quite low key vocally, there's something terribly sexy about SOHN and Banks that I cant quite put my finger on, they manage to build to a crescendo without ever really letting rip, terribly clever.

SOHN - Bloodflows, Lessons
Banks - Waiting Game, Warm Water, This is what it feels like.
posted by Ness at 12:09 PM on June 16


Todd Rundgren - Number One Lowest Common Denominator
posted by bink at 12:09 AM on June 17


I feel like this describes the basic framework of a lot of Glen Hansard's work. Here are some examples. And I'm a straight dude, but he's dead sexy.
posted by soonertbone at 9:55 AM on June 17


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