Day 210: Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get it On

26 Sep

Let’s Get it On

Subtlety is not Marvin Gaye’s thing.  Then again, it’s not mine either.  Perhaps that’s why—when I finally managed to stop snickering at the oh-so in-your-face lyrics all over Let’s Get it On—I found that I was enjoying myself.

No, Marvin Gaye’s sex-minded, soulful tunes don’t have too much in common with what I normally listen to, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t get behind this record.  The biggest deciding factor in my opinions on music is, and always will be, answered with this question: do it sound gewd?

As abstract as that may be, it allows me to like stuff from all over the place.  What do I enjoy about this record?  I’m still trying to figure that part out, actually.  Because it’s not much like what I’m used to, I need to think a little harder than I normally do.  If you’ve read a couple of posts here, you already knew that.

So, what exactly is going on in Let’s Get it On?  First off, Gaye’s voice must be acknowledged.  That thing is impossible to hate.  He pours all he’s got into all of his songs, while still managing to hit some crazy-high notes.  And I mean crazy-high.  The soulful accompaniment doesn’t hurt either.  Not only does it mesh perfectly with Gaye’s lyrics and vocals, but it really does sound like nothing I’ve listened to before.   It’s just so relaxed and easy-going.

I should also point out that not every track on Let’s Get it On is about sex.  Sure, the vast majority are, but there’s a little more substance to this record.  The album deals a lot with loss and heartache, as a little research (read: 30 seconds on Wikipedia) indicates that many of the lyrics on this record draw from a messy divorce of Gaye’s.  Let’s just say, it’s much more heartbreaking than Best Coast’s whining about boys and marijuana.


3 Responses to “Day 210: Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get it On”

  1. Dave Chops September 27, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    Mr. Ear: Nice to see you leaving the indie ghetto and it’s not even DRT. What you are hearing is an original. Nobody ever sounded like Marvin sounded on What’s Going On in 1971 and – though he has innumerable immitators – nobody really has since. The music is complex and layered and so are the vocals. There is a lot going on here and almost all of it works. It is making an implied statement about soul music and why it should be taken seriously – in much the same way Duke Ellington had done for jazz earlier. Curtis Mayfield, James Brown and Stevie Wonder similarly came out with what I would call statement albums around this time. You might enjoy them. Plus Curtis was a Chicago boy so you have a home-town rooting interest.

    Keep on keeping on.

  2. Yuanny Dollar September 27, 2011 at 6:33 am #

    We are all glad you like Marvin Gaye. If you didn’t, there would be something wrong with you. This record has certain power, which cannot be described on a family website (but, despite allegations to the contrary, Luther Vandross cannot compare). Think about it. Figure it out. Test it. It will not let you down.


  1. New Tracks « All Music Tastes - January 26, 2012

    […] Day 210: Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get it On ( […]

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