Sex Tape by Caleb Hawley Review
Review of sexy audio mix Sex Tape by Caleb Hawley, by Pleasure Panel reviewer K
Caleb Hawley’s Sex Tape is a modern mixtape-style album meant specifically for listening to during sensual activities. The format is based on the results of a survey performed by Lovehoney, in which it was discovered that the average time spent on foreplay was ten minutes, with nine for intercourse and three for reflection. The tracks are intended to reflect this, with a slow buildup that’s meant to transition into a more driving, sustained, intercourse-y main course and culminating with a sort of “cool-down” period. Gimmicky? Maybe. But a cool idea? Heck yes. I don’t know exactly how ‘sciencey’ it all is, but it’s a fun concept and I’m glad someone tried to play around with it.
The genre is sort of a mix of ambient synthy electronica and R&B slow jam covers of pop songs, and the effect is quite hypnotically sensual. I think that’s partially due to the very intentional, climbing escalation of the tracks — the first song begins with the ambient environmental sound of crickets singing, instantly making me think of cool nights and creating an ambience that persists no matter what time of day you listen to the album. The sound persists as a refrain throughout the album, grounding it gently and reinforcing the ambient, foresty feel. I sort of liked this, although it’s not exactly ‘sexy’ per se. It just sounds really nice and it makes me feel relaxed and calm. Which can never harm an intimate situation, after all.
What really added to this feeling were the slightly abstract visuals that play with the YouTube version – soft, shifting colours glow and pulse according to the beat, an all-white bedroom is subjected to soft neon light as the TV flashes static, a blurry close-up shot of lips fades in and out of focus. The overall effect is dreamlike, surreal, hazy, and not like a music video at all. It’s more like a screensaver, something pretty yet unobtrusive that won’t steal your attention but adds to the ambience instead. The only visual that I found distracting and out of sync with the rest was that of the fourth track, “You Can Leave Your Hat On,” which depicts the notorious peach/eggplant emojis moving around on a pale-yellow background – a jarring departure from the gentle colour palette and theme of the rest of the visuals. But like, hey, if it bothers you, just minimize the window as you listen to the album. Theoretically, you won’t be watching it anyway.
The tracks themselves are comprised of three covers and two originals, which is a pretty good balance of familiarity and novelty. The sweetness of the synthesizer adds enough grinding kind of sensuality to just be cheesy enough to be recognizably sensual and provide that steady climbing anticipation, yet the oomph of the bass lends a seriousness to the grinding beat that creates a sensually textured acoustic environment. The covers are “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate, “You Can Leave Your Hat On” by Randy Newman, and, my favourite, “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain. They’re all pretty great, including the Hot Chocolate cover, which was never a song I particularly loved to start with. But Hawley’s version is slower, more thuddy, somehow feeling as if it pulsates rather than ringing out with the outright jubilation of the original. It feels subtle, quieter, yet still passionate and enthusiastic. Were you committed enough to have sex to this album, I think the tempo would provide gentle guidance through slow forplay, acting as a reminder to slow down and enjoy, to draw things out. Despite this, it does lead rather nicely into the “Sex Song” portion of the album (which is pretty self-explanatory). It involves a lot of breathy gasps and ascending, driving chorus acoustics that do a lot to set the mood.
As I mentioned, my favourite track is the Shania Twain cover which forms the closing ‘Reflection’ phase of the album. It has a soulful electronic backbeat with a heartbeat-like feel that dissolves into a more gentle, symphonic resolution. I loved the way Hawley chose a more emotional, less traditionally ‘sexy’ song for his final track – it’s like the song itself mimics that post-session oxytocin rush. Again, the album dissolves into the foresty sound of crickets at night, merging perfectly into the first track in case one wanted to play it on loop, as Hawley suggests doing for tantric sessions.
Overall, I genuinely enjoyed listening to the album and think it functions beautifully for what it was intended. However, music taste is so personal – you might just really dislike R&B, or electronica, or maybe you find a soulful rendition of “You Sexy Thing” too cheesy for words. And that’s okay! Perhaps you prefer banging to heavy metal, or allowing the sweet acoustic panpipes to act as the soundtrack of your romantic sessions. Either way, I’d recommend giving Sex Tape a listen – you might find it inspiring.
Where To Buy
Thanks to Pleasure Panel reviewer K for this review of Sex Tape by Caleb Hawley.
The Sex Tape audio track mix was provided free of charge, in exchange for a fair and honest review by the Pleasure Panel, by Caleb Hawley. Thank you! 🙂
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