Early house music produced some absolute bangers. “French Kiss” by Lil’ Louis is one of the songs that defined the genre in the last moments before house became commercial.
Truthfully, there’s not much to the song. A wave of synthesizers pulses over the course of nine minutes (in its highly regarded “underground” mix, occasionally punctuated by orgasmic moans. Originally an instrumental, the “radio” version adds “lyrics” and some context to the song; but it also loses a great deal of its raw sexuality in its sanitized version. The words “French kiss” are only spoken once, towards the track’s conclusion. There’s also some pretty laughable conversation between Lil’ Louis and the woman who acts as his conquest, who speaks solely in French. Louis compliments her “evening wear”, and the whole spoken section (which takes place after the orgasmic moaning) acts as a borderline-silly “by way of explanation” precursor to the moaning.
So why did I rate “French Kiss” five stars? Because it’s one of those songs that makes me lose my shit on the dance floor. Those synthesizers are monotonous, but they also change tempo over the course of the song, speeding up, slowing down and even coming to a complete stop before picking back up. If you’ve ever imagined yourself (or actually been) a sweaty mess on a dance floor and found yourself inexplicably drawn to another sweaty mess on the same dance floor, this is the song you’re going to be doing your sweaty bumping and grinding to (on the dance floor or off). I’d like to think that “French Kiss” was designed with the image of a hot gay bar on a Saturday night at peak propulsion in mind. Shirts off, bodies glistening with perspiration, musical ecstasy, religious ecstasy and sensual ecstasy all reaching their peaks simultaneously.