Thursday, June 28, 2007
Prince Comes Back to Planet Earth
I've been a Prince devotee for so long it's hard to talk rationally about his work anymore.
And to be honest, it's hard to say what you could possibly expect from a genius that is almost 50 and has given you so much.
Unfortunately, I'm not anticipating that his new album Planet Earth will be any better than Musicology or 3121, which made for great tours...when he played the hits and great lost nuggets from his golden era...
It's not that I don't like songs like "Musicology." "3121." Or "Guitar."
I do. They're perfectly fine. They're just not teachin me anything new.
I just expect alien funk sh*t from Prince and lately he's been sounding rather human.
And a little too much like his heroes.
I love Larry Graham and Cynthia and Jerry just like everybody else. But the minute the Family Stone hit Prince's band all his funk songs began to sound less like "Tamborine" and "Houseqake" and more like retreads of "Life," "Fun" and other Sly classics.
And it's been this way since, perhaps Rave Unto the Joy Fantastic, Rainbow Children and One Night Alone Tour, which all had some beautiful moments in them, but not very much in the way, shape and form of new inspiration information. (Actually, I loved the reckless abandon of Rainbow Children, although the redemptive gospel-funk concept wore a little thin.)
It just seems he's gotten rather comfortable coasting on his legacy, taking old ideas and rereleasing them under new titles.
(Check how Guitar's strut seems cribbed wholecloth from Cream. The only thang that Guitar adds is the U2 like- shimmer of guitar on the hook.)
The things I love about Prince today include:
1. He's the greatest performer in the world right now. Period. See the 2007 Super Bowl for clarity on this.
2. He's still a rebel who changes the game: Musicology was brilliant in every aspect. CDs with every concert ticket. Hilarious and innovative.
3. He's the only black guy and the only pop god standing with a guitar. 'Nuff said. (And Lenny plays rhythm, not lead.)
The last great album Prince made was the Gold Album. But who's complaining?
He's still here, still releasing an album every year, and doing amazing shows.
P.S. And why's Prince f*cking with Verizon? I'm waiting for a Purple iPod called The Vault with all of the remastered Prince albums and 300 unrealeased songs from Paisley Park! Oh well....