Having listened to no other O(+> music all week, I probably would have gotten pretty bored after doing the same thing every day. Playing the same album every 24 hours. But spending time with an album and getting to know the person behind it is not something one can do in a day. Not even for someone as quick a learner as I am. I really took the time to get to know the last album written by O(+> before he became known as Prince again. Parts of the album say this is his last chance to make an impression as O(+>, others say it’s the end of his marriage, and others say that the future is upon us. He goes back to old tricks, experiments with new ones, states who he is and how his beliefs have changed.
Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic: The lyrics are a little bit weak in this song. Ultimately, he is saying that its time for everyone to party. The coming of the new millennium is a cause for celebration. I also have one more little nit-pick about this song: once or twice, he screeches in such a way that it feels like nails on a chalkboard. But I’m willing to forgive those inconveniences for the sound of his guitar in this song. A few lines repeated over and over again, sure, but I love its sound. And my favorite segment is the echoing of the guitar strings as they offset one another towards the end of the song.
Undisputed: This is where he states who he is, what you can expect for him and his spreading “the word” about the evils of record companies. Commercialization of the music brought it down: the undisputed truth that musicians are “slaves” to their record companies. The song has a great beat and he even lets sarcasm get the better off him for the benefit of comedy. “What’s this claim? Outta what? My dear, I am the touch.” Brings a smile to my face. And I dig the line, “I can give u power, I can take it away. I can make u dance cuz this guitar I play.” Aside from the extra “truth” about record companies, this feels like an updated version of “My Name is Prince” cuz he talks about who he is.
The Greatest Romance: Pleasant experience with this song. Will always be one of my favorites. For a moment, when he sung the second verse, I could almost see him speaking me in particular. His way of saying, “here is my heart within the song for your viewing pleasure.” And when he rants, the meaning behind the song’s creation hit me. This was sort of his way of telling Mayte how he knew they were destined to be together like Adam & Eve and it’s his way of trying to save the relationship.
Hot W/U: I dig the lyrics and I LOVE the use of horns. It really brings the song together towards the end and makes it a little Come-esque. That song used horns where I certainly didn’t expect and it made the song sound just as great. Eve’s rap doesn’t do anything for me, personally. I think what prevents the song from hitting it big is it being sort of a “O(+> by numbers” type of song. It gets a little repetitive after a while.
Tangerine: Not much to say that’s already been said. The song’s so short that it’s hard to say too much about it. It starts to build on the ultimate ending of the marriage at the end of the album. But its short and sweet, but I do wish it were a little bit longer than it is.
So far so pleased: This could have been a great pop song for the radio. I keep thinking that, but I know why it didn’t make it to the airwaves. I think a lot of the ignorants would have dug this song because Gwen Stefani is pretty popular with them. Another “paint by numbers” type of song, but it’s okay here. The guitar wins me over everytime and makes it fun. It could join “Lion of Judah” as a good road song too.
Sun/Moon/Stars: this is one of the songs that seems to get better every time I listen to it. It’s almost “paint by numbers R&B” but the rap saves it. And I dig the rap because it adds a little color/flavor the song. But the lyrics are very sweet.
Everyday is a winding road: now this song feels like it’s losing its shimmer every time I listen to it. It’s fun and I get into a lot more than the original. There’s really not much else I can say about it.
Man O’ War: I’m starting to see the poetry behind. I don’t know the lyrics too well, but as I read them, its meaning kinda hit me. Prince’s sensitive lovesick side gets through and I could feel his pain and frustration. Probably the overall best R&B song in the line-up (except for TGRES), but the emotion isn’t quite as powerful as one of the following.
Baby Knows: I do get into a little bit, but the chorus has got, no offence O(+>, some of the lamest lyrics I’ve ever heard. Grate on my nerves, like “You can do so much better than this.” But it’s a fun song and his personality gets through on my favorite line, “and her perfume… smells like the weekend.” Makes me laugh.
Eye Love U, but don’t trust u anymore: singing along with this almost always makes me want to go to tears. Only once, it got that satisfaction out of me. I think I was close, but not quite close enough this time. I almost lost it on the line, “Eye’ve always given u the best in life. Even in the wrong, it was right. Eye know u trust me, but u don’t love me anymore.” I can just feel his heart breaking and its hard to listen to sometimes.
Silly Game: R&B by numbers again… but it’s okay. The beat in the beginning is very happy and uplifting. The lyrics suggest otherwise, but I like it more than I did originally. One of those songs that kinda improves with “age” I guess, I hear it more, I like it more.
Strange but True: one of my favorites, very unique. And let’s just say only O(+> could write a song like this. It’s more like a lengthy rant continuing from “Undisputed.” When he says, “my energy has increased by knowing you,” I assume he’s talking about Mayte, but I could be wrong. I’m not too sure, but he states who he is, how he has and the person he is now.
Wherever U Go…: haha, its almost reminiscent of Gold & Purple Rain because its pretty much three verses and a little instrumental break in-between. The only thing missing is stronger lyrics and a lengthy guitar solo at the end. But it’s a great ending to the album. Slightly uplifting, but slightly sad. Not too strong a song, but it has a great sense of balance.