Last Day “Around the World”

This album is meant 2b Prince’s mental letter, and something special for his supporters. It touches on the three most important parts of the human condition: mind, heart & soul.

ATW sets the stage in more ways than one. The lyrics suggest what Prince wants to accomplish. He describes the atmosphere he creates and what he wants us to take away from the album. He’ll challenge our minds to think about what he’ll say and us Americans will enter his world (“purple” is the dead giveaway). Paisley Park speaks of a special place in your heart and the heart is spoken of for a few more tracks [Condition of the Heart & Raspberry Beret], temporarily leaving the “mind” behind. This gives the impression that Prince is a romantic and he very well could be (TB1’s from previous is proof). Piano is the major instrument here and shows a great amount of drama (this theme is shown later on as well).

Interestingly, Raspberry Beret was a “vault makeover” like “Baby I’m a star” before it. However, Raspberry doesn’t blend in quite as well. It feels like a track was written to become a hit for radio play, a pop song not as experimental as some of the tracks before and after it. For all we know, he could have added it to “throw a bone” to his newfound supporters who weren’t expecting this move from him.

In this respect, “Tambourine” is still filler, although Prince does some thinking here. You know the part I mean. America nearly had me on my feet with its irresistible beat. Almost as if he’s daring us to think about the state of our country. “Pop Life” continues the “mind” aspect and it feels more or less about “finding our place in the world” making life worthwhile. I’ve heard in more places than one that this track is about the ups and down about being a celebrity and finding the “pop” in life to make it interesting. I still don’t see it that way. It’s about overcoming life’s problems. “Can’t let life get you down” is the overall message (the “Rolling Stone” clip shows what Prince has overcome). HERE is where the piano adds the dramatic feel, but the bass carries it.

Naturally, the last 2 songs are the preservation of one’s soul. Prince presents the dilemma of finding that salvation that people struggle with. Temptation makes it seem like Prince’s soul is on the line and aside from his love life (Condition), this is a heavy issue that has been bothering him. He’s known for his explicit material and here he’s questioning that, wondering if his attention should lie elsewhere. For all I know, this could even be a b-side/response to “Darling Nikki” which came before it.

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