Musicology: “private concert” idea cont’d

The bad part about the first listen being great is that you expect all others to live up to it. So for the first 4 songs or so, I was not feeling the music as much as yesterday.

The skipping on the title track had gotten worse, progressed to the beginning of the song, though it only made the first minute feel like forever.
The 2nd track got me thinking “could this be autobiographical or are only parts of it based on true experiences?”

“Call my name” is where things start to click into place. I can’t help but love this song right now. His falsetto has so much emotion and it’s almost like he doesn’t have to try. You can feel his passion for his current lover, perhaps his second wife, though I can’t say for sure.

“Cinnamon Girl” I listen to and wonder how anyone can hate this song. In fact it’s a wonderful, inspiring piece that helps put things in perspective.

Perhaps this is an example of another part of the Musicology puzzle, part of the message Prince wants us to come away with. Music is not just about self-expression. He does that throughout the album with songs he writes about himself. This includes A Million Days, Call my name, What do u want me 2 do through On the Couch (which I still skip) and Reflection.

Music is a universal thing that can express an artist’s thoughts on just about any subject. Including religion and politics and just music in general 😎

I can’t help but picture Prince as he was in the Musicology era while listening to this album. Him in his suits that are uneven on one side and his curly bangs. Those bangs annoyed me and actually, the era shows his age. At the time, 44-45 years old. Kinda puts a damper on the “Prince being ageless” theory. Though in the video for “Call my name,” he has neither the bangs or the suit. So I gotta go dig that back up and wait for the consequences.

The impression I get from the album, not only the fact that I’m feeling it growing with me and meeting my current thoughts about Prince… but he seems like an authority figure here. I suppose that was his intention as he wants everyone to come with the idea of what true  music is meant to be about. He comes off as someone you can look up to and someone that ought to be respected for his views.

And so, thinking about the universal value of music, I got to think about the idea I thought of last night. The album listen that was pretty the best I’ve had in a long time, with any album… it felt like a private concert courtesy of Prince himself.

This is how I see it: I’m in the middle of writing the book I’d been planning to write about Prince since December. Somehow, I am granted the opportunity to sit through a private concert given by him and ask him whatever questions I want about his songs. The key is, though, that I have to swear to silence and not tell anyone about the conversation. Though I can use the material for the book I’m writing. That’d be insane in itself. I remember hearing about a director doing a documentary on Bob Dylan and couldn’t get up the nerve to interview his subject.

If “The Word” is going to be a book “by the fans for the fans”… of course I’d love the opportunity to ask Prince whatever I wished about his music so I could put it in the book so I could have as many facts as I could get. I’d love for what I write to reflect as much truth as I can manage to obtain. The rest will be intution, guesswork and perceptions… much like the novel I wrote while he was inspiring me.

I can picture how it would be. He’d be on a small stage with all the sound equipment he could want and would do some of the performing while sitting on a stool, much like he did during his acoustic set on the Musicology tour.
Sometimes when a song ends, I feel like I’d want to ask him where the inspiration comes from. Like with the 2nd song, I’d ask if there’s any truth to that story. “A Million Days” I’d have so many questions about. Like which artist inspired the sound, who was his muse or even if such a thing happened to him where he wanted to chase after a girl after she left him.

Hilariously, with some of my questions, he’d probably just smile and sneakily ask, “What do you think it means?” Like he’d try to trick me into doing most of the talking and we could compare notes, though he might not give me straight answers about anything.

“Call my name,” I’d ask similar questions as I did with “A Million Days.” He might ask me, “do you know what it’s like to be in love? It’s kind of like that song. That’s what its all about.” That sort of thing. I can imagine what he means by it, and I could have my own twist on it. He might even agree.

The medley that consists of “The Marrying Kind,” “If eye was the man in ur life,” and “On the Couch,” I think about the sequencing in Abbey Road. Thoug he probably will deny such a connection or direct inspiration. I’d ask if there’s a reason why they segue into one another. Are they all the same story, differnet versions of the same song or completely unrelated and why put those songs all together for such a feat? My mind could go on and on with the different questions.

Though I believe that the most interesting conversations might stem from 3 songs in particular: Cinnamon Girl, Dear Mr. Man, and Reflection.

They’re worldly tracks for the most part. Taking his perception of what the state of the world is, why he thinks the way he does and what he thinks we should do to make our country better. Cinnamon Girl, I wonder if there was a particular Muslim girl that he came across that inspired this piece. He could have even been walking down the streets of LA and seeing a young Muslim girl giving out pamplets to passers by. He did say in the song that she’s praying for people she’d never met before. Something had to have inspired this, so maybe he did meet such a girl on the travels.

Reflection is about a simple man who yearns for the simple things. It’s hard to believe someone as complex as Prince would write such a song, but maybe the complexity is just talk. It’s a part of the mystique he’s created through his music and also his elusiveness. That, we could probably talk about forever on this subject. Though it’d feel like I was talking to a respected adult and he’d want to arm me with as much knowledge as he believe I needed. I think I probably could use a lot of knowledge about the ways of the world since I don’t really pay much attention to it. I’m too busy worrying about myself all the time. The possibilities are endless for such a conversation.

Not exactly the type of conversation I’d dreamt about having with Prince, haha… though it would be an interesting one, so I’d try to live up to the lessons he could teach me. Musicology is an album meant to entertain and educate at the same time. Perhaps that was his goal that he hoped to achieve in its creation. Well, in my case, I think he did achieve his goal 😎

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