3121: not time 2 call it quits

Note: wrote this entry last night when I wasn’t in the best of moods. So the first half is pretty angry

I ain’t giving up that easy on this album. I can pretty much guarantee the very reason why it’s been falling flat for me. It could be one of two, but tonight, there was something really driving me crazy. And I suppose it’ll take a couple of days to get the words of those nay-sayers out of my head.
And possibly the idea for the album might be taking away from whatever it had before. I don’t know.

I can barely recall how many days I’ve been listening to the album (I believe since Monday night, so this was my 4th listen this week). I really meant to write an entry after my first night, but I was too busy saying my good-byes on the site. Day after day, I kept saying that I’d write another entry, but never did. Seems like the album has been getting old for me as I delay putting up the new blog on the album.

The most annoying thing that was going on throughout the album were other voices in my head from the rest of the fanbase. The things I’d left to get away from and they hadn’t gone away just yet. All kinds of reasons they give as to why Prince isn’t cool anymore, why he doesn’t write music like he used and that he pretty much is an arrogant SOB. The list goes on.

I think I was listening to “Fury” when I finally came full circle on this thing. All I’m getting is that there’s a supposed “war” between Prince and his fanbase. I don’t know if things would have been any different if I knew about that before hand. I mean, I would believe it if the whole fanbase wasn’t crazy about Prince the way I was. They’d been where I was, in many cases, YEARS ago and they’ve moved past that. I have as well, but I still have a lot of that enthusiasm left. I’m still crazy about Prince’s music and about him as an artist. I haven’t lost one shred of respect for him and in fact, with the more I learn, that respect keeps growing. Nothing’s going to take that away.
Would I still have joined the fanbase if I knew that he was at war with them? I can’t say for sure. I don’t think it would really change all that much. The conclusion I finally came to, when I was at the edge of losing my mind, was the following.

Okay, I know there’s some kind of war going on between you guys and Prince. He supposed hates his fanbase and is out to attack the Internet for using his music in the way it shouldn’t be used. I’m all for an artist protecting his rights to his work. If he takes off all the videos from the internet involving him, I don’t think that’ll make much of a difference as I have a couple myself already. I have plenty to keep me busy and don’t need his videos to make me happy. The truth is: you guys are at war with Prince. You think he hates you guys because he keeps attacking the fan sites and the internet itself. I wasn’t around when this whole war started. I didn’t see any of these supposed “evils” conducted myself and I’m hearing that they’ve been going on for years. I don’t even care how long its been going on anymore. I’m just sick of hearing about it. You’re at war with him? Fine. But don’t drag me into it. I don’t feel victimized. He never attacked my rights to his music and videos on the internet. I don’t even care about what right I have to his stuff posted on the internet I can get along with it. Why do you need to make it so hard for everyone else to like him and keep saying what a bad person he is?

Still fuming here, of course, but if I don’t stop, I’ll just be repeating myself. All kinds of things kept running through my head while listening to the album. Luckily nothing about “he not bringing the funk”… though the Planet Earth thing did come up. I’m going to sincerely hope that my mind is cleansed and free from that place’s influence before I get the chance to return to it. I do not want those voices of doubt to be responsible for me growing to dislike an album that I’m absolutely crazy about.

The timing is perfect and right now, I really wish that I never had to go back to that place. I truly can be myself there and talk about Prince however much I want as there’s no word/character limit on thread posts or private messages. I’m getting at a point where I feel, again, like I’m in a minority and the rest of the opinions are far too strong for me to contend with. Everyone’s going in one direction and I’m desperately trying to go in my own direction. I’m a salmon running against the website’s current of negativity. That’s what it feels like, except distancing myself from them is like trying to go up a waterfall. I just can’t get myself to the top. Or I’m been washed up in the Atlantic waves, caught in a huge rip current. Unable to find my way back to shore and in fact, I almost feel like I’m being drowned in that place. My voice is being drowned out by this huge crowd of some 100 people all saying the same jumbled mess of chaos surrounding Prince’s current activities (public & private).

I’m seriously not gonna survive as a member of the fanbase if I stay there. Some of the people who’ve become some of my friends are actually part of the problem. One of them definitely knows that I have this problem with him, but we’re on opposite poles. The only common ground we have is our liking of “Somewhere here on Earth.” I keep hearing a lot of the same gibberish from my friends there and I need a vacation from them too. I can’t maintain myself there unless I’m free to think whatever I want to without feeling pressured by the other side. I’m feeling this pressure and I’ve been off the site for 3 days now.

Another problem I seem to be facing is the fact that the clear picture of Prince had in my mind back on Sunday night is gone now. Completely vanished, so my imagination feels impaired. I can’t feel the music or connect with it unless I can see the artist performing it in whatever fashion the song calls for. When I say “see,” I mean seeing his face and facial expressions and just feeling that energy. I feel very little of it, at least not much that I can recognize to be Prince. Even more strange is when they utter his name. I keep thinking about the guy dressed in the purple jacket with the big curly hair from 1984. That person’s coming to mind when they say his name. The name isn’t exactly universal, haha.

Now onto the storyline of the album. I seem to be putting something together one piece at a time and tonight, I think I truly figured out something that could be a possibility.

This album is probably like the world’s longest break-up album. That’s what it feels like, the ultimate demise of his 2nd marriage. The album was released in 2006, 2 years after Musicology, so naturally something was going on that was keeping him busy. He was supposed going through his divorce at the time. In fact, I think the divorce occurred IN 2006, so the concept probably changed at the last minute to reflect his current state of mind. He’d been writing all kinds of songs over the past year or so and the album is more/less a “what I’ve been doing this past year,” sort of album.

3121 was the name of his club in Vegas and the music being played IN Vegas is “club” music, so it seems like there’s a bit of that vibe going on. The first two songs, 3121 and Lolita, feel like songs that a DJ could play to an energetic dance floor.

3121 is a party anthem with brand new studio techniques and somewhat similar to Musicology in structure. The only differences (besides the obvious, music & lyrics), are the fact he’s not doing this alone and the music is modern, opposed to old-school. I wasn’t quite feeling it tonight and it very well might be the first song he wrote for the album (Musicology WAS the first track he wrote for the previous album after all). It’s one of his approaches to life.

“Lolita” sounds like he’s out at a club and a young lady is flirtatiously trying to get him to dance with her. Probably someone half his age, someone old enough to be his daughter. My original question was: is this fact or fiction? Did he come across such a girl or was he just making this all up?
Tonight, I thought of something else. This may or may not be true (take whatever scenario comes from truth and fantasy and run with it), but Lolita could very well symbolize young girls in the 20’s and 30’s who have their eye on Prince and will do anything for his attention. His bottom line is that a young girl who can dance isn’t going to pull him away from his woman. Kinda funny to think about. We probably wouldn’t know it, but maybe he jokes about the girls of his fanbase all the time in songs just like this.

The other night, it seems that he is giving into her by dancing, but while he’s performing on stage, she’s dancing alongside him and he gets caught of his current wife.
“Te Amo Corazon” is somewhat of a plea to get her back. Trying to flirt with her and get her to forgive him. She could have had a little Spanish in her, but Spain probably was a special place for them. She could have even told him the phrase and whatever it translates to. It could be something that’s going on just between them and only they could understand the true meaning behind it. Three key phrases somewhat stick out.
My heart’s been crying out to sing this song. I don’t care who knows it cuz there’s nothing wrong. [I’ve been wanting to play you this song no matter who’s around. Despite what it looks like, there isn’t trouble brewing in our paradise. I’ve got nothing to hide].
So scared of losing you. [This hasn’t been their first dispute and he’s starting to have some doubts].
Once when I first laid eyes on you… [might have met her in Spain after he and Mayte divorced and implies that she was his rebound].

“Black Sweat,” I’ve said has little replay value. I don’t know why, but I’m getting to like the song more and more when I hear it. Just getting into the whole beat and swing of things. This starts a string of songs he puts together in an attempt to save his marriage, or something to that effect.
”Incense & Candles” had some of those voices coming in. People diss this song because he used a device to change his voice a bit. I still think the song is very seductive in nature. I also got to thinking tonight, “What would his voice have sounded like if he didn’t enhance it? And why did he make the change?”
“Love” is self-explanatory, especially the line about “stop giving me ultimatums” again implies that it wasn’t their first dispute. Another one that brought in the annoying nay-sayers. How they seem to think he wrote this song directly at us. Like I said, I don’t feel victimized. I don’t know the whole story and I don’t dig that far deep into his business to really care. Won’t stop me from enjoying the music.
“Satisfied” is still growing on me and it seems to be the last chance he takes to save the relationship and judging from the next song, it didn’t work.

“Fury” addresses rumors. How his divorce is what everyone’s talking about and people enjoy laughing at his expense. I’m getting to like the song more these days, but its been a while since I’ve heard a live version of it.

“The Word” was quite the curious song tonight. It doesn’t seem to go into the relationship at it, nothing to do with it. This is just a generalization statement, another addressing of what O(+> means and how his music represents it. The Word itself is obviously sex and people getting together to have it end up reaching and uniting with God.
Though it could go in another direction. It’s not fair to limit to just one. When I hear this song, I can just picture him in a dark studio where he’s sitting on a stool, playing his acoustic guitar and various other instruments with a spotlight hanging over his head. It’s a true piece of work, how he layers instruments upon instrument throughout the song.
The end of the song pretty much hit me just as he lets out that final scream. He’s happiest when playing music, so maybe he locks himself in his studio where he has to play so he won’t feel so miserable about what’s going on outside. The scream could allude to that, or it could be foreshadowing “The Dance.” Either way, it kinda gave my heart a jolt because I think I lost myself in the song for a bit.

“Beautiful, Loved & Blessed” has become somewhat of a personal anthem for me. Something to pick me up when I’m done and I’ve always kinda liked this song for one reason or another. Doesn’t really sound Prince-like, but maybe that’s what makes it special.

“Get on the Boat” is more/less something else going on with him that he put directly after The Dance to level off the playing field with a song that’s more upbeat, hopeful and happy. Great set of musicians on this number.

“The Dance” is a song of mystery for me and I get so lost in it sometimes that it feels like another world entirely. I forget which album I’m listening or even that I’m listening to Prince. I’m hearing about uncertainty, pain and despair. Days ago, I was listening to it and thinking “these two voices aren’t dueting, they’re layering. One voice is taking on emotions that the other can’t express and they work together as one to prove a point.” I can’t really think of whether the two different voices are dueting or meant to be taken as one voice with different emotions. My mind was too busy catching the emotions of the song in every note played and every lyric sung.

What I came up with tonight is that “Fury” is the song is the end result of the album and everything in it is leading up to it. He could very well have added that song last and the rest seemed to form around. The album seems to have a bit of a Latin flair to it (just noticed it in The Word today) and this song could be the reason he abandoned that direction and went with another. “Planet Earth” does the same thing where “Somewhere here on Earth” is the key song in the album that tells about his current state of mind.

The Dance is not inspired by just one person. It’s inspired by all the trials and errors made in his past relationships and his fears that it’ll never work out for him. That he’ll never find that happiness.

Prince, if you happen to come across this, please do not give up on yourself. Your life may be reaching the halfway mark, but you’ve got plenty of time to find love. Here’s hoping you find that special someone who’s “somewhere here on Earth.”

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