Emancipation [Disc III]: this is what freedom sounds like

At last I finally got to the last disc of this album of incomparable size. Three discs long, 12 songs each, yielding a grand total 36 songs and 3 hours of music written by the newly freed Prince.

Of all the discs, this one seems to be the one that flows the most easily. All of the songs had the same feel to them that helped them flow into each other, but at the same time, you can tell when the songs peak.

As it was with the first two discs, I listened to it expecting nothing really in particular, taking it as it comes. The first half of the album, I was very optimistic and willing to take the songs as they came. Then after a while, the length started to kill me.

I’ll give it this: all of the songs (except for one or two) were really good, just as good as all of the songs he’d done in this set so far. The only problem with this disc is that all of the songs run a little too long and some of the songs don’t run quite long enough.

When I started to listen to this disc, I was walking back to my apartment from the cafteria. It was 7pm and the woods that take me back to my apartment were lit by the lights of the school and the apartments and by the growing full moon. Except for that little bit of light, I was walking back in the dark but was able to make my way. By the time I saw the light of the apartment, I’d gotten through the song “Slave.”

I was immediately impressed with “Slave.” I didn’t know quite what Prince’s mindset was and that was just one way to put it in perspective for me. Given the dark woods and having the volume somewhat cranked, the sound was amazing. Compared to the songs that came later, it was of perfect lenght. Just long enough. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

“New World” continues the streak of songs that I thought were really good. So much time has passed that I don’t quite remember the lyrics. Right now, I don’t have any specific comments on this song, but I enjoyed it.

“Human Body,” I remember a lot of people complaining about, saying how its one of their least favorites of all his songs. It really wasn’t all that bad. It was after 4-5 minutes when it started getting repetitive that I started to get REALLY sick of it. That was a trend that started to take shape for the next couple of songs.

I recognized “Facedown” right away. Oddly, I don’t like songs with rap elements in them, but with this one, I didn’t have a problem with it at all. It was something different and I had fun with it.

“La La means I love you” I was checking into and I could tell that this song had to be a cover because it sounds old-school both with the musical arrangement and the lyrics. One I enjoyed quite a bit.

“Style,” I know ran a couple minutes too long. But this was one of my favorites on this disc. The lyrics were creative and each one was like opening another present. You don’t know quite what he’ll say next and a lot of the lyrics made me smile. Some of them had me scratching my head, but there were more smiles  The beat was groovy also.

“Sleep around” was another one that ran WAY too long. I think this was a cover also, but I got into this song for its groovy beat. If it weren’t too long, I would have liked it a lot more.

“Da Da Da” wins the prize for the stupidest title for a song he’d ever written. It was like a revamped version of Jughead where someone else raps lead and Prince gets to sing/rap for one verse. Until Prince got that verse, I was thinking “I want out of this song right now.” After Prince had the spotlight, I was able to coast through the rest of this, but I’m not sure if I’m going to keep listening to it for long.

“My Computer” was another song I remember a lot of people complaining about, but I actually enjoyed this song. It was funny that one of the lyrics is about Sunday night and tonight happens to be Sunday night. I spend a lot of time in front of a computer, so of course I like this song, haha. I don’t remember quite that much about this song so I can’t comment further.

“One of Us” started with some live guitar and I was wondering if this was going to be an instrumental or a song. I was starting to get into it when he started singing. The lyrics made me feel uplifted and also made me think and ponder what he was pondering. Then I realized which song this was and of course this is the best cover he did on this disc, haha. It wasn’t quite long enough, but I liked his version of this. I remember seeing him do a live version of this at Paisley Park with a white symbol guitar and it sounded absolutely amazing.

“The Love We Make” I didn’t quite know which song this was until I hear him speak the title of it. It continued from where the last song left off and he makes up his own story about this subject. One of the highlight of this disc, hands down.

And finally is the title track, “Emancipation.” Better late than never, right? This wasn’t quite reminsicent of “Jam of the Year” as I thought it would be, but at the same time, it had its own flavor and the song fulfilled its purpose. It’s pretty cool how he begins this disc talking about his slavery and ends where he’s emancipated from his record company, something he’d been fighting for for a couple of years.
This was one of the tracks I wish he had made longer, but I guess he figured that he proved his point by this time that he really didn’t have to drag out this song more than he needed to. Just conclude the struggle with resolution.

This disc is different from the two before it because there wasn’t as much focus on finding and having love. This was more about his “enslavement” and being freed from the chains that bound him to WB. Not quite as personal, given that a lot of the tracks were group numbers, but the subject was what was personal about this disc. It was like its own little masterpiece among the three discs where all the songs work together to showcase all of his beliefs that make Prince who he is. Nobody else can write songs quite like this and make them this powerful.

I’ll keep everyone who reads this posted as I continue to check into this disc. It felt very natural going through this album with the songs flowing into one another. It didn’t have that new album experience where I’m concerned about what lurks around the corner. I didn’t have any expectations of what this disc would be like. I took everything as it came and in the end, I wasn’t at all disappointed. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

So this is what freedom sounds like…

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