That word alone pretty much describes Prince as he is now. A lot of people complain that he stripped down his lyrics so there are no more explicit lyrics, no more talk of sex, no more talk of lust, no more of the really naughty/nasty/raunchy material.
Those who grew up with Prince from the Dirty Mind era (or even earlier) look at his work now and given that its stripped down, they wonder “What’s left?” Some think a little much on his conversion to the JW faith and suggest that he replaced raucnhiness with religiousness.
I say different. Some would say that I don’t have the right to talk because I know little compared to then. But truthfully, I see things as such:
By stripping away the explicitness of his lyrics, Prince made way for something I always say in him. It makes it easier to look at his skills regarding his music. His attitude, now that he’s had time to grow up and develop as a person, is much more laid-back and relaxed. Back in the day, Prince was praised as a prodigy and a musical genius. These days, he’s still praised as a genius and as my name suggests, those who are intricate parts of the industry hail as royalty. There’s no pun intended here, given that his name is Prince. It’s a fact. People in the industry know his talents well and know just how much he knows about music.
Everything seems to be a process with him. He has such a good ear and at the same time, music is swirling around in his head. The two come together and result in the thousands of songs he’d written over the years. An interesting fact I came across in one of the many clips I found yesterday. Someone in an interview asked him if he regretted writing any of his songs and Prince said that he has no regrets because he knows why he wrote them at the time. That’s something to be admired for sure because I know that some of the things I’d written, short stories, some of them I had to erase from my hard drive and I have regrets either about not being able to stick around to the finish or I regret writing them because of the way I come off. With those works, I seem to be putting myself out there a lot and its very close to the truth and it makes me come off as shallow and in ways, conceited, selfish, cruel… always having to have things my way rather than thinking objectively.
For the record, I don’t regret this blog and I never did. Some of the things did come off as amateurist, preachy and blind admiration. At the extreme end, I sound like a full-blown fangirl, something I’d tried to cut down on, but it only really shows in the very beginning of this blog’s history.
Another thing I find particularly interesting is the fact that in the end, Prince isn’t trying to be mysterious. He never tried to hold up that persona. He’s just being who he is and some things he does aren’t easily explained. Not to mention a lot of his decisions are made behind closed doors. People like to play up the mysterious persona. I don’t know if I try to play it up because I do think of his as mysterious, but half the time, I try to dispell the mystery and try to make sense of it.
Enough of that segway.
One thing I’ve noticed about his material on the last three albums is that a lot of his work has an edge of sophisication and a clear vision that his music didn’t have before. Whether its the fact he’s converted to a new faith or he’s grown with age, I can’t say for sure. But the word sophistication says more about him at present than any other words besides “indescribable” (which can pretty much apply to him throughout his career, haha).
Whatever appearance he has made in the past 4 years (Musicology era and beyond) whether he’s performing or being interviewed, he is truly a man of class 😎 a man to be respected.
A little something to think about, Prince. By removing your videos from the internet, you’re denying your supporters from getting to know you. Not just the artist, but the man behind the music. I understand you want to protect your image, but I disagree with what you’ve been doing for this past year.
Though he most likely won’t read this, its worth a try.
It’s rare to find a person quite like Prince who is capable of so much and even surpasses those capabilities as he gains experience. That’s why I’d like to know more about him aside from the music itself. I know a lot about the person in his biography and such, but there’s something about truly knowing a person that cannot be obtained by knowing the facts. That’s why interviews are great. They come around rarely as it is, but when they do, they all have their purpose. When he agreed to the Rolling Stone interview, it was to clear up all the misconceptions about him and his music that started from the Dirty Mind era and continued piling up. He did MTV to clear up a few of his actions, between his contribution to “We are the World” to what went into Purple Rain and the promotion of his new film, Under the Cherry Moon (a gem among his supporters, but otherwise forgotten by the general public).
Musicology was the most recent of the eras where he decided to “come out of hiding.” The truth remains that in 2004, he was EVERYWHERE. Not just on his Musicology tour, but throughout the USA doing interviews on all of the morning and late-night shows. Promoting the tour and new album is part of it, but both were devices for his largest goal: to promote real music and prevent the future “musicians” being nothing but computers.
Truth be told, even if you programmed a machine to “play” electric guitar with all of the same notes and chord changes Prince does in his work and somehow were able to tap into his mind which puts the lyrics to the music, it still would be nothing like the genuine article. Prince is a true artist; a person who lives and breathes music, but on top of that, his music has heart because that’s where the magic happens. I can’t put it more plainly than that. I didn’t realize until I saw some of those clips yesterday that he was after preventing computers taking over for the “dying breed” of musician. Four years ago, he thought musicians had hope. I don’t know how he feels about the idea now. I’m sure he still believes in today’s musicians, but he’ll do his part, hoping others will follow his example to stay true to music.
I read one review of For You, saying that nearly all of the songs were about him and they didn’t address any deeper issues and that was the biggest flaw about it. By fast-forwarding 30 years, you find he’s come a long way. His first “unselfish” tracks were about living life to the fullest and letting it get you down (D.M.S.R., Let’s go Crazy, Purple Rain, The Ladder, Pop Life). With Musicology, he added politics into the mix with the track Cinnamon Girl, one of my favorites on the album. Education is something he feels to be a duty because he’s one with experience and he’s someone people will listen to.
Unfortunately, it seems that more people pay attention to him when he’s acting out and doing what is not commonly acceptable in society rather than what they should listen to.
Of course, there are people who support him that are currently skeptical of him that will most likely dismiss this “unselfishness” and turn it into “Prince has developed a God-complex thanks to the JW faith.”
I do find it ridiculous how much I comment on what OTHER people think of Prince, including his own followers. They find all different reasons to tear into him and say why he can’t be taken seriously. That’s part of why prince.org really can’t be trusted. Everyone has an opinion of him and in a way, they “poison” me with their thoughts and make me doubt my idea of him. I know what my beliefs are and I shouldn’t listen to what they have to say. Sometimes I wonder if I should delete my account there and make it as if I’d never existed… I’m certainly not doing much good there. With my inexperience in the purple universe, few people will listen to what I have to say.
I’m not blind. I’m completely aware of Prince’s flaws, but I don’t dwell on them for too long. I’d rather spend my time exploring my curiosities about what makes that musician tick.
I’m not quite sure what it is about someone of sophistication, but there’s a certain charm to Prince with the current place he is in his life. It’s not so much about him knowing exactly the person he is. There’s something about his music and how it reeks of class. His experience truly shows and that’s something I really enjoy about his current material. Perhaps I should jump back into the last three albums to spend time with older, mature, sophisticated Prince.