As a side-note really quick, I’d like to take a moment to say: SERENITY NOW!
My mind still needs to recover from my Ichthyology exam. I feel like it tested me in ways that I didn’t prepare enough for. I know for a fact that I got one of my graphs wrong and my essay will likely cost me the most points, but looked at as a whole, I think I will ace it, but I don’t think it’s going to be in the high A-range that I’d been achieving in this class so far (my current average is 96.5% and I’m not used to seeing 96’s and 97’s on my tests either, not in my marine bio courses at least). Now if I ace this test, I should be able to maintain that A that I dreamt about getting in this course.
I’d often thought of possibilities of my dreams predicting the future. Not all the time, but on occasion, I’ll see something and it’ll come true.
Enough of that, though. I’ll try to ease the pain of my head and neck ache with some TV before returning to my next class. On my way back from the test, I heard someone downstairs playing the song by Band-Aid that was written for the troops in Africa. One of my favorite Christmas songs.
I’ll definitely have to burn a mix of my favorites sometime
I knew that I needed peace of mind to help myself relax after that strenuous test. Beforehand, my head was so crammed with information that I thought the test would be a good way to decant the thoughts onto paper. My head felt worse than it did when I first got there, but the rest of me is relieved that it’s over.
When I took that walk back through the woods to my apartment, I put on “The One” to take time to appreciate the beauty throughout that song.
My idea of Prince varies greatly depending on what I’m listening to. When I think of the name itself, I only have to look as far as the singles from 1999 and the Purple Rain album/movie. Certain songs show me his brilliance at guitar. I can’t back up my statement that he’s done the best guitar solos in the history of music, but he made me see the beauty in the electric guitar that I didn’t know existed. Up until that point last year, I only knew electric guitar through the heavy metal bands I can’t bear to listen to and Billy Idol’s songs were chock full of them. They were basically lacking in artistry.
The only artistry when it comes to electric guitar that I heard before Prince was in the climax of Stairway to Heaven, no doubt the best electric guitar solo of all time. It’s more like a spiritual journey of realization rather than highly emotional the way the Purple Rain guitar solo sounded.
Artistry overall is one of Prince’s more appealing qualities and when his songs demonstrate different degrees of it, I HAVE to pay attention. As far as guitar solos are concerned, the most artistic and beautiful in his career belongs to “Shh” from The Gold Experience. I’ve used poetry to describe just how great that guitar is simply because there aren’t many more words I can use to describe it.
Another type of artistry that exists in Prince’s music is what I’ve decided to call “serenity.” These songs are basically Prince’s soul painted on a canvas and the overall vibe is very calming, soothing and ultimately leave you breathless. “The One” demonstrates that in a number of ways.
First of all, the percussion that provide a smooth, subtle beat that takes you back to the sands of Egypt, something Prince had down in a lot of his songs in the 90’s. A lot of which were inspired by Mayte, whom he believed he shared a past life with in that particular time period.
Next, the lyrics, which can’t get much better than this. They’re cryptic at best and not quite as cheesy as a lot of his lyrics had become in recent years. Not so much that I have a problem with cheesiness, but I love lyrics that make you think.
Then there is Prince’s falsetto, his strongest vocal range. Throughout his whole career, he’d used it in his songs. There are several songs in which his falsetto reaches a certain level where it can be deemed as flawless. It flows unimaginably well with the music its paired up with. Throughout this song, his falsetto is a beauty to behold. It’s bold to say that this vocal is perfection and the best he’d ever done, but at this point, I can’t think of any other falsetto that can rival and overtake it. Once or twice, his falsetto reaches a point where it reaches and touches you deep down. It is simply so breathtaking and beautiful that it makes me wanna cry.
If that weren’t enough, the use of the flute in this song puts the icing on the cake. The flute solo halfway through the song is simply gorgeous, taking you beyond the high of the falsetto. It resonates deep within your heart and soul and again, you either are left breathless or you just want to cry over the beauty.
One day perhaps, I’ll make a list of Prince’s songs that can be labeled simply as Serenity, but its hard to think of other songs that fit the bill at the moment.
Prince’s soul is a curious thing. It fuels his work and makes his songs special when compared to the masses. But thinking of it on its own, I think he’s a peaceful, gentle soul that knows many things and can teach you more than you can possibly imagine. They say the eyes are the mirror to the soul and during certain performances, I can see this sparkle in his eyes that put you face to face with his soul.
In my mind, that’s the one thing that makes Prince special as an artist compared to all others. Granted there are many more things that make him unique, but that’s another post all its own.