The Time times two

At last, we made that trip to the mall where I not only exchanged my Sweeny Todd soundtrack for the one I wanted (hello Johnny Depp!)… but I also picked up another album from The Time.
Can you believe that no other wrecka stow in my area even has a rack FOR their albums? Circuit City was one thing where its a dying breed of wrecka stow and they’re bound to have just about anything. But FYE is more mainstream.

So of course last night, I had to listen to that new album. Before doing so, I picked out one Prince track [1999] just for listening to his voice. Seemed more/less like a waste of time because there was no spark, but I had unknown territory I was about to dive into. I hardly had the time to dwell on the past.

To prep for getting to the new album, I gave another listen to What Time is it?
Therefore, I’m now able to write a review for it that is completely informed and knowledgable. The last time I listened to the album was right after checking into Controversy and from there, it just dragged. It couldn’t quite compare to it.
This time, I was no such place. The album was great and it felt good to be back to the funkiest band in the land [as of 1982].

A GREAT opening number. It brings with it the whole experience you can expect with The Time, which is pure funky fun. The instruments play a catchy beat that you just want to follow through the whole album. I can be at the very end of the album and still be craving it. Members of The Time are nothing more than party animals and you wouldn’t expect anything else. Here, it sounds a completely together group number where everyone plays their part and towards the end, Morris rises as the star. Ain’t no better song to get you wanting to dance and smiling until your mouth falls off.

Many people say this song is one of their best, a great single if nothing else. I just am not feeling that energy. Morris was the primo songwriter, but it really doesn’t show much for his so-called ability. The lyrics are catchy, but after a while, there’s just no spark. It drags out way too long and the instrumentation is scattered, sparse and uncoordinated. The drumming is like that in the whole song, but I get very little out of it come the very end. I tried to get through it by counting how much times the phone number was repeated and I think I lost count around 23.

The shortest track on the album. It definitely is like the perfect track for Morris who really wants to be the #1 guy in town. There’s not much to it, but that’s why its good. It only goes so far and doesn’t try to overstate the overall message. Of course, not much can be said about it because it gets lost in the shuffle with all of the other tracks much longer than it. The overall beat sounds computerized, or at least something like Delirious, but without the Linn-drum carrying the beat.

Judging from what I said about the last long track on this album, you’d think I’d get sick of this one after a while. At least this song has VARIETY. Something’s always going on whether the beat’s being experimented with or a spoken segment is slipped in for good measure. The beat is very catchy and there’s always something to keep things interesting. It’s somewhat funny and ironic that the female vocals are provided by Vanity 6, who toured with The Time and was formed around the same time. I’m willing to bet even that Morris’s girl in this number IS Vanity, who was currently dating Prince at the time. Typically, I enjoy the spoken segments sprinkled into these numbers and this is no exception. It brings another dimension to things and also makes things fun.

Last time Morris wrote a song for this album, it didn’t work. This time, it did, but I’m usually a sucker for sentimental numbers. He tries to bring another dimension to his image. Usually he’s the playboy who thinks he’s the only star in town and he’s always got his boys behind him to make him look cool. Here, he sounds like he’s completely on his own, though his boys could be backing him up musically. His vocals are sensitive at best and despite the raciness of the title, he makes his case well.
And one would wonder why I’m currently having trouble with this guy.
This song makes him appear to be too irresistible.

In a way, this song’s beat and rhythm recall the first track in my mind, though they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum. This seems to continue from the same theme as the previous track where sensitivity rules over arrogance. In both songs, the vocals in some places (towards the beginning of the numbers) just sound sweet and there’s no much more than can be said. When I heard this the first time, I didn’t want to stop listening to this group. I was hooked and the song went on to 6 minutes, so I pretty much got my wish.

I found myself wanting this album to end the other night so I could get to my new one, but it was definitely worth going back to.

It was a little past midnight at this time, but being crazy as I am [have you seen the LENGTH of this blog? I think I’m certifiable, haha], I had to go ahead with it.

When the beat took off, I felt like I went back in time to nearly 4 months ago when I came across this video on VH1 Soul during the protege marathon. The vocals give you the impression that you’ve trekked into some sort of mystical world, an alternate place. When I saw the video, the images reminded me of the Around the World in a Day album or more specifically, the video for Raspberry Beret. Listening to the lyrics, it sounds like vanilla & chocolate are coming together or at least that’s what they want to happen. White girl meets black guy= let’s get together. In fact, the world depicted in the video could be a utopia where all the races come together in harmony, the way it should be. I’m too mesmerized by the beat to really care how long the song goes for. It brings me back to a time where Prince wasn’t of as much interest to me… then Morris Day comes out the wings where he starts to do THINGS to my head.
Here I am, two albums later, all thanks to this video.

After I got myself comfortable with those darn headphones (this album isn’t on my iPOD yet), I started listening and the song really isn’t too bad. I enjoyed it, though I’ve heard better. With time, I could probably write a better review for it.

First of all, this isn’t even a song. It’s all spoken. Second of all, after a while, I didn’t really care. Once again, Morris comes off as the most charming playboy you could ever hope to meet. It’s ridiculous. The dialogue is absolutely hilarious. I don’t know whether it was written before or after Purple Rain’s shooting, but Jerome gets his two cents in here without having to say a word. Just the same as in the movie where his body language is enough to make you laugh.

After looking forward to hearing it again, I was disappointed. Someone’s gonna have to explain to me why this is a different version than in the movie. It’s way too slowed down for my tastes and dare I say, IT’S NOT FUNKY ENOUGH. It’s a watered-down version of it. Either the movie version was live or Prince put this version on the album in order to “deflate” the edge The Time has over him at this point. The song is catchy as hell in the movie, but here, its just not the same

Just recalling this makes me want to gag. At this point in the album (rather the entire night), I was head over heels for The Time. I had a fear when the album started that it was going to fall flat right away in comparsion to the last album. To my surprise, it didn’t. Up to this point, I was still in love with The Time. Then this song comes along. Oh boy… Maybe its the last album’s vibe, but I might have been under the false impression that The Time was the light side of the coin. The side of clean and perhaps decency compared to Prince’s raunchy, explicit work. Here, it gets explicit and once one line is uttered, I’m completely turned off. I liken the moment to when I heard that song “Feel U Up” (the original version) where I was so in love with Prince that I was turned off by the fact he wrote a song about not carrying about a relationship, but to satisfy his ego in another way.
I think I’d already had many an orgasm with all of Prince’s work, but I was turned off the one in here. Haha, wanted to slap Morris silly.

Other than that, the album was a complete success.

Beyond catchy! Not to mention untouched. It was close to 1am, perhaps past it at this point, but this song has me smiling inside and out. The strange thing is that it brought me back to the first time I saw The Time in my entire time as a Prince supporter. I recalled the film where they did this number and all of the choreography that went with it. I should have been out of bed dancing up a storm, but with my CD player attached to the wall, that would be quite difficult. Not to mention I might wake up my folks. Mind you, it wouldn’t be me doing the dance, but I’d definitely be wanting to dance anyway possible. Other than being lyrically repetitive, this song ROCKS.

Unless something else comes along, this will be my last album from The Time. I couldn’t be more pleased wtih the two that I have. Now, I have 10 solid songs that I can check into when I want to hear that something extra. I find it funny how, in the end, everything came full circle. I’m back to the beginning of things. Before I listened to either of these albums, that was all I knew of The Time. Some of the best purchases I’ve made in a long time.

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One Response to The Time times two

  1. It’s cool that you dig The Time…I myself have never had an interest in picking up CDs from any of Prince’s proteges, but that is just me.  My sister owns “Ice Cream Castles” on cassette, and I remember when I was around 8 or so (1988) popping it into the boombox, fast-forwarding to “Jungle Love” (which I also thought lacked punch compared to the movie version), flipping the tape over and fast-forwarding to “The Bird” (which is WAY too long, despite its delicious funkiness) and then putting it back in its case and forgetting about it… 
    I’ve never heard any of the tracks on “What Time Is It?”  I have heard their contributions to the “Grafitti Bridge” soundtack … my favorite among those is “Release It.”  Their own album during that time, “Pandemonium,” had only one song I remember hearing: “Jerk Out” (which I played non-stop for a month before I got sick of it, haha).

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