The time has finally come for me to write my first “official” review of Lotusflow3r. I’ve heard the album through maybe five times and my mind was free of distraction enough to concentrate.
The only way to really sum this up is for the majority, this is a guitar-driven album. It’s almost always the main instrument and therefore a guitar solo to match. The only two songs that lacked this element were “77 Beverly Park” and “$”
The album begins with an instrumental track. The first few times, it came off to me as something similar to what you hear on “The Rainbow Children,” though it slightly differs. It’s a jazz number with electric guitar thrown in quite a few places. I thought of it as a resemblence of Prince’s roots. His parents were jazz musicians, so jazz is in his blood. Then his love and proficency in guitar makes an appearance here to start things off.
To me, it sounds a little like Santana’s cup of tea.
“Boom” is one of many, many words that comes to mind when one thinks about sex. The lyrics pretty much suggest it with “butterscotch mountains” and “volcano magic” among other bits of innuendo. The overall sound of it has a few different degrees to it. On the one hand, during the verses, he alters his voice the way he did with songs such as “Incense & Candles,” something that strikes me as modern. The sound of the guitar during the solos, now that I think about, reminds me a bit of Michael J. Fox performing at his parents’ dance on electric guitar. The smoothness and ease of the flow of music strikes me as something one would hear in the 60’s. As a whole, though, the song feels similar to something he’s done before, but I can’t quite pinpoint it.
With this and a lot of the other tracks, I need to look into the lyrics. It’s especially difficult to tell what he’s saying here.
“Crimson & Clover” continues to hit me as one of my favorites on the album. And he didn’t even write this one. He puts his own mark on it with his guitar, which in places, sounds like the opening measures of “Welcome 2 the Dawn” from The Truth album. It probably is the song I know the most words to because it just sticks in my mind. And I’d heard all of the other tracks of the album two times more than it (since the first 2 times, I was checking out the downloaded version of the album).
It started a little rocky for me with “4ever.” My inital reaction weeks ago was that it sounds like it could become one of my favorites, but the chorus annoyed me somewhat. It didn’t feel like it was on the same level with the rest of it. I can’t help but think of sunshine when I listen to this one. The verses and the phrasing he uses really makes it catchy, so the words are starting to stick here too. Then it collects bonus points because of the last measure of the song. Just feels so right.
So I like the song more now than I did the first couple of times. The only thing that feels off for me is the chorus. It ends a little too soon. I feel like it should have a third “4ever.”
“Colonized Mind” has lyrics I’d LOVE to look into. So I can review them and get beyond the surface. What I get now of this brilliant song is only the chorus that helps sum up the track well. I’d regard this as one of the best and/or possibly the best song on the album. That’s just my opinion of course. The sound is very surreal. Then when you get to the guitar solos thrown here and there, that’s purely Prince right there. You hear his unique sound in that guitar.
“Feel Better, Feel Good, Feel Wonderful” is yet another track that’s growing on me. It’s not as strong as the live performance obviously, but whatever lyrics I’m picking up make it work. They’re fun and funny to listen to. The title pretty much says it all as far as the message is concerned and Prince would even wish it on his enemies. All about love.
“Love like Jazz” has verses that sound/remind me of “Lion of Judah,” but each quatrain ends on a completely different note. The other half of the song sounds like it would fit in an elevator. Not quite one of my favorites, but I get the overall message of it. Love at its best isn’t planned, its improvized, just the same as the best jazz musicians do it.
“77 Beverly Park” says to me either class & sophistication or I’m sitting in a fancy restaurant that plays instrumental Italian love songs. “That’s Amouré,” anyone? That’s the vibe I get. Since this is named after his live-in address, this is probably what his home says to him. What the colors of the walls and decor “sing” to him when he glances at them. If his house could sing, it would sound like this. That’s the gist I get from it.
“Wall of Berlin” sounds like it has a wacky scenario, but I don’t know too many lyrics to be completely sure. It’s a bit of an odd ball, but I like it just the same. The rhythm and sound of his rapping brings me back to “Sun, Moon & Stars” in the reggae rap that nearly everyone but me hates. The song itself is crazy because its relaxed half the time and then it picks up with an electric guitar solo.
“$” is a track I’m still kinda wrapping my head around. I’m liking it more each time, but I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece in the sense everyone thinks it is. The return to form or whatever you want to call it, I give those honors to “Colonized mind.” The Camille voice was a nice touch for this and some lyrics, I can dig. That line about going broke and ink & chlorophyll is my favorite in the work.
And then we have the coolest guitar work in this album with “Dreamer.” Each verse is amped up with a guitar riff and it ends with a fall and rise in the instrument. I still need to study the lyrics for this one even though I have them on me. It wouldn’t hurt to take a look and see how the song fits with Prince’s source of inspiration.
The album ends on a note similar to how it began. This time, there’s more excitment and distorted voices are added for effect. Prince is obviously trying to give us a message and its a matter of finding what his distorted voice is saying. When I heard it the first time, I got the impression that this is the first track with additions added to it now that Prince has experienced different methods of expressing his musical soul. The different genres and such.
Overall, I can dig the album pretty well 😎