First, a word to the wise:
“I know you’re out there..”
and if you come across my blog otherwise known as “J’adore Prince 4evermore”
I hope your first comes from this particular entry.
Few higher paid compliments will be found elsewhere than here 2night.
I had the video uploaded for a couple of days now.
Jay Leno’s [would be] final Tonight show. Prince being his most distinguished, exquisite guest to give him a proper send-off.
I did my prepwork by listening to the song a couple days ago.
As is always the case for many, not all cases, it comes out better on paper than beholding it with all of your senses.
Perhaps the only exception to this rule is the performance of “Te Amo Corazon” and “Fury” on the 2006 Brit Awards, backed up by former Revolution[aries] Lisa Coleman, Wendy Melvoin and Sheila E.
It’s generally accepted that “Fury” sounds more impressive live, though I’ve gotten more of a taste for it after I heard “Guitar.” There are some remote similarities between the two.
But “Te Amo Corazon” was my first impression of the song, not what I would hear on 3121 a month later.
This song and that song share something in common, but on different grounds.
Perhaps one more can join them.
My first impression of “Somewhere here on Earth” and “The Word” came on their respective albums. The Latin American awards (i.e. ALMA) featured “The Word,” and I found myself disappointed with it.
Prince drew me in and has captivated my attention because he brings somewhat of a mystical, mystical energy to certain songs. They flow and give a similar sensation as incense.
Trust me, I came up with the incense analogies long before I knew he wrote a song called “Incense & Candles.” Needless to say, that song brings that kind of atmosphere with it, but to me, doesn’t accomplish that particular objective to its full potential.
“The Word” is mysterious in that I don’t have a clue what its about, but the overall message sounds like a groove I can hip myself to.
Unless that groove is going to lead me to convert to the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses. That just isn’t my cup of tea, though it has done wonders for this song’s composer.
Here’s the strange thing, though.
The ALMA version of “The Word” and the album version of “Te Amo Corazon” had a Spanish flair to them, which I didn’t find myself too fond of.
“The Word” makes me picture a lone man strumming an acoustic guitar on a stool in a dimly lit room.
“Te Amo Corazon” at the Brits made me feel like I was underwater with some of the most astonishing of sea creatures, enjoying the immense power of their beauty.
Those are visuals I tend to prefer to the alternatives and I love them to death. Such amazing work.
Like “The Word,” “Somewhere Here on Earth” I completely prefer at its finest. If you will, a fine red wine that has been saved for decades and opened when it is at its ripest. Namely, it is ready to be enjoyed when enjoyment is the name of the game.
Given the two situations, I’d prefer Leno’s “Somewhere here on Earth” to the ALMA’s “The Word.” Because it really didn’t take too much away from the song. Some vocal variations were added for a little dramatic effect and performance value.
I regrettably admit the hair-do was a tad distracting, but everything else as far as the visual came together as it should. Any day when Prince performs indoors without sunglasses is a good day. The eyes are required for the audience to connect and enjoy something the way it was meant to be enjoyed. I must say that blacks and grays are a good color palette for this distinguished gentleman.
However, all of that aside, when listening to the song on the album gives me the experience I had the other night, only a private intimate performance would be able to top that perfect slice of heaven.
Not that I’m asking for any favors, just giving my take on the facts.
The few thoughts that crossed my mind while listening to the song that had nothing to do with that particular song were about Planet Earth as a whole. Merely listening to that reminded me how much I loved the album as a whole.
Tempted as I am right now, I’m not going to steal over to Wikipedia and see what the critics had to say about where the album succeeded or not. Several people on prince.org have dismissed it as being a failure, but I’m not going to and never will get on that particular gravy train.
Everytime I so much give it any thought makes the entire experience miserable.
The first listen, I’ll admit, wasn’t perfect. Some songs hit more than others, but I’ll tell ya that the sequence of “Mr. Good-night” and “All the Midnights” was the supreme highpoint.
The album came off a tiny bit bi-polar at first because the songs in sequence were trading off whether they impressed me or not. Made me want to get up and dance vs. made me swoon, oo and aw at their profound genius.
The title track had me floored for a number of reason. First of all, I heard the opening verse in an acceptence speech by Prince when the NAACP awarded him as 2007’s favorite male artist. I found those lines fascinating and thought-provoking, a=b, b=a.
The bridge sounded magical and the guitar solo at the end, forget it. I was officially hooked.
“Guitar” made me wanna get up and dance.
“Somewhere here on Earth” made me swoon more insanely than I probably had for any song up to that point.
“The one u wanna c” had me grooving, but I found myself a tiny bit disappointed. It seemed a little weak compared to some of the other tracks before it. And the previous is hard to live up to.
“Future Baby Mama” had me the moment he said ‘London.’ Everything before that, I was a bit confused. ‘Baby mama,’ I suspected to be an experience I was unfamilair with because I was… I didn’t know what it meant. Some of the lyrics were hard for me to understand that first time around because after the first verse, their sequence changed a tiny bit.
Then my favorite sequence and I found it ended all too quickly. “Chelsea Rogers” stuck out like a sore thumb, Shelby J annoyed the hell outta me and it brought an end to a remarkably seductive suite that I was completely sold on.
“Lion of Judah” had me lost with Biblical implications and “Resolution” made me sad because it was the last song, and I felt it wasn’t a strong closer.
As time flew by, other songs started to grow on me. Hell, I’ll listen to “Chelsea Rogers” and get into a little of the disco flavor.
I doubt I’ll be able to listen to “Resolution” unless I’m planning on listening to the entire album.
So memories came back and I remembered how much I loved the album. If I had the time, I may have started to listen through it then and there.
But if there’s a high point this high, there’s no way I want to take a chance in destroying it. Life has gotten me down and I wanted a reason to smile.
Another thing I started to think about while listening to this special song:
it is probably Prince’s crown jewel of decade 2K.
Not only in the romantic ballad category, but in all categories. No song is more cleverly crafted and performed to that degree of perfection.
That thought makes me a little sad too. Those who are vocal about Prince’s supposed “wrong-doings” are more than willing to point out how much of a disappointment he’s become as an artist and a person.
I don’t want to bring myself down with that whether or not it happens to be true.
There are some highlights of this recently passed decade, but they’re widely spread out among different albums.
“A Million Days”
I find these to be absolute gems and I suppose the likes of “Colonized Mind” and “Dreamer” will join them in my rankings as well.
“Somewhere here on Earth”… those songs have nothing on this because its in a class all by itself. The only thing it can compete with as far as “love songs” and “longing desire” is A Million Days… great as it is, doesn’t come nearly this good.
By the by, I see Prince in that performance and you know, I’m reminded a bit of the Diamonds & Pearls era with the way he’s carrying himself. I totally get what you’re saying.
The song has a gentle rise and fall like a perfectly orchestrated waltz. It also appears to breathe as if it were alive. My lips form the words as I’m recalling them, surprisingly well in fact, and while I try not to speak, find myself inhaling like mad. Each phrase ebbs and falls equally and evenly. The breaths that come intend to capture the emotion of each word, but fall miserably.
The song lives and breaths as if it has a soul. As a songwriter, Prince has the gift of literally putting himself in his works. That’s something that I’ve always found fascinating about him. This of course also shows my bias and preference of him to other artists. Songwriters or not, I believe he’s one of the few people who can properly craft songs with this ability to co-exist no matter how many times they’re played.
As hard as I try, I cannot keep the visuals from the music video out of my head. Try as I might to recall my own, its hard to forget the fact that the ending where he was looking into the camera, Prince made me forgot how to breathe for merely a second. His eyes penetrated like lasers into my soul, making me feel the intensity of all emotions they are reflecting in that moment.
Plus, there’s no arguing with the perfect ending where a lone piano key ends the song on both ends. The first is the end of the piano’s final phrase and the second is a key on the other end of the spectrum that is the last instrument you hear before the needle on the record fades to black. That is, the argument of this song on the album versus the live version on Leno.
Leno’s “Dreamer” on the other hand is the exact opposite. Much more impressive on the show than on the album.
Some of your songs have amazing guitar solos, Prince, why are you cutting back on them on the albums? Why not let them shine as they did in your earlier work?
I find “Somewhere Here on Earth,” as an overall experience, it washes me and engages me as naturally as breathing.
But it plays both sides of the coin in that it has a natural ability to breath, but sometimes makes me stop breathing so the silence allows me to better embrace the degree of its perfection.
Although behind “Gold,” this song could give a lot of others a run for their money as one of my favorite Prince songs of all time.
All the while, it makes for a good “cry for love, never cry for pain” song.
Staying true to the words of Christopher Tracy:
“With love, there is no death”