Disc III of Emancipation is…

inconsistent to say the least.

the first time I listened to the third part of this mega-album… probably the first time in vivid memory because I don’t remember a time before that…

no joke…
I was dodging raindrops in a downpour to the rhythm of “Slave,” the first track… and it might have been thundering outside too, I really don’t know…
but whenever I hear that song, I think about being in a thunderstorm and the instrumental breaks between the verses remind me of rumbling thunder

I started listening through Disc III yesterday afternoon… during that rain…
got through “Slave”

I finally got to “New World” several hours later

 one way or another… for whatever reason… my attention is usually divided during the last 2-3 songs of this disc…

and I feel bad about it
everyone has said how great “The Love We Make” is, but I haven’t really heard it… I’m always distracted or I’m just TIRED from the rest of the album… I can recall the overall vibe and the melody of it, but no lyrics off the top of my head… don’t even know what the lyrics are about aside from the obvious (looking at the title)

the worst thing that can happen to a Prince album is when my mind checks out during the last couple songs of the album… I’m trying to think… don’t think that happens anywhere else but on the Emancipation set…

I don’t think… yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s the only case

It happens in every case except for Disc I… goes with the territory that I’ve heard it the most times through, so I have a pretty strong inkling of its overall message

it goes without saying that each of these discs are very different and pretty much albums onto themselves…

Disc I feels like an introduction into this particular time in his life… giving us a summary of events at present and others that led to it…
a bunch are relationship-based songs that talk about getting into a relationship and obstacles in the way

I honestly thought that Disc II would be my one of choice this time around because thinking about “Sex in the Summer” got my mind started in thinking about these discs in the first place…

in my mind, I went through each of the songs and kept thinking… agreeing each time that these songs were among the most picturesque of Prince’s work… kinda how they say that Michael Jackson’s music has a very vivid visual quality to it because they paint such amazing pictures

“Liberian Girl” was one of my favorites on the Bad album for that reason… it’s a thing of beauty where there are almost no words…

but with each song on Disc II, otherwise known as the “Prince <3’s Mayte album”… you get a very distinct picture based on a number of lyrical cues…

“Sex in the Summer” inspires a scene on the beach with girls in bikinis…

“Curious Child” is like something out of “Romeo & Juliet”… except that she’s on the balcony, peering into the distance and instead of Romeo calling out to her, he’s playing a harpiscord, looking up at her and speaking in monologue where only the audience can hear him… something like that

the follow-up song… or rather, part 2… “Dreaming about ya” has got to be one of my all-time favorite Prince serenade tracks… his falsetto is stunningly beautiful in places and his speaking voice… it just makes me purr, its that… whoa…
but while meditating, I got to thinking the title from a different perspective/meaning that I wouldn’t have imagined a couple years ago… and I’d rather keep it as it was… wouldn’t want to taint one of my favorite songs on this album set with that kind of nonsense…

“Joint 2 Joint” has me thinking about… wow… nothing really vivid except for maybe choreography, particularly during the organ solos that spread out through the 2nd part (of 3) of the song… LOVE those parts too…

my attention span starts to wane a bit after that song… “The Holy River” runs long, repeats itself quite a bit… but its very picturesque… just not something I can listen to every single time I go through the album…

so for that reason and a bunch that follow, most times when I listen to Disc II, I stop halfway through… we take it “Joint 2 Joint” and I abandon ship

no offence meant to be done when it comes the last couple songs… they’re great songs, but its kinda like…
I respect the subject matter and the thought behind them… but a lot isn’t in my wheel house…

I’ve become a little more of a fan of “Saviour” in recent years, but that’s not saying a whole lot…

I’d say that “Let’s have a baby”
not just because its a sensitive subject in general… considering what became of the whole thing… but, I dunno, I think my issue is that its one of those uber-sugary sweet songs I cannot stand to endure too much of…

“The Plan” is an instrumental… where not a whole lot happens…
and then to end the disc, “Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife”…

I think where that song fails me… its literally the case of “it’s not you, it’s me”…

I’ve never been in love and while I can imagine quite a bit, its not a song I can get into… just never connected, plus it also runs a tad long for me…
that’s the other issue, this album ends with a bunch of long songs

yep, doing the write-up for that disc will be interesting to say the least and hopefully by then I’ll have more good things to say about later on… but I’m currently not counting on it

what kinda has me… off… I should say… about Disc III

whenever I think that I’m starting to get it, I get to maybe a couple songs into the album and what I thought has been rewritten… and proceeds to get a number of rewrites…

the trek of the first 3 songs of the album…
is surrounded by techno-laced music… futuristic and experimental sounding

“Slave” is a great opener, just as the last couple openers have been… also fully explains another facet of this whole project

“New World” revolves, mostly, one set of lyrics
“when the lines blur, every boy and girl, how we gonna make it in this brand new world”… and the words “Love 4 one another” follow…

right now I’m trying to recall it and I can’t get it back…

the importance of lyrics steadily decreases through these songs… like they’re strongest in “Slave,” then they kinda are less dimensional in “New World”…

then with “The Human Body”…

it’s a rather strange phenomenon… when Prince usually does songs like that where the focus is on the musical experiementation than lyrical merit, I dismiss them, especially when they’re repetitive and… albeit, WEIRD… even though I can deal with a great deal of his oddities

it is oddly sintilating… I guess that’s how its spelled… but I get into it… despite it being very one dimensional and every now and then, the techno changes…

these three songs then build to….

:SIGH/GROAN:

the sarcastic rap anthem known as “Facedown”…

a song loved by many, but I almost never get it…

its greatest crime is the GODDAM SAMPLE…

WHY???

its one of those moments where I wonder what the hell Prince was thinking because hearing the words “dead like Elvis” shouted in my ear a number of times, its not just distracting, but its obnoxious… it really is

its one of those times where I say that Prince should just NEVER rap… especially if its going to be in that gangsta style… he’s better than that… and really should leave it to the people who don’t have careers TO lose

actually, the next set of three songs are weird in that they have zero things in common…

after “Facedown,” there’s a cover

“La La La means I love you”

it’s clear that this isn’t Prince’s work… much the way that “Facedown” didn’t feel like something he’d do, more the point, should do…
it’s also sugary sweet, but I don’t know just yet if I can hang with it or not… there’s pros and cons

then we have “Style”… which shares the edge of sarcasm from “Facedown,” but handled so much better… it kinda makes me think about Prince’s later NPG work on “NewPower Soul”… without the negatives, just that particular vibe in its music…
great song too

“Sleep around” is another cover… but I LOVE it… I could hang with it for a while, which is in the cards for sure… cuz that sucker runs long… close to 8 minutes, I think…

then we have… ugh…

worst song title EVER…

“Da Da Da”…

Da’s are not legit lyrics, my friends… not at all… as legit as…
haha… that kinda strikes out “La La La means I love you,” doesn’t it…

plus the majority is a goddam rap… where Prince isn’t even a part except for one verse… it comes and goes way too quickly… I don’t even know the point of the song because its barely worth consideration or discussion

after that, “My Computer”… the synths recall the ones from “In this bed I scream” in places… a great song and a timely one too 😉

after that…
I think I started losing my focus last night…

“One of Us”… yet ANOTHER cover…

do I see a pattern here, or what…

thankfully, this was among the best Prince ever did… heck, give him an electric guitar, have him play it live and you’re in business… it’s an amazing rendition of this song…

after that, I checked out for the rest of the time, so I don’t remember a whole lot about the last two songs…

“Emancipation,” I already know the chorus… but everything else, I didn’t want to crank up my volume to actually hear… so I don’t really know what’s going on in the song…

actually, considering the subject matter and such, I thought the chorus would be 100x more joyous than it ended up sounding

so I always think I have the album figured out…
then I get to “Facedown” and things start to fall apart… the collapse happens towards the last couple songs

yep, I’ve yet to figure this thing out… but I’ll keep trying…

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