Yeah, I am not quite done with this album yet… but I think I will be ready to move onto the next one.
But my last blog post was so long that I couldn’t just take this on.
Plus, I’m trying to keep this one short and a bit more concise.
This blog post will be going a little bit into the Peach & Black podcast and various comments they made.
Outside of MC (who had retired from ratings), everyone gave this album 5 out of 10.
personally, I think I’d give it a 6, but I also need to figure out my own system.
It wasn’t one of those podcasts with a lot of great one-liners, but of course it was entertaining. It always is with these guys.
MC might have ruined the “I’m Yours” guitar solo for me 😛 at least for a while. He said it reminded him of something from a 70’s cop show. I listened through the album again today and couldn’t get that out of my head. He was one of two dissenting voices. Once again, I think MC and Toejam took one side and Captain and Player took the other. And MC more or less told the other guys to calm down because he was convinced that they were so caught up in his first epic guitar solo to notice that the song isn’t all great.
Loved hearing Toejam play some of the notes and chords. As well as the keys the songs end in and how they interconnect really nice. I’m not quite that musically inclined, so it’s a good way to add perspective.
I also loved the moment where he asked “who’s with me?” asking if anyone else thought “just as long as we’re together” is the best song on the album… and there were crickets.
I think Captain was waiting for “I’m Yours”… I don’t know what the heck happened with everyone else… they certainly didn’t volunteer what their favorite song was.
But based on the comments, it was probably “Soft & Wet.”
I think it was Player that said during “Baby’ that it sounded like “I hate you” at points and I cheered 😛 I just noticed that myself last week.
Yeah, much of the podcast with me nodding and agreeing with what was said. Of course there were exceptions- there always are. They said that “In Love” and “My Love is Forever” were forgettable. Don’t know how that’s possible with “In love” when it was the first real song on this album (the title track doesn’t really count in my book).
“My Love is Forever”- it has its flaws, but I never forgot about it.
So now I gotta attempt to rate this thing.
I’m trying to go through all these albums without comparing them to the others- not right away, at least.
Maybe as I go through, I’ll compare them to the albums that came before them. Soon or later, though, old habits will come back 😛
If I really wanted to get elaborate with this, I’d be giving out scoring like you see in figure skating.
The technical score and the components score.
But I think I might settle for scores out of 5 for each track.
For You- 1.5- nothing against all the effort Prince put into this song. But it’s just too dang short to consider a song. I can’t even use one of Captain’s top phrases “It’s just a song” to describe this.
I think what I’m going for with my system… I’m looking at technical merit, how impressive the arrangement and overall sound is and how well-written the lyrics are (on this album, it’s kinda hard because the lyrics are mostly pedestrian compared to what follows). Then I look at the feeling I get from the song- the level of Prince’s performance of it, how I feel about it personally and how often I will play it.
Heck, I’ll give my figure skating system a try.
Technical merit will be a rating up to 5.
Components score has a maximum value of 3.
For You- technical- 4/components- 1 = 5
In Love- it was because of this song I had to run through the album again today- it’s been a great companion on the drive home from work. The lyrics were starting to come to mind early in the day, so I thought “why not listen again to see how much I remember”- the answer was a lot.
Technical- 4 (thinking of MC, I wonder if the quality of it would sound better on vinyl… never mind “once you go vinyl, you never go back”- his catch phrase should be “once you hear vinyl, you’ll never want to settle for less again”… but you can’t always find Prince on vinyl… the quality of the music sounds a little muddled, which is part of its charm, but also detracts from it somewhat)/ components score- 2 (I enjoy this one, but Prince’s vocals are too low in the mix sometimes so it’s not the strongest performance)= 6
Soft & Wet… I don’t know why I’m buffing against this song so much… musically, it’s brilliant. I just don’t like the lyrics that much.
Technical- 3/components- 1= 4
Crazy You… This was my favorite song on the album, but I think I might have a new favorite.
Anyway, it’s too dang short, but one of the most solid tracks on the album.
Technical- 4/components- 3 (great performance, I enjoy it a lot and I’ll gladly listen to it a bunch of times)= 7
[it’s kinda ironic- I’m working on this system and the highest mark a song can get isn’t 7, but 8]
Just as Long as We’re Together… yeah, this is getting a perfect score from me. Technically, it’s brilliant. The lyrics are simple, but they work so well in this context. Great performance all around, and the replayability of this keeps on growing.
Baby… yeah, the Peach & Blacks guys were hard on this one, saying the lyrics are way too sugary sweet. I think I thought something similar at first as well. But it has its strong points as well. Namely, the performance and storytelling ability.
Technical- 3/components- 1= 4
(dang, “For You” scored higher than this… I hope I don’t need to tweak my system)
Well conceptualized, but the lyrics maybe drag it down a tad. It’s also not quite as memorable and I don’t see myself thinking “I’d like to listen to this one again” by itself.
My Love is Forever… this is a tricky one to rate… it’s more of a feeling than a real song… and sadly, that kinda applies to the rest of the album…
I enjoy this one a lot and maybe pick it at random to listen to on its own. But it falls short on some other things.
Technical- 3/components- 2 = 5
So Blue… Peach & Black more or less agreed that this song isn’t so great.
I found more to appreciate about it over the past week, but beyond that, it’s still one of the weaker tracks
Technical- 2/components- 1.5 (I occasionally get an emotional response from it)= 3.5
I’m Yours… after the two minute mark, it’s nothing more than a one-man band jam session.
His vocals aren’t strong or at least they weren’t recorded very well.
Great musical finesse, but sometimes it runs long. Today, I don’t think I even listened to the solos. I just got to a point where it ended and I thought “that was quick…”
Technical- 3/components- 2= 5
So by that logic… the ranking is as follows:
1- Just as long as we’re together- 8
2- Crazy You- 7
3- In love- 6
4- My Love is Forever- 5
5- I’m Yours- 5
6- For You- 5
7- Baby- 4
8- Soft & Wet- 4
9- So Blue- 3.5
The combined total is 47.5.
To make everything even with all the albums, I’ll divide my totals by 10 so I’ll have a ranking out of 10.
And unless I’m breaking ties, I’ll be rounding up to the nearest whole number.
I’ll hold onto the 4.75, but for now… yeah, my ranking of “For You” is 5 out of 10. Just like all the Peach & Black guys said… well, everyone except MC.
That sounds about right.
And using this system, I think I’ll also determine which songs I want to take with me to compile my list of favorite Prince songs.
I’ll take the top 3. I can always tweak that system later.
Songs from “For You” for the consideration of DreamyPopRoyalty’s 100 favorite Prince songs:
Just as Long as We’re Together
I can see that maybe “In Love” will get left behind in the mix as I go forward… but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
updating with some edits to my rating system… I’ll keep the technical score the same whenever possible- just to be fair.
3 (good vocal, great lyrics, and something special only Prince could do, but not much structure to it)+ 2= 5
great music, songwriting structure, lyrics, but vocals are indistinct at times. personally, it’s very memorable
Soft & Wet
don’t like the lyrics, great music, good structure overall
4+ 4= 8
Just as long as we’re together
5 (technically, very strong)+ 4= 9
My Love is Forever
3+3 (I generally like this one, but it’s not close to perfect either)= 6
Just as long as we’re together- 9
Crazy You- 8
In love- 7.5
My Love is Forever- 6
I’m Yours- 6
Soft & Wet- 5
For You- 5
So Blue- 4
Doing the math… 55.5/100- making it 5.55/10- rounded up: 6
yeah, I kinda wished I was still in alignment with Peach & Black with my rating… but then, if I have a few ties to break further down the road, I could always take the extra decimal points into account.
And this might also help the overall scope of my rankings of the songs themselves.
final change to the scoring, I swear… I must have been out of school longer than I realized (graduated college in 2009)… if the scoring is going to be fair to all of the albums, the total points I add up for the tracks should be divided by the total points possible.
Otherwise, albums like this with only 9 songs- the top score it can get is 9/10, seeing as I give each track a score out of 10 (5 for technical, 5 for components- or rather my personal reaction to it)
That being said, the total points of this album are 55.5. Divide that by points possible (90) and I get 61.6, which I’ll divide by 10 (as I will for all totals to get a score from 1-10)…
For You, I give a 6.2/10
I’m updating this at the end of this whole journey through the albums… and I realized that I was way harsh on these early albums. I was giving 0’s for some marks that I gave 0.5’s for later album tracks. I should make it clear that I want to reserve 0’s for either completely terrible lyrics or unintelligible/excruciating vocals/zero originality.
For You- I gave 0 for its structure, but it does seem to have some sort of pattern to it… so I’ll upgrade that to 0.5, bringing the whole track up to 5.5/10
Soft & Wet- I was super harsh, giving 0 for vocals and lyrics… there are some good lyrics, but not all of them are gems (even though Chris Moon wrote them… it is on a Prince track). And the vocals are good, they’re not terrible by any means. Sometimes, they are a little hard to discern if you’re not familiar with the lyrics.
This brings it to 5.5/10
My Love is Forever- I gave 0 for structure cuz it does meander a bit, but I’ve given other meandering songs 0.5’s in later albums, so I’ll change that. The originality will stay 0 because other than maybe the guitar solo, there isn’t much there that screams “this is a Prince song” to me.
So- it becomes a 6.5/10
So Blue- another song that starts like it has some thought to it, but he doesn’t seal the deal as well as he could have. It becomes 4.5/10.
Double-checking my math again…
I’m taking it to 3 decimal points now, so it’s been upgraded to 6.39 out of 10.