[Did a lot of editing to get to the point faster- it’s been a stressful week with peaks of euphoria at the end]
As for the title… I kinda added that because I felt like making a pun with my Twitter handle [which is DreamyPopLover because DreamyPopRoyalty was a couple characters too many]
I’ll start out by saying this is one of my favorite Prince albums.
I’m tempted to call it my “friends with benefits” Prince album. I said in my previous entry about it that driving with it in my car was like being with a friend… kinda my twist on a Luna Lovegood quote from “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”
But there’s a lot going on in this album where it isn’t just being with a friend. There’s more going on.
I don’t know if it’s the quality of the music or the sound in general, but “For You” paints such a mysterious picture of Prince. You don’t quite know what to think of him other than him being a prodigy and a genius.
With this album, he reveals a bit more about himself and seems more approachable. At least he seems that way to me. Hence the whole “friend” thing.
But considering what he’s asking for in songs like “I wanna be your lover” and “With You” and “It’s Gonna be Lonely” and “I feel for you”… yeah, the list just goes on, doesn’t it?
And in my mind (and heart) he seals the deal with “When we’re dancing close and slow”
OMG- even on the worst day, that song brings out the best. Granted I need to crank the volume up in my car to hear him.
Just to keep a little continuity going on- so far, most of the songs were played live regularly. That last one, though… only twice… which is sad cuz it’s a great song, but I guess a live setting isn’t the best place for it. [Don’t quite get how it’s a B-side of “Dirty Mind”…maybe when I listen to that album next week, we’ll see… MC mentioned that he saw it performed live and for that, he is lucky].
“With you” has an interesting [blech, I’m already overusing that word] history. It was recorded the day several songs were recorded for Tony Silvester, a session led by Pepe. I remember reading about this in the book I’m going through.
It also said Jill Jones recorded it for her album.
Maybe it would benefit with a re-production and different singer. [But I also prefer the rawer original “G-Spot” to her version, so who’s to say?].
*** [yeah, here comes another mini-rant]
I came across another part of that book that really bothered me… The author was talking about “Bambi” and said [paraphrasing here] how the delivery of the vocal should not correlated with the mindset writing the lyrics.
This is the 2nd time this guy has said not to take Prince’s lyrics as fact or believe he’s really believing in what he’s singing. It almost feels like he wrote this book for his wife or girlfriend, who is in love with Prince and trying his damnedest to convince her he’s not so great.
He also talked about the Dick Clark American Bandstand appearance and theories about why the interview portion was so awkward. And then talked about why Gayle Chapman left the band… or really, why she didn’t leave… the story is that she felt conflict with the lyrics and the acts portrayed on stage. She’s quoted saying that isn’t true… but the real reason isn’t given. [Not the first time that’s happened either- if you’re going to make a point, make it- don’t just allude to it]
I mean, the book has lots of great facts. But the interpretation of some circumstances, opinions, how some quotes are used… it really bothers me. Makes me feel like this guy is untrustworthy.
I can understand with “Baby” why he might not want us to take the lyric seriously or as fact.
But if, not just Prince, but any artist, doesn’t believe what they’re singing about and putting all those feelings into the vocal, what is the whole point being a musician at all? To me, it makes it sound like it’s all an act. And in my heart I know he has to be wrong.
I swear- Matt Thorne and my issues with his writing about Prince- that’s not going to pollute every album post I write.
It just really gets under my skin when some journalist/writer dude thinks he knows Prince better than his own fans. No wonder Prince spent pretty much his whole life not giving a damn about what they think of him.
***end of mini-rant
“Bambi” I know was re-recorded during the Undertaker sessions in 1993- that was the first time I heard it and I didn’t like this version for a while.
But once I get back to that era, who knows?
But as a B-side to “Still Waiting”… no freaking way! That makes no sense at all. [Ok, “Still Waiting” is the B-side of “Bambi”… umm… maybe… I dont even know anymore to be honest]. On tour, it never made it out of the 80’s, which is also kinda sad.
I have a feeling “It’s gonna be lonely” was never done live… it doesn’t seem like the type of song that gets played live.
“I feel for you” got a lot of play live. I remember watching the 80’s block on VH1 Classic and seeing the Chaka Khan video a bunch of times. There was something very catchy about it. I don’t know if I made the connection or I found it out later that it was a Prince song she remade. Either way… I guess I’ll quote Toejam from Peach & Black here “either version, I love both versions”… also, it’d be so crazy insane if he said that about this song.. I think I heard the Peach & Black show on this album already years ago cuz I vaguely remember them saying how the album cover looked like a prison photo.
I’ll listen tomorrow and find out.
[Nope- they did not say that- it had to have been another podcast because for sure I wouldn’t make that up- or anything that would reflect Prince in a negative light]
this was a song that was in Prince’s final concert
I also read about it- how he played it during those Pepe Willie sessions on piano and Andre Cymone played “Do me baby”… the first time those songs made an appearance.
hashtag #NAILEDIT- yeah, “It’s gonna be lonely”- never played live… yeah, that makes me sad.
Lots of great songs on this album for sure. Some that would otherwise get overlooked if Prince hadn’t been the one who wrote them or sung them.
I had a few thought processes about where to got with this- once I finished my long-winded introduction and pre-album notes.
I was mentally thinking [haha- redundant, much?] about my ratings system and how certain songs might fall.
For my own recollection, I’ll copy and paste some of my process.
I’m looking at technical merit, how impressive the arrangement and overall sound is and how well-written the lyrics are. 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.
Technical merit will be a rating up to 5.
Components score has a maximum value of 3.
Then I add the values together and divide by 10 to get the rating
…but I’m getting ahead of myself here.
I came up with my last rating after listening to the Peach & Black podcast on the previous album so I’ll wait until after listening to give my rating.
I said the last one was a 6 until I did the numbers and after rounding up, I got 5.
My first instinct is that this second album is a 7/10, but I’ll see after I do the math how it shakes out.
I also thought while listening to the album how some songs reminded me of others on the previous album. Or that they sounded like they could be part of the same storyline- supposing I put a playlist together, which I most likely won’t.
It’s also interesting to think about how quickly he wrote this album (7 weeks apparently- Princevault says late April to June 13th), considering how long he spent with the other one.
Maybe the PTSD he had with that first album is the reason why he recorded the rest of his albums so quickly. Or at least was putting out an album a year.
The sound here is more commercial and accessible. I’m not sure if it’s Prince trying to convince WB he was a wise investment- although the previous album sold well and charted well, he did blow the whole allowance for three albums on the first one. Or something else entirely.
But in my mind, it still feels like a more honest effort. More true to himself- because he wasn’t recording with a WB executive constantly looking over his shoulder [metaphorically speaking, of course].
So I’ve listened to the album three times this week. And each time had its ups and downs. I think because I’d heard it so recently.
I’ve tried not to listen to the same music all the time because even my favorite songs can lose their oomph.
But I’ll do this post the best I can with the proper edits and hopefully come to a good conclusion.
My mindset right now is that two of the first three songs have a very retro feel to them and I’m not a big fan of that disco sound that showed up in some of Prince’s early music. It makes the songs sound dated and indicative of the time period they’re from.
“I wanna be your lover”- my feelings about this song have changed a lot over time. I started out not liking it (because going into “The Very Best of…” with it at the start, not quite what I expected), to liking it (after hearing the long version on CD) to now… which is kinda meh.
Interesting lyrics- Prince presents himself as poor and kinda shy, but she brings out something in him. And he wants to be everything to her. [I read up the lyrics- which I didn’t really do until this point- and interestingly it sounds like she plays the field and the guys let her down typically- kinda adds to the conext of the story of the song and maybe the album itself]
But I don’t get particularly excited about listening to it until the long instrumental portion. It’s not as well-developed as “Just as long as we’re together”- the evolution of the sound is lacking. Not enough happens in it to keep my attention in the same way.
I love the back and forth with the keyboards.
But on the surface, it’s kinda bland compared to all that follows.
Whether I prefer it to “Soft & Wet”… now I’m not so sure. I was pretty harsh on that song.
The coaches of The Voice did a medley of Prince songs a few years ago and they did a decent job. It’s hard to do amazing justice to him, of course, but they did well all things considered. Adam Levine did this song and it kinda blew me away because not everyone remembers that song and he had the perfect falsetto voice to sing it.
[it was the original four coaches- Adam, Christina, Cee-Lo and Blake- started with 1999, Little Red Corvette- which Cee-Lo did lead, Adam did this song, and Blake did a country version of “Kiss”… yeah, it started great cuz 1999 has such amazing music, but then it kinda went downhill… Prince was way better than Adam even though I’m not crazy about this song]
it was also the first ever video Prince did and it was so glammed up and bright… not sure if it was a stylistic choice or that was the limits of the technology at the time
“Why you wanna treat me so bad?”
I remember the first time I heard it- it was actually watching an old video of it. I liked the main hook a lot. And it’s hard to forget that guitar solo. [No surprise- both of these videos are “missing” from YouTube, but that’s ok]
Other than “So Blue,’ it’s the first time Prince touched on the “girl who did me wrong” theme.
While listening, I was thinking how the music is so upbeat and happy through much of the song that it doesn’t match up with lyrics at all. [The first time he did this, I think, and it wouldn’t be the last]
Prince plays coy and asks innocently the titular question.
Then the guitar comes roaring in and shows how he really feels. How it revs into the fade-out, a metaphor for his inner turmoil and frustration.
It’s kinda brilliant when you think about it. I also love how dynamic and active the chorus is musically. The keyboards that come in after the first line of the 2nd verse.
So many little things.
[if you add in the context of the first song, maybe this girl is bad news or learned some bad habits from the boys she was hangin’ round]
“Sexy dancer”… :sigh:
I feel about this song the way I used to feel about “Just as long as we’re together”… it runs long and it’s repetitive and after a while I just don’t care anymore.
There’s only one verse, a chorus or two and mostly instrumental. [Very few lyrics- but should be noted one was “got me just a-creamin'”… first time he mentioned “Cream” in his lyrics]
The only “exciting” part is the bridge where Prince just does a series of pants.
It’s oddly stimulating (don’t read it into that too much)- I could listen to it for longer than the song allows.
I also have a long version having around, but I don’t know how much of the original song is part of it.
There’s a part where a dozen Prince voices sing at once- it reminds me so much of something I’ve heard on another disco song from that era. But I don’t know where.
Listening to the long version [the historical first-ever long version of a song Prince ever recorded]…
I like it a lot more. There’s much more instrumentation involved. Like there’s more rhythm guitar and “hand claps and fingers snaps” and some extra keyboard riffs.
Maybe I should put it on my iPod and listen to more.
The thing with Prince long versions and instrumentals- stuff needs to happen every now and then to keep me interested or I just get bored. I feel bad saying that but it’s still kinda true for me. And may be the reason I was never meant to see Prince in concert- he riffs long instrumentals for some songs and the marveling I do with him might wear off.
Close to the four minute mark, there’s a cool riff between the keyboard riff and the bass. The bass isn’t present in his early work and he’s a really funky bass player.
Everything sounds identical to the original version, but with more added parts. If this was the original version he recorded and edited down over time… brilliant.
loving all of these funky keyboard parts.
“When we’re dancing close and slow”… I was so surprised by this song. By the title, I should have figured out it was a lovemaking ballad. I just didn’t expect to find such a gem.
The reason why I call this a “friends with benefit” album- but it has that potential to go beyond friendship.
“Crazy You” was a “relaxing on a spring/summer day in a hammock” type song. This is like that, but laying in bed. Not sleeping, but just being in a state of calm in a safe place.
Matt Thorne wrote about this song and said his vocal was more or less lukewarm in what he was trying to accomplish.
Seriously, a woman needs to write a book about Prince… cuz guys certainly don’t get him.
Alan Light did a great job with “Let’s go crazy”- he wasn’t nearly as judgemental.
Okay, rant over…
I also love the piano playing in this. There’s not a lot to it. And it also doesn’t feel planned out. It feels spontaneous, which is a really nice touch. Nice guitar strumming too.
If I didn’t have to crank the volume up to hear his vocals, it’d be perfect in my book. The whirlwind and whooshing effects also are a little much at times. Not entirely necessarily.
I have a strong feeling that Captain is going to give this album a poor score based on the fact it has two ballads back to back in the middle of the album like this.
I love this one… but “With You”… it’s complicated…
It’s like “I wanna be your lover” where it’s the story of two halves.
And the second half is better than the first.
It’s like Prince started a little timid going into it, but he gained confidence as it progresses. The strength of his falsetto is proof of that.
It feels like it’s cut from the same cloth as “It’s gonna be lonely”… Prince is kinda clingy in the relationship he’s in.
But vocally, it feels like it takes over where “Baby” finished off. They end on roughly the same plane, but this one takes it further with the vocal acrobatics.
The simple lyrics and extra soft vocals take away from it. Plus the previous ballad was so strong for me that anything was going to pale next to it.
[Looking for Jill Jones’ version, I literally tripped over the song she said she was writing in tribute to Prince. The official video- she still looks amazing- and the song isn’t as heartwrenching as “Girl Meets Boy” by Sheila E.- maybe why I haven’t listened to it since I got the free download she offered to the fans… but really well done as well.
Musically, her version is stronger and the vocal is cleaner. But the comments echo one thing I kinda feel- the emotion isn’t there with her as much with Prince’s version, especially in the later parts of it]
“Bambi”… I’m going to spoil right now… it’s going to get a perfect score.
It has so many dimensions and dynamics to it. The guitar work is fan-freaking-tastic! I cannot begin to even explain this. The storyline is a bit of a shocker. Revealing he was with a girl who turned out to be a lesbian and he’s trying to convert her.
It’s playful. There’s so many different feelings and textures to it.
And unlike “Why you wanna treat me so bad?”- the music matches the frustration of the lyrics.
I also get off on every time I hear the lyric “I’m gonna show you what it’s like to be loved by a man!”
I always sing that part at the top of my lungs 😛 I have way too much fun on the road with this song.
The fact that I kept wanting to hear this song whenever I’d get around to “I’m Yours” on the other album… yeah, I missed this song a lot- even though it was only a few months ago.
“Still Waiting”… I think it could be a grower [I hear this in my head with an Aussie accent- I’m sure one of the Peach & Black guys said that exact phrase at one point]
the more I was listening to it today, the more I was falling in love with it.
There’s a track coming up on the next album that this reminds me so much of [I only say this cuz I’d heard the “Dirty Mind” track a bunch of times before].
I always picture this at an old honkytonk bar 😛 Prince singing the blues.
Now this sounds like it takes over from where “So Blue” left off- especially since he talks in one verse about how he spends his nights crying.
Talking about how all his friends have girlfriends and he’s left by himself and he wants what they have.
However much of this is based on real experience or feelings he’d personally had, I don’t know. It’s hard to say. It doesn’t feel like something he’d personally experienced, but I wasn’t exactly there, was I?
Wasn’t even born yet (when this album came out, 7 years before I came about, my parents were engaged but not yet married).
“I feel for you” is one of those tracks I always look forward to. I have so much fun with it. It is so darn catchy- the lyrics come to mind so easy.
It’s also one of two instances where I heard something that reminded me of “I wanna be your lover”
the bridge leading to the chorus is almost identical- starts the same way, but it takes a different turn melodically. [the other was “Sexy Dancer”- one of the keyboard sections in the instrumental break sounds like the keyboard solo that happens throughout the instrumental section of that song]
I also love the keyboard solo that plays the song out… I wish the song went on for longer afterwards.
A bunch of these songs are too short 😛
“It’s gonna be lonely” might be on a little too long towards the end.
If anything, that makes me want the album not to end. I’m scared of him leaving when it’s all over. Prolonging the good feeling of listening to Prince as much as a possible.
I also had a thought earlier about whether my brain chemistry is different while listening to Prince. Compared to other music or just in general. How it would look on a brain scan. I really do feel like there is a difference when he comes on the radio- something that doesn’t happen with other people.
I love all the little ad-libs on this song and how he sings the chorus different every time.
The music feels like something that’d be good on a rainy day. I’m not sure if it’s because I’d listened to it on a rainy day. Love the vocals. The chorus is great- the music reminds me of “In this Bed I scream”- especially when we get to the three minute mark and more instruments come in.
It may possibly be the longest song on the album. But as long as it is, as it nears the end, I don’t want it to 😛
Ok, after listening to the Peach & Black podcast and several distractions later…
The 3-way consensus is a rating of 7.5/10. (missing out on MC, of course- he and Captain got into it about why he doesn’t do the rating. Again bringing up the infamous Batman rating. Captain’s saying how it’s all for fun and his imitation of people saying “how could you give it that?”- so hilarious. But MC has a valid point- the ratings don’t really mean anything.)
To my surprise, Captain liked this album more than my guess. I know how much he hates ballads and doesn’t often listen to lyrics.
There was a hilarious bit that was another moment I almost lost it at work and had a bunch of people giving me weird looks around the room.
There was a lyric he misheard and had sung this way for 10 years before he found what they really were.
I don’t know the lyrics to this album that well. And when I found that part in the lyric booklet (and heard it earlier that day, I just lost it).
“Why you wanna treat me so bad?”
the lyric is “sometimes you play the part/sometimes you’re so full of pride”
Captain’s lyric- “sometimes you’re so full of crap”
…I heard this and I’m thinking “what, where the hell was that in the song?” 😛 borderline losing my mind. Then I found the lyric and I’m like “ooh, okay…”
A few times, the guys mentioned something about the difference between this album and the last one.
They mentioned something about some risqué lyrics so it isn’t as if Dirty Mind was as huge a leap as people think- but they didn’t really address it. The very least- they didn’t mention Bambi really having the nasty lyrics. Too busy fangasming over the guitar solo.
I think Captain went on about how Prince studied songwriting or what it takes to make a hit because that’s how some of these songs were so good.
He also couldn’t believe (same here) that “I feel for you” wasn’t a single.
It was such a hit with Chaka Khan that it won a freaking Grammy… I mean, it’s part of Prince’s 7-count of Grammys. Yeah, mind-blowing.
Going back to a point I was going to make about Captain’s comments- he said how “With You” is the 2nd most skippable song on the album and I was waiting for the one he’d give the top spot too. I thought for sure “Still Waiting” or “It’s Gonna be Lonely”… in the end, he didn’t pick one.
I’m pretty sure the guys are giving these early albums a pass because they’re so early in Prince’s career or nostalgia purposes. They rate it even when saying “how can I rate this?”
Let’s see- MC was oddly sentimental this time around. Not to say that he doesn’t have that in him, but the comments surprised me- I mean, these guys are pretty objective with their reviews and try not to read into Prince’s personal life (the way I kinda like to- figuring how some songs got inspired and so on).
About “Still Waiting” and one other song [“It’s Gonna be Lonely”]- he was saying how they show something personal about Prince and he wasn’t so revealing in his music for much of his career.
I didn’t think “Still Waiting” had anything really personal to it- but just maybe there is. Who knows? He also was the only one to stand up for the song. The other guys weren’t feeling it for the most part- not with the same love anyways.
Then MC also called “With You” the most skippable on the album and I couldn’t help but agree. Not that I want to skip it. I just want to leave it in there and let the album run its course. Actually, with most Prince albums, I listen all the way through.
[looking ahead a bit- I was seeing when the first album by The Time was released so I know where to put it in the order of this discography… it came out on my birthday! well, 5 years earlier, but on the same day- that’s kinda cool… but yeah, it’s the bridge between Dirty Mind and Controversy. I thought for sure it was between this album and Dirty Mind, but anyway… moving on]
They were loving “Bambi” with the guitar solo and everything else- wondering if it was based on real experiences and of course Captain chimes in and says “you can’t get that aggression from fiction.” Yeah, it’s kinda hard to argue with that 😛
They also mentioned the woodblock- the precursor to EndorphinMachine- the way I was grooving to this song the last time was reminiscent of that… yeah, pretty mind-blowing.
Now that they mention it, the focus moving from chord progressions to songwriting… that kinda explains the difference I felt between the two.
Final Captain moment- he was laughing about Prince saying how he’s got no money and now he sings about how great he is 😛 he makes a valid point.
And the “monkey calls his flying cloud”/monkey magic bit… it scrambled my mind because I didn’t know WTF it meant… Captain was talking about the whooshing sounds in “When we’re dancing close and slow”- and it was a precursor to what he did with The Truth- doing acoustic and putting lots of sound effects on top of it- oddly, it was the bit he liked about this song when he wasn’t a huge fan of it overall.
Player liked the vibe of “It’s Gonna be Lonely”- which I totally agree with.
Toejam said “I feel for you” was his favorite on the album and one of his favorite all-time Prince tracks. I can’t help but agree with that.
I guess now it’s time to figure out my rating.
“I Wanna Be Your Lover”
technically, it’s very hard to argue with- it is solid and sound.
Great music, love the instrumental section in the second half. Lyrics push the envelope while painting an interesting picture.
but on the components side, it doesn’t have that spark for me personally and the vocal performance isn’t particularly a stand-out.
“Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?”
one of my favorites on the album
right away, I’ll give it 2 points on the components side because a) I always look forward listening to it and b) it’s a personal favorite
technically- the guitar and instrumentals are amazing.
the lyrics are really well done.
it sounds like a hit song.
it’s a hard one to grade because there just aren’t enough lyrics or differentiation for me to say how awesome it is.
Technically, it’s strong, but it doesn’t offer anything emotional for me to grab onto.
4+1 (I’ll give one for the panting section- and take away a point because it lacks structure for me)= 5
“When We’re dancing Close and Slow”
another favorite, love, love, love… it should also be noted as the first of Prince’s many great slow jams, but his songwriting and vocal ability got so much better over time.
The only negative about it for me is Prince’s vocal being so low I hate to say it
oh man… this is going to be hard…
the low vocal is a negative point, plus it being the second ballad in a row and not nearly as well done.
although the vocal acrobatics at the end of the song redeem it a bit
lyrically- very cheesy
musically- it creates a nice vibe, but it feels like the spark of something he’d perfect overtime.
I don’t know how to rate this cuz it’s gonna be harsh.
3+1= 4 (the vocal acrobatics is the 1 point on the components side)
yeah- I’m sticking with my word.
Great songwriting and lyrics. AMAZING guitar work.
Great vocal. I always look forward to this one and it is such an unbelievable high.
yeah, I didn’t think too much of this song at first. Not that it was bad, but it was kinda forgettable. But it is a grower.
Love the overall sound of it. The honkytonk piano (omg, I said that it had that honkytonk bar vibe to it and one of the Aussies said honkytonk and my jaw dropped- I don’t even really know what that is. I just know honkytonk from the setting on my keyboard and the fact Prince covered “Honkytonk Woman” by the Rolling Stones in the Undertaker sessions).
It paints an interesting story that keeps your interest. The vocal draws you in and does so many little things- I love every bit of it.
“I feel for you”
okay, Toejam didn’t say “either version- I love both versions” about this song… my luck, he’ll say it about “The Dance”… I really don’t know…
anyways- I listened to the Chaka Khan version again- and I was really grooving to it and enjoying it. I’m not big on rap, but I loved the rap and how it just fit in so well with the beat.
Prince’s version- I don’t generally think this, but it feels more like he’s singing it to me more than anything. I just fall into the pocket of the song and love the overall sound of it. And we’re just two people chilling with it.
It just has “hit single” written all over it and if anything, I can only take a point off because he could have pushed it a little more musically to reach the height of the Chaka Khan version. But everything else- brilliant
“It’s Gonna be Lonely”
the only two negatives about this song- it can run a little long sometimes and the vocal is sometimes hard to make out. the second verse in particular.
the music is great, creates a cool vibe, and as much as I hate it running long occasionally, I will flip after a while and say “I don’t want you to leave”.
So where does that leave me… I have a feeling this will garner a higher rating.
My gut before doing any of this was I’d have 7 out of 10.
So the ratings are as follows:
Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad- 7
I feel for you- 7
When we’re dancing close and slow- 7
It’s gonna be lonely- 6
Still Waiting- 6
I wanna be your lover- 5
Sexy Dancer- 5
With You- 4
The combined total is 55
55/10= 5.5… rounded up will make it 6 out of 10.
Okay, that’s lower than I expected… which makes me worry about my system overall.
I mean, I really should try to scrounge out 10 points as the maximum per track.
But I gotta find some way to have that work on the components side
especially since the state of my system as it is now… it’s impossible to get a perfect 10. The perfect would be 8 points per track and dividing it by 10 to get 8.
And it’s impossible to give every track on an album a perfect score… Purple Rain is debatable… I mean, there may be a track there that I won’t give a perfect 8 points to. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, of course.
My mindset is strictly on the album I’m on and I’m trying to keep all the futures Prince went through in his career and life out of my head.
Thinking too much beyond where I’m at will just make my brain hurt.
I suppose I could make the components score about the subjective. How I personally feel about any given Prince song.
Technical is up to five. Giving a point for a well executed element.
1- great instrumentals
2- great lyrics
3- great vocal
4- great songwriting structure overall
5- that certain something extra- whether it’s something only Prince can accomplish or sets it apart from the rest of his material.
Components- how I feel about the elements.
1- not impressed
2- not a skipper but I don’t particularly look forward to it
3- don’t like it/don’t hate it
4- I really like it, but I have an issue or two with it
5- hell yeah!
I wanted to avoid this method of thinking because I kinda don’t want to be indifferent to a Prince song.
I suppose I still could use the old system to rank the songs on the album.
now if I go back and try the new system…
I wanna be your lover.. I didn’t mention this yet- I love how it’s the longest song on the album and it’s the first one 😛 I thought it’d be Sexy Dancer cuz “Just as long as we’re together” is so great and a long jam like it.
technical, I’d give 3/components score- I feel like a 2.5- the instrumental section saves it for me
Why you wanna treat me so bad?
4 (for some indistinct vocals)+ 4.5 (so close to perfect, but it’s that peak Bambi is)
love how the Peach & Black talked about the vocals and I’m like “what vocals?” and someone said how they liked the pause between the inhale and exhale
bleck- the new system will kill it.
I’d give the long version a 3 on components, but the album version doesn’t do it for me.
Technical- it strikes out on a couple things because they’re barely there.
2.5 (I’ll give it extra for the panting section and in virtue of the long version)+ 2= 4.5
oh yeah, there’s gonna be a witch hunt for me on that one.
When we’re dancing close and slow
4 (soft vocals) + 5= 9
oh man, another abysmal rating… this album is still going to get a 6 no matter what I do, isn’t it?
the vocal acrobatics redeem it a bit, but the lyrics are too simple. the instrumentals aren’t anything special, although they are well done.
My feeling changes on this song a lot. Sometimes I’m in, sometimes not. A perfect candidate for that 3* components score.
I feel for you
…yeah, this is a hard one… especially with the Chaka Khan version blasting in my head from earlier…
musically it isn’t as full as it could be, but I just enjoy it so much when I get around to it.
It’s gonna be lonely
I’ll give half a point for the vocal (some indistinct vocals) and half for lyrics.
okay, new rating…
1- Bambi- 10
2- I feel for you- 9
3- When we’re dancing close and slow- 9
4- Why you wanna treat me so bad- 8.5
5- Still Waiting- 8.5
6- It’s gonna be lonely- 8
7- I wanna be your lover- 5.5
8- With You- 5
9- Sexy Dancer- 4.5
…okay, that’s a bit more like it. Divide by 10 like my old system dictates and I get 6.8. And rounded up that’s a 7.
If I’m taking songs with me to make a top 100 or just favorite Prince songs of all time list, let’s see…
my top songs from this album are:
When we’re dancing close and slow
I feel for you
Now I have to go back, do the new math on “For You” and see if that changes anything.
Okay, done… and the rating’s changed a little bit.
Breaking down the technical part (which I kept the same for the most part) and adding a bit more to the subject altered things.
I’ll see what happens, but I just hope I don’t do any more major tweaking on the judging system.
Much the way I don’t want to keep bringing up my grievances with the book I’m reading about Prince either…
Overall, I hope this blog post goes over well with people.
I’ll post it after hearing Peach & Black again- in case there are any comments I don’t want to miss putting down.
Oh yeah, “why you wanna treat me so bad”- I think I’ve said on a previous post how the bridge sounds like a precursor to the bridge in “Uptown” which is on the next album.
I’d been working on this post for way too long and I should just post it.
I hope I didn’t overdo it, kinda the way Prince did with his first album.
I tried to listen to everything (including the podcast) a couple times so I made all the points I wanted to.
Big shout-out to the guys of Peach & Black- you guys always make the albums more fun and open my ears and mind to new possibilities I wouldn’t have reached on my own.
That’s why I like being around other people in the know about Prince- whether it’s online on Twitter, a messageboard, Facebook group or just podcasts. It makes for a fuller experience. Nothing against my own friends- I love them and consider myself lucky to have them- but I can’t talk with Prince with them the same way. They entertain the idea of him because he makes me happy, but I don’t think they “get” him the way I do.
For those reasons, not only do I want to do that ranking of my favorite Prince songs- I want to come up with a playlist or just plain old list of Prince songs that normal people can listen to- where they can enjoy the music without being offended or uncomfortable by/with explicit lyrics or content. That they can like the music as they do every day pop music- you don’t need to think too much about it, you can just take it at face value and enjoy it.
Ok, post done. If you made it to the end, congratulations.
Hopefully with the next album especially I can rein things in a bit. To sorta echo the sparse approach to it.
one last change and it’s the final change to my scoring system.
I realized that dividing the combined total points added from all the tracks, giving each one a score out of 10 (5 for technical, 5 for components- or my personal reaction as it were)… it’s not fair to the shorter albums to divide them by 100.
I’ve been out of school for too long, apparently (graduated college in 2009).
I have to divide my combined total by the total possible points.
In this case, the max total I can get is 90.
So divide 68/90 and I get 75.5- take it down a decimal place so it’s a score between 1 and 10.
Prince’s 2nd album, I give 7.6 out of 10.
Which is a pretty darn good score.
I’m writing this as I’m about to rate Dirty Mind so it’ll be interesting to see how these albums all place in my system.
I’m at the end of my journey through the albums, but I’m doing some clean-up work. I was a little too harsh on some of these earlier album tracks, giving 0’s for some areas I had given 0.5’s on later albums.
I wanna be your lover- I gave 0 for originality, but that instrumental break has some of that Prince energy to it, so I’ll upgrade that mark to 0.5. So it’s now 6/10.
Why you wanna treat me so bad?- I know the vocals aren’t too strong on this album, but I shouldn’t have given that a 0 for vocals. I can still make some of them out. So it becomes 9/10- and I can now put it among my favorites on the album
Sexy Dancer- I know there aren’t many vocals on this, but I shouldn’t have given that 0. Upgrade to 0.5. The song overall is now 4.5/10
When we’re dancing close and slow- following my previously said logic on another song, I should award some points for vocals even if they’re very soft and hard to hear. But I also downgraded my components score from 5 to 4.5. I really like it, but it’s not a masterpiece cuz of the vocals being too soft.
So it remains 9/10.
Everything else seems to be in good shape… but all of this helps fix one thing about this album that was different than everything else… every album has a higher technical score than a components score… this was the one exception. That never bothered me, but maybe I figured that meant I made a mistake somewhere.
So taking it to 3 decimal places (as I am now to put these albums in order and break any ties)- it’s 7.67/10.