Prince album #5: Still partying like it’s “1999”

I’ll say again that I don’t really want to do these write-ups until I listen to these albums at least twice. But there’s some stuff that I just couldn’t help but mention… even though I’m not even halfway through the album.

So… what I wound up doing today, Monday, was playing “What Time is It?” (which I spent last week with)- side A in the morning and side B as I’m leaving work. And I put 1999 in my car so it would immediately follow.
I knew it was going to mind-blowing– but I also didn’t think I wouldn’t want to leave Morris Day behind. The first time I heard the album last week, I was half-on, half-off, not fully investing. Today, I felt like I was… except when 777-9311 ran over with the guitar solo and The Walk didn’t have much going on after “about to walk a hole in my Stacy Adams” up until the spoken section.
But I love those last two songs so much. “Gigalos Get Lonely Too” was the song that solidified my desire to get The Time albums. Heard it on Emancipation Radio and never forgot how great it sounded- how different it is from The Time and what Morris represents.
I deliberately did everything I could to keep 1999 and its songs off my mind during the day because I wanted to arrive back there fresh.

… but before I get to that, a few comments about when the songs were played live.

The first three songs and D.M.S.R. were very regular. (I can’t believe “1999” got a bunch of play even after the year of… Prince swore he’d stop playing that song after the millennium rolled around… kinda funny how his commitment to so many things in his life was never long-term, but the only thing that stuck was being a Jehovah’s Witness- something everyone kinda thought he wouldn’t stick to for long cuz it’s nuts… but I’m getting off track).
“Let’s Pretend We’re Married”- didn’t make it out of the 80’s.
“Automatic” was teased in the 2000’s and even made it into one of his last setlists- February 16- tease or not, that’s insane.
wow… “Something in the Water”… I didn’t expect he did live at all, but he did. Possibly around the same part of the setlist as Automatic- although the February show was the 26th.
The rest, I’m guessing didn’t make it out of the 80’s if they were done live at all.

“Free” was live at Sydney last year. and also in the 2000’s a bit.
“Lady Cab Driver”- only twice since the 1999 tour
“All the critics” I know he brought back for Indigo Nights and did several times in the 2000’s, but just changed the name of the city depending on where he was. [wow, he really did do it a lot in the 2000’s]
“International Lover”- I don’t think that made it past the Purple Rain tour… okay, the last time he performed it live was in Osaka in 1989.

No additional commentary from the Matt Thorne book on Prince I’ve been reading…
although it was interesting to hear that the two lead singles were the last songs recorded for the album… that’s kinda mind-blowing to think of what could have happened if he didn’t have those songs. Those were his tickets to the mainstream white rock audience, that key dynamic for international superstardom… or so I’ve been led to believe.
But there was one thing that bugged me (yeah, there’s always something…)… he mentioned some songs by Prince that had S&M connotations to them… he included “When Doves Cry” alongside “Computer Blue” and “Darling Nikki”…
passive-aggressive maybe in that second verse… if he’s thinking of that line about the “butterflies”- that’s a freaking metaphor… geesh.

I know it’s the wrong album and I’m currently going in order, but that stuff kinda bugs me. Just sayin’…

So… 1999… finally getting around to this…
my gut instinct right now- it’s going to be my first 8.0 or higher album. Aside from DMSR (I’ll explain later, I promise, don’t kill me) and All the Critics, I feel very strongly about the rest of the songs on the album. All the songs are technically brilliant, so nothing will score lower than 7.5… at least I don’t think so. But the rating won’t come until next week.

I spent a week with Vanity 6 (which I did finally get sick of the last two times- “Wet Dream” in particular does little for me, and “He’s so dull” I like more each time when I was so-so on it before) and another with “What Time is it?”
The point being that I spent a lot of time away from Prince. I last listened to Controversy two weeks ago and the last time I heard him on his own was the dance mix of “Let’s Work”… I just can’t remember when that was. Sometime last week, I think.

In other words… I got a lot of separation from Prince before this. The way I had (although not intentionally and not as long…) with Controversy. So I knew this was going to be huge.

—-

I did five songs today and plan to get through the remaining 6 tomorrow… in the afternoon… considering the last time I had 1999 in my car and how much “Little Red Corvette” wrecked me, I didn’t want to start the morning on that note. Certainly not on a Monday after a weekend away at the shorehouse.

Don’t worry, whatever emotion I will have wrought won’t affect the ratings I’ll give.

1999 blew my head off (as Captain would say) because it represents SO MUCH. Not just Prince’s career, how it helped begin that trajectory and how it affected pop culture in general (anyone who tries to use “party like it’s…” with any year BUT 1999… I’m sorry, I hate you. That just should not be touched). Kids today will never understand the “terror” Y2K had for so many people πŸ˜›
but as I was saying (damn, I’m not even into the album fully and sidetracking left and right)… it’s also personal for me too.
I was aware of this song’s existence. My dad showed me the video either in 1998 or 1999- it was my first introduction to Prince in any form. I still remember it being the third video I picked out on February 5th 2007 and feeling a rush of nostalgia come back to me as I remembered so much from that video even though I hadn’t seen it in at least 10 years.
I think the last time I saw it was leap day 2012- we converted that VHS full of MTV videos to DVD and I watched it through.
1999 was a big year for me too- I had my surgery that year. My spine was crooked and titanium rods and screws were placed inside me to straighten it. And during my recovery time, I started writing… and I guess in a way it eventually led me to be here typing this right now.

And to add to all of that… “Little Red Corvette” will have that bad rep of being the song on the radio when I turned the car on and learned the news…
“1999” was the next song that came on- and at that point, I was coming down the parking lot, slowing down by the stop sign to make sure the coast was clear. Then it came on, and I embraced the spirit of it… I practically devoured it and refused to let any other emotion in for those 3-4 minutes. I metaphorically fist-pumped and sang it at the top of my lungs and swore to celebrate Prince as he lived, the way he would have wanted.

Later in the ride, I had a couple moments where I’d remember and fighting with everything in me not to crumble into myself. Like if I started crying, I was never going to stop.
I’ll go through this on April 21st when I do a post and possibly a vlog… but if certain pieces hadn’t been in place in my life, I don’t know what could’ve happened to me.

Man, that went downhill really fast… moving on…

I hear “1999” and after my mind stopped imploding and exploding, I could only think “superstar”… the song is just so well crafted and so amazing in all it represented and its bits and pieces.
It’s always been a favorite, but I didn’t think I’d embrace its message as much as I did last April.
Yeah, this is why I want a minimum of two listens before I do these cuz I’ll become biased with my favorites when I first hear them again.
This song IS Prince- the way it’s structured and the way it sounds, nobody else could do that. It makes it harder to believe he’s human or mortal- that he was anything but a superstar. It has this unbeatable confidence about it.

“Little Red Corvette”- not as much with the confidence. He has this naΓ―ve boyish charm about him, not sure if he’s good enough to be with this girl who’s been around (the second verse and bridge gives me that impression anyway).
The first thing that strikes me is that Linn-drum beat… SO GOOD!
The video was the first I picked out on February 5th 2007- I’d heard rumblings about this song on VH1’s top 100 greatest 80’s songs list- how it’s not about a car :cough cough:
Just the overall vibe of the video, the lyrics, that dance solo… I hope I can find that video again so I can revisit it. It’s so good.
And great storytelling too.
According to Princevault, the source of inspiration recently came forward and talked about how they were together in the late 70’s and stopped seeing each other in 1980. And apparently the jockeys… they were actual jockeys she had pictures of on the walls, that she had been with.
The song only really hits me in that dark place in the extended version- cuz when that came on the radio, I saw the news in a text message and had those early moments of “oh my God…” and “what am I going to do” and “I guess I don’t need to worry about him not coming here for a concert”… all those many thoughts…

I love “Delirious” on any given day- but after those two monsters today chock full of memories… it could only pale in comparison. It’s just a fun song that a bunch of others on the protΓ©gΓ© albums reminded me of. Other than the baby at the end (yeah, Captain, I don’t get it either), I can’t find fault in it… although I do love listening to the extended version I have on one of the earliest bootleg sets given to me by someone on prince.org.

“Let’s Pretend We’re Married”… this was one of the reasons I wanted to start writing tonight… it was the first song to directly connect me back to where he’d been previously. Maybe it’s the smoke in the music videos, but I was reminded of “Sexuality”… maybe it’s the pacing of the bridge, it reminds me of the pacing of the Sexuality chorus. And the drums also have some similar sounds.
I know most of the love it gets is the shock factor… but I don’t care. I love the beat and how it repeats as an instrumental breakdown halfway through… I just love that song. Can’t quite explain why.
I also love that part at the end where he just lets loose a tirade and reveals a couple things about himself. At least I think so.

“Dance Music Sex Romance”… I think I said during Dirty Mind that another song did the same thing “Uptown” was trying to do and this did it better…
I just wasn’t feeling it today. My feelings about this song have always been up and down. I skipped it a lot- especially cuz it broke up that last song and “Automatic”…
then I brought it back in and I get into it.
Today, just didn’t feel it. The only way I could explain it to myself- this song just sounds better live. Here with all the studio fills and stuff… it just feels mechanical. It doesn’t feel organic with all those Linn drum effects. Trust me, I love a good Linn-drum.

I got to “Automatic,” not quite getting into it right away.
I didn’t think I was invested, but it turns out Prince had me hypnotized as only he can do.
I thought more about how some songs connect more to Controversy and others are more in this current direction and others are indications of the future.
Toejam said a couple times in the Peach & Black Controversy review that Prince lives in Prince world… this kinda feels like one of those songs. I’m just along for the ride and… I’m trying to think of a pun using the song’s title, but it just isn’t happening.

I started writing a post on my phone about Prince exploring S&M in his music and asking whether he put any of it to practical use.
Matt Thorne mentioned in a paragraph about how Prince took a submissive position early in his career in the context of his music and later became more comfortable being the dominant force… kinda interesting to think about.

I will skip to this song if I want to trip out [it’s very trippy, especially with those synths that remind me of a creaky swinging chandelier- like it’s on the edge of insanity] or just want to go through all the sexy tracks between this, Computer Blue, G-Spot and Darling Nikki… I like “G-Spot” WAY too much, but it has such a sick beat that gives me a “Sex Shooter” type vibe.

The 2nd half of this album is kinda odd… all that experimental ish Prince was doing at the time. I felt like Controversy had a lot of experimentation to it, but he brings some of that stuff here and realizes it more musically and also from an emotional standpoint. Controversy really stepped up the confidence in him and in 1999, his confidence feels boundless. Confident enough to free himself to be vulnerable.
Between “Something in the Water” and “Free” and even moments in “Lady Cab Driver”… yeah, there’s some great vulnerability he really explores. And it’s nuts to think about when I think of how he was dressed at this time. That long sweeping purple coat just exudes a presence of utmost confidence.
At points, it also seems like he’s pushing the boundaries of his sanity- Prince World fully realized. We’re just visiting… although how long we stay may or may not be entirely up to us :wink wink:

“Free” takes on so many meanings, depending on the mood you’re in and what you’re open to experience. I don’t think I liked it much the first time, but it’s grown on me over time. Just kinda have to be receptive and open to it.
It’s the first step towards “Purple Rain” but the drums remind me more of “The Ladder”… but at least those other two songs go somewhere. Nor does it feels like they take forever to do so. For me anyway.
Some lyrics are generic, but the emotion is what really sells it.

“Lady Cab Driver” is an interesting one… the sex scene in particular makes things a little awkward… for the first time, I listened to Jill to kinda gauge her reaction. She isn’t screaming where it comes off like a rape scene, as a lot of people like to refer to it as. I just know her cries get more pleasurable as it progresses and it reaches a satisfied end.
But before that, while this is like a duet and their voices mesh together perfectly… I think part of its design was to mask some vulnerability on Prince’s part.
“Lately, troubled winds are blowing hard and I don’t know if I can last”
I’m not sure how he felt while recording this or if he feels as down and sad as he’s portraying himself. But that’s how it’s coming off to me at this moment.
After the sex scene, the instrumentals take over for the rest of the song. Something that kinda annoyed and bored me the first time. But by this point, it’s a good breather moment for me, just chilling with the music and seeing where it takes me mentally. Nothing terribly exciting that bears repeating.

“All the Critics Love you in New York”… this is going to be the lowest scoring song on the album for me. I never really “got” it.
There are some great lyrics I love- the part that ends with “4th day of November, we need a purple high” and the part where he says “it ain’t about the trippin’ but the sexuality, turn it up”… maybe cuz I know it could be a reference to one of those unreleased tracks.
It just gets weird after a point to where I’m kinda done with it.

then “International Lover”… that was a controversial part of the Peach and Black podcast cuz it divided the panel… I don’t even know if anyone but Toejam liked it, now that I think about it.
I’ve always liked it… but admittedly, it is EXTREMELY cheesy- all those metaphors.
I also love the diamonds & pearls line… makes me wonder if he knew he’d be naming a song and an entire album with those words.
Kinda funny today that “we made the final approach to satisfaction” as I pulled into my driveway.

okay, listened to the album again today [Thursday].

Mainly- “Prince World” lasted through half of the album.
1999 the song was a massive nostalgia trip. It being my first introduction to Prince, I had the feeling as if this was getting to know him for the first time. If you want to show someone who he was as an artist, that’s a good place to start. If only for the vibe of it.
Not much else new on the other tracks, so not worth repeating myself.
Just that this is a tough album to listen to all at once- especially since not even Prince can hold my attention that long.
Yet somehow the Peach & Black guys often can sustain it for a couple hours.

Listened to the first half of Peach & Black’s podcast Friday afternoon.
It was great to be back with these guys. Love saving them for the end of the week. And I just might do the same for part 2 of their 1999 review next Thursday, since I gave myself the 21st off.

I can’t help but agree that the first two songs are kinda hard to review because of nostalgia and representation and so on. But they got lots of praise.
Captain can appreciate the pop proficiency of “Little Red Corvette” without it being one of his favorites. It just happens to be one of mine due to nostalgia purposes and my fandom of Prince- how it helped begin and solidify my foothold in it.
A few comments said that it was distorted in a couple parts. I can’t hear that at all… is it because I don’t have it on vinyl? In my ears, there’s nothing wrong with it.

Kinda funny during “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” where it sounded like MC was having a meltdown in the background every time someone gave a positive review.
“I can’t believe you’re all agreeing”- he whines.
Captain said how much he liked that instrumental section and I’m like “me too!”… definitely one of my favorite parts.
And of course the baby at the end of “Delirious”… “I just wanna punch it”

They went into DMSR and said how he made it a concert staple around the Musicology era. As long as I’d known of Prince, I was under the impression that’d always been a concert staple. Which is why it sounds perfectly written with that in mind.

maybe it’s cuz I heard their podcast of this album only a few months ago, but I don’t have all that much extra to add.
but the 2nd half does have some great bits. Especially Toejam’s fangasm moments where he gives a play-by-play of what happens in the song. No wonder it’s his favorite Prince album.
Could possibly be mine, who knows?

yeah, I got home and there was less than 2 minutes left… but I gotta go back to five minutes or so left…

omg, these guys are so great. So proud to consider them part of my purple family along with my fellow purple knight, NightEtheral on Twitter (who’d liked some of my tweets and we’d had a few short Twitter conversations about Prince stuff) and a couple people in this Prince fangroup on Facebook.

I’ll end this for now and come back next week… maybe with more thoughts from other album listens, part 2 of Peach and Black and my rating of 1999 as an album.

So the game plan for the week:
Monday- first half of 1999
Tuesday- second half of 1999
Wednesday- related Prince outtakes and half of Peach & Black’s podcast
Thursday- the rest of the podcast
Friday- Purple Rain + a purple cocktail + tissues

I could definitely use all this motivation to get through the week. Not just cuz April 21st will be tough to revisit. When I’m just gonna stop stemming the bleeding and holding back the tears and just LEITGO.
If only for that weekend… the trick will be reverting back as if nothing is wrong by Monday morning. I just need this moment cuz I never allowed myself to have it.
So strange cuz my emotions get the best of me at random moments cuz of random stuff yet I’d held all this back when it’s something very much more important to me.

Anyway… I’m back to the album.
And I’m already kinda over it… which sucks. I hate that feeling when I’m sick of a Prince album.
I don’t typically tire of him that fast πŸ˜› makes me kinda worry about what’ll happen when I get to the last album at the end of all this…

but usually what happens when I tire of some songs, not just by Prince, but anyone… if the material is strong enough, I’m freed up to enjoy others.
I got much more out of DMSR this time than I had the previous two.
Maybe because I was fresh off that high of the previous song.

Damn, I kinda want to give “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” a perfect score and I have no idea why πŸ˜› I love it for the vibe more than anything else.
I heard it through the music video first so I cannot hear it without thinking of the set with all those smoke machines and Prince just having his way with the stage.
Prince really did a great job creating this mysterious sexy persona for himself. I’m not adventurous in any sense of the word, but if that persona was the type of guy who never committed to a relationship, I’d up for a one-night stand.
although if this song is, as I suspect, about oral sex… I’m not entirely sure.

anyway… riding that high so high, I get to DMSR and feel the groove more than I had. I think for the first time I also heard some guitar work, just one note being played over and over, and then came that cool rhythm guitar solo. Or what the Peach & Black guys call “chicken grease guitar”. I hear that part and just picture him doing it.
But like always, my attention span kinda shortens and I just tune out after a while.

I don’t know if I should start giving out scores now or wait until after the Peach & Black podcast… but Thursday is so far from now.

My feeling right now, though… 1999 and Little Red Corvette are getting close to perfect, if not perfect. Delirious is getting around 7.5. Let’s Pretend We’re Married is getting less than perfect [cuz it wouldn’t be fair to everyone else] And DMSR- half a point higher than Uptown.

As for the rest of the album…
I don’t see myself giving “Automatic” a better score than “Let’s Pretend We’re Married.” Granted, it’s an amazing, well-executed piece of work. But maybe I like the vibe of the other one a bit better.

“Something in the Water” is one of those weird songs. Maybe it’s the approach with no bass, all synths with Linn-drum driving the beat and some crazy vocals. Only Prince would think to do something like that and pull it off so well.
But it sounds like a perfect companion, not just to “Automatic” (while flipping who the dominant and submissive in the relationship is) but all those “girl who’d done me wrong” songs. Although if I were to make a playlist of that, I might use the alternate version with the dreamier synths (opposed to these nightmarish ones)… or better yet, I could begin the playlist with one and end with the other.
But with this version, I always kinda thought of it as a precursor to “Computer Blue”… not just the “do not compute” computer theme, but also the coldness of the vocal approach.
I don’t even know where to begin rating this one.

“Free”… for some reason, I KEEP forgetting that it’s here. I’m driving home at this point and in my mind, trying to figure if I have time to get through all the music. I wait until a certain point (mainly where I don’t have to worry as much about merging traffic) to start the music, so in my mind, I’m thinking about how long the songs are and how many of them I can squeeze.
I forget “Free” mainly because it’s so short πŸ˜›
Half the lyrics are great, but the other half… they’re kinda cheesy and generic. “Delirious” is guilty of the same thing, but at least has a catchy beat.
I’m going into my mind and thinking that maybe I didn’t like “Free” for a while. Then there was one day I took the song with me to class (like I was listening to it as I was making the trip) and I just “got” it.
Apparently I lost it again πŸ˜›
I believe “Moonbeam Levels” was considered in its place, but maybe Prince deemed it too heavy to add. Not to mention there’s a lot of heavy stuff on this album already, so that’d just be too much on top of everything else.

“Lady Cab Driver” will be another tricky one to rate… it’s another weird one.
It’s a long jam, but kind of an unorthodox one. But then again, unorthodox is one of the middle names Prince sported over the years πŸ˜‰
I don’t know what it is, but I don’t just get the vibe of being in a busy place like Time Square, but I also think about some boardwalk town. Maybe it’s the guitar or the “horns”. But also the sound effects that precede “Free” with seagulls (I think…) and Prince pacing the shoreline, his heels making tracks in the sand.
Don’t remember what part of my commute I was at at this point. I think I was on the last highway before our main road… I think I was navigating traffic and shifting lanes to get around slow trucks. Either way, I just completely tuned out the sex scene- but I also kinda did the same thing when Lisa and Jill Jones were crying during “Automatic”… I still don’t get that part. Why are THEY crying when Prince is the submissive in that scenario?

I kinda have to be in the mood for the song, I think. Otherwise, I just “nod off” when it just jams out for 5 minutes.

“All the Critics”… I’m never gonna get that one. I mean, I’ll give it a higher grade than “Annie Christian”… but only half a point higher.

I think the cheese of “International Lover” is starting to get to me a bit… but oddly, I don’t have a problem with the spoken section with all those metaphors. The song itself just doesn’t come off as authentic. Maybe it’s the fact this was intended for Morris Day originally that’s distracting me.
But I’m in the last 2 minutes of the song. I’m in my driveway “riding” the rest of it out. Then we get to the big finish at the end and I’m really feeling it. Not like THAT… but my mind felt like it got messed around with a bit. It wasn’t the “hot and heavy” response I had to “Insatiable” a couple times last year.

If the timing and set up is right, Prince really can hit the pleasure points in my brain and it’s an awesome feeling.

What’s not awesome is having the cable randomly having an outage… no storm, no sunspots, no nothing… I don’t have anything I NEED to watch, but it puts a damper on my whole night if I can’t watch anything.
Although that did free me up to watch the 2 Broke Girls finale… it’s getting really good πŸ˜›

Let’s see… tomorrow I’m going through a bunch of unreleased tracks.
They include:
Lisa, Tick Tick Bang (I hadn’t heard this version in ages… it’s also why I hate the “Graffiti Bridge” version cuz it’s not this), Something in the water (alternate), Delirious (extended), DMSR (alternate), Irresistible Bitch (which I played a lot when I first got, but hadn’t in maybe 10 years), Horny Toad and How U Don’t Call Me Anymore.

It was AMAZING getting to hear some of these tracks again. It really has been a long time. When people were gifting me all these tracks, I had no idea how much I’d wind up appreciating them. It’s like mining new treasure.

Lisa, I remember having a sick beat. Very mesmerizing. And it felt like it lasted forever and I didn’t want it to end πŸ˜› I remember playing this a couple times those first couple months.
Tick Tick Bang- it’s hard to forget the old version of this because I HATE the new version. The new music just doesn’t fit the lyrics for me. I feel like I gotta hear this a couple more times. Or better yet, do what Captain mentioned in a podcast and make a rockabilly Prince playlist- and it’d have songs like this, Delirious, Jack U Off and Horny Toad on it. [I don’t care quite as much about Ronnie Talk to Russia].

Speaking of Horny Toad, I don’t remember if I liked this song the first time I heard it… but it doesn’t matter because I REALLY like it now. I had to play it twice. It was near the end of the day at work and I was kinda trying to get stuff done. So I played it a second time on the way home.
Jack U Off is a fully realized version of this song… but Horny Toad has lyrics I don’t feel as self-conscious singing along to πŸ˜›

How Come U Don’t Call me Anymore… I don’t remember all that well. But hearing it again, all those trademark Prince ballad moments came out and I was feeling all kinds of stuff. Like “That’s Prince, that’s really him”- like I knew in my heart without a doubt it was him.
The podcast hit that discussion about whether Prince is putting on the “Prince persona” in a song or being authentic… this is authentic without a doubt.
I still want to hear that podcast πŸ˜› I don’t think the Peach and Black guys go around to it yet, but they should. “Prince Persona vs. Authenticity”- get to work, guys! [although I shouldn’t be too harsh- they already did a Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6 podcast this year]

Irresistible Bitch- I remember loving this track. Especially the lyrics. But it’s been so long that I have to bring them back out again. I just remember the set I received had “Feel U Up” follow it in sequence and I went through a couple days where I really didn’t like Prince because that song didn’t fit my perception of him.
Which is kinda strange, when I add in the fact I liked “Horny Toad” where he says he isn’t in love, he’s just a horny toad. The Camille vocal helps me like that song a bit more, but it’s still not one of my favorites.

Then I had those alternate versions of the album tracks…
I don’t know what is so different about this DMSR (other than the omission of the rhythm guitar solo and the Jamie Starr inside joke), but I just love it so much. Maybe it’s the back it feels more full and there’s a little more going on musically. I’ll have to listen to the two almost simultaneously to figure that out.
Delirious… I think it’s about the same except for it being longer. But I grooved to it so much more than the album version. Again, I can’t explain why. Again, I just love it.

Something in the Water… I love this version so much that I was hearing it play in my head while the guys were doing the play by play in the podcast.
Captain didn’t care for this song or Automatic on the sheer fact they don’t go anywhere musically. I disagree- at least with the album version, Something in the Water does reach a climax and there’s a point at the end of it.
Yet I like the less mechanical version that REALLY doesn’t go anywhere πŸ˜› because it’s more filled out musically and it’s more melodic and Prince’s voice has a little more authenticity to it.

Seriously, this issue of the Peach & Black podcast is worth listening to if ONLY for Toejam’s 5 minute play-by-play of “Automatic.” This time, since the song was so fresh in my mind, I was recalling it as he was. And it was freaking awesome.

I got halfway through, roughly. And halfway through the songs.
The conversation on “Free” was interesting. MC used to skip it and went on to say if it’s just words on a page, it could be really good. Then he loses it when Captain says “Graffiti Bridge” had the same thing happen. More or less, the lyrics are great on a page, but the music ruins it.
I think I’ve heard that song once ever… I don’t mind musicals or anything, but the music was so sugary sweet, I felt like I was getting cavities just listening to it.

And just to sidetrack one last time…
I’d been running this blog under the DreamyPopRoyalty name since April 8 2007.
I completely missed my opportunity to self-indulge and do a blog post on that and how far I’d come and how much has changed since then.
It’s been a LOT of things.
Namely, my writing style. But also- it stopped being exclusive to Prince after a certain point… sometime in 2009, I think, I started to diversify my postings a bit more.
Hitting on a couple random entries… yeah… a lot of missed opportunities.

I had one post about what I’d ask him about if I got to spend 2 hours with him– opposed to spending 2 hours with him ala “Purple Rain”…
but I had one dream about him, the first one, that told me everything I needed to know about him. Everything inspires him and what comes from inside him, his heart, sets him apart from everyone else.
Certainly everyone I was listening to at the time… it’d be a couple years before I found the artists I spent much of the 2000’s waiting for.

And this is just going on too long… I’m going to… I want to watch The Time in concert cuz I did the same with Vanity 6 last night (such a cool experience, really knowing these songs now and how different they sound live)…
but I think I’m better off just getting some sleep.
I gotta make work really count tomorrow because I took Friday off.

And work went well…
I put 1999 on random in my car because I’m not quite ready to say goodbye yet. But also I needed something to take away the blues I was feeling.
Somehow, I kept them at bay all day without once turning on my iPod.

So I got 1999 and Little Red Corvette (yeah, these songs had to go together- the purple magic wouldn’t have it any other way). Then DMSR came on and it was great fun. I think this song is growing on me, but I don’t think I’ll ever LOVE it like my other favorites.
On the way home, I got “Delirious” (which made me happy), “Free” (which had me going meh) and “Automatic” (which I was mentally going in and out of- not wholly focusing, but still into it). I turned it off when “All the Critics” was next.

Can’t believe how much the guys raved about that song… it’s barely even a song. It’s repetitive music throughout with all the bells and whistles and random lyrics attached.

And “International Lover” had one of Captain’s epic “I don’t like this song” rants.
And the classic division of the panel- Captain and Player against, Toejam and MC for.
And the guys gave their ratings, a couple 10’s and Captain gave 8.6.

So I might as well stop making this entry any longer than it already is… and just rate this thing.
When I tweet this out, I should say something like “if you have two hours to kill… it might be better spent listening to 1999 than reading me talk about it”… or whatever 140 characters allows for.

Reminder of my system:
Max score is 10 per track.
Up to 5 is awarded for technical merit- music, vocals, song structure, lyrics, and that Prince X-Factor
And up to 5 for components- which is my personal preference.

1999
…my mind’s boggling already, I don’t wanna do this πŸ˜› but I must

The production value of this song is brilliant! The best he’d done to this point. It’s catchy and memorable. Well-composed.
Technical score- 5
Components score… this is hard… it’s my first Prince song ever, so much nostalgia behind it… I want so badly to give it a 5, but there are plenty songs I like more just personally… 4.5
Total: 9.5

Little Red Corvette
…ah, kill me…

Great technical merit, again… I love that Linn-drum. It’s the perfect pop song. Great storytelling, instrumentals, super catchy and memorable… I can’t fault it
Technical score- 5
Components score… yeah, this is the hard part for me. Nostalgia again. Loved that video- the first one I watched the day I made it official. But it’s hard not to think about a year ago and how that kinda ruined the song for me for a while…
But I also called “When You Were Mine” a perfect pop song… this is at that same level for me… 5
Total score: 10

Delirious

Okay, this is a fun one, but considering all the monsters on this album, it can sometimes get lost in the mix.
For the technical side… the lyrics are very simple but super catchy. They stick with me each time I listen. But by Prince standards, it’s not the best he’s offered, nor is it super unique. It just happens to be the rockabilly track all of Prince’s previous attempts at the genre led up to. And then there’s that random baby at the end…
Technical score- 4
Components- 3.5 (one of the easiest scores to shell out…)
Total score- 7.5

Let’s Pretend We’re Married
…yeah, this is another great one…

Technically, everything feels like it’s in sync. The music conveys the message perfectly. Great lyrics that push the envelope. I really can’t fault, but…
Technical score- 4.5
Components score… it’s not a 5… I’ll give it… 4
Total score- 8.5

Dance Music Sex Romance
…I think I might check on my score of Uptown because I alluded that this song was a better realized version of the same concept.
I think I gave it a 3 for components… so I’ll give 3.5 for components. That’s just me.
Technically, it works better as a live jam rather than something cooked up in a studio… but strong songwriting, great visuals come out in the lyrics… vocally, Prince is capable of better- therefore, this would sound better live. But this is something only he would do and bring to this length without getting too overwrought.
Technical score- 4
Total score- 7.5

A-U-T-O-MATIC
[fun fact- when I listen to this song, I like to sign for those four letters… it was tricky to do it in time with the music]

Technically… the music is great, very hypnotic and dreamy. The lyrics tell an interesting story and it really goes places. Vocally, it’s all over the place, as it should be with this context. Sometimes, it maybe goes on too long…
Technical score- 4.5
Components score- 4
Total score- 8.5

Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)
…this is where the scores get a little trickier to do…

Technically… it’s hard to get that alternate version of my head…
It’s a great concept to start off. The music is cold and doesn’t always have enough variation to keep things interesting. Only Prince could do something like this and do it well… 4
Components score- 3.5
Total score- 7.5

Free
…before I completely forget about it…

Technical score- 4
Components score- 3.5
Total score- 7.5
(I gave it a bit more… maybe because of the company it’s in, but I think there were times I liked the song more than I currently do)

Lady Cab Driver
…another weird one for me…

the music is its strong point because it’s a long jam. the vocals are decent, but there also aren’t many of them. it runs kinda long for me- too long in the instrumental part. Gotta give a little extra for the balls (oh geesh…) Prince had to put a sex scene in the middle of this and it’s an oddly good way of taking out the frustrations of life out.

Technical score- 4
Components- 3.5
Total- 7.5

…oh crap, this is starting to fall apart a bit…

All the Critics Love You in New York
…this isn’t even a song…

I’ll give a point for lyrics, the unique Prince factor (and the fact he’d played this live by changing the title to the town where he’s performing), the overall performance…
Technical score- 3.5
Components score- 2.5
…yeah… I gave this one a 6… so much for my theory that nothing would score less than 7.5.
Toejam was saying how he didn’t know if anyone didn’t like this song… I raised my hand so high.

International Lover
Technical score- 4… it’s a solid ballad, but it’s not nearly as good as Prince’s others. It’s no “Do Me Baby” “Insatiable” or “Beautiful Ones”
Components score- 4… yeah, most days I like this song a lot, but the cheese factor is a lot at times.
Total score- 8

So… let’s see… put them in line from highest to lowest

Little Red Corvette- 10
1999- 9.5
Let’s Pretend We’re Married- 8.5
Automatic- 8.5
International Lover- 8
Delirious- 7.5
DMSR- 7.5
Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)- 7.5
Lady Cab Driver- 7.5
Free- 7.5
All the Critics Love You in New York- 6
88
Divide that by the max total of 110…

wow… So I’m giving 1999 a solid 8.0…

well, I got my wish. I finally gave a Prince album an 8 out of 10… I just didn’t realize how much the second half of the album really brings it down for me.

That’s something it very much had in common with Controversy and Dirty Mind. They both had strong starts and the 2nd half/side B of the vinyl has hits and misses.
Here, there were more misses than hits, it seems like.

Controversy, I gave 7.8… 1999 beats it by production alone

As for the songs I’m taking forward with me to my all-time favorite Prince songs list… I have a tie, so I’ll taking four with me.

Little Red Corvette
1999
Let’s Pretend We’re Married
Automatic

So yeah, this monster of an entry about a monster of an album is finally done…

and I’m going to keep going tomorrow with another post.
Kinda somber, but it’ll also be positive- I’ll try to keep things positive because that’s how he would have wanted it.

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