Monday, May 23, 2016

Controversy - Prince

This is the fourth album by Prince and was released in 1981. This album follows the amazing 1980 Dirty Mind. While it may not be as good as that album the title track alone makes this worth a listen. This was also released in October. The album before and after were also released in October. As you may know Prince recently passed away, I plan on doing a Purple Month sometime next year maybe, but for now this'll have to suffices. Now I'm a huge fan of this guy, his Cream of the crop coming from 1980-1987 (it starts to decline after 1992 a lot). Now I will miss Prince, but not sorely. Why? Well blame it on Bowie, but after he died I said.... When's Prince and Macca and my other heroes gonna die. And when I heard the news I went, that was quicker than I wanted. :( But to honor him I'll review a pretty straightforward less popular, but solid, record.
  1. Controversy: This track opens the album. This is an amazing track from every which way. This track features Lisa Coleman as a backing singer. At 7 minutes I have to say, this really doesn't feel like it overstays its welcome. It kicks off with a punch, had a solid groove. The chorus is very catchy, and the Coleman's refrain of the title is great. Oh the track also changes enough, while not a progressive composition, it changes enough to keep me interested. I love the umph that Prince does, which sounds like a sampled voice being played through a drum (essential serving as a bass drum).
  2. Sexuality: The definition of Prince's music, at least Pre-2000. Hahahahah, that's a good joke right guys?!?! But more seriously, this was released as a single, but I don't hear it. It's kind of an uninteresting synth funk number that has been done much better by The Purple One himself. It also sounds like a song I could hear being a new wave influenced maybe on a VH1 Classic rewind music video block. This isn't terrible, but I know if I heard it I'd probably just hear it passingly. Like there isn't anything here that really drives me, outside of the review, to revisit this. The only thing that I do smile at is the lyrics that were quoted in Rainbow Children.
  3. Do, Me Baby: If I'm correct this was written by André Cymone. This also dates back to 1979, though this is a re-recording from the 1981 sessions. The one thing I have to say about this song, honestly, is damn this is long. Maybe it's a bit too long. This is a sensual song, kinda like International Lover. The only thing is this isn't as good as that track. It's almost as if that was a re-write of this, but done better.
  4. Private Joy: This was actually later covered by LaToya Jackson among others. Honestly this is a pretty fun, 80's song. I really can't hate it you know. It's pretty damn fun. While I feel like it might be a bit more fit to someone else, I can't knock it you know. I don't know which I like better, I mean the cover sounds better, but this.... I think his singing is what kind of make this sound like the original of a song that was later covered by someone else and made a hit. A number of song on that list include Since You've Been Gone, I Feel For You, Blinded by the LightNothing Compares 2 U, Respect among others. This is still a nice song and worth checking out. I do appreciate the sort of distortion and segue into the next track.
  5. Ronnie Talk to Russia: Being Lisa's second track shes on, this is a very short track. Look at it as this albums equivalent of Sister. There is some nice drum work in the beginning, then when the song starts it kind of makes me think of a rocker off The River. I mean it's a fine song, it's sweet and short, not as good as Sister or memorable, but it is what it is you know. Kinda tongue in cheek.
  6. Let's Work: Originally titled Let's Rock after a dance the title was changed to make it less timely. This song is kind of simple and these not much to it. This beginning of the song, or refrain  reminds me of Le Freak. The comes the bass line for a few bats before the vocals come in, which I think is the best part of the song. I really like the way he sings and the sort of six syllables or beats he sings and the synth backing him up. This is really a top notch song from this style. And I'm pretty sure it'll make you wanna get up and dance. This also sounds like it's pretty confident and I could almost see it being on par with the next release, if not so new wavy it could also fit on there. It's pretty confident and bold and just straight up great. I also like the synth that works as sort of strings for the track. Nice ;)
  7. Annie Christian: The segue into this next track is something else. Its almost if he was aware this is odd and he wanted to get you in the mood right away. Now this isn't odd in a "I can't believe he'd cover this topic". This is odd for the way it sounds. Like I almost feel like it's not shocking, just bizarre. It has this weird feeling to it that makes me think it's supposed to have a deeper meaning to it, but I don't know. There is a really nice guitar through out, and this icy synth that sounds like lazer shots being fired. The more I listen though, the more I love every second of this. And I'm serious about the guitar, we rarely get solos and here is like a 3 minute long one behind the track. Maybe the best way to describe this is he was a Third Days Something, I don't know but some people say that is like a cult. This song has a very cult-esque feeling to it. Almost as if he was brain washed or sung by a robot. The only real logic I can find is maybe it's about the devil, and to back that up the fact Annie Christian Annie Christ sounds like Anti Christ. 
  8. Jack U Off: If I'm not mistaken this is the first track Prince misspelled. This track, while classic in its blunt title.... It isn't classic. It kind of has the silly feeling Delirious and a number of tunes here have. This is kind fun, but I'm not sure this fun feeling is right for this song. Maybe for the chorus, but like I don't know. It doesn't leave a good feeling in my ear, or mouth. I've heard far worse song, and loved them, but this just doesn't really work for me if I'm being honest. The best part is may the harmonies, but also I feel like it doesn't work too. There is also a rock and roll feeling to this, but I don't know.
Overall I have to give this a 7.5/10. This album, while less eventful than the previous album or the follow up its kind of important. I once read, and didn't realize, this is the first album with long songs, which Prince would use extensively on his next album (and other albums not necessarily to his benefit). But this really is the middle ground between DM and 1999. Ultimately the title cut and the other two tracks are a good enough reason for me to buy a cassette, Cd, vinyl and 8-track of this album. Now that being said Prince Roger Nelson will be missed but if there's anything we can do its to keep on keeping on. He wasn't one to really back track (well until more recent years) and musicians shouldn't either. So lets keep going and make Prince and the others proud. 

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