Friday, January 9, 2009

Prince puts the (platonic, bien sur) moves on Ann Powers. As usual, he whets the appetite with promises of releasing three albums at once and causes eyes to roll at the thought of what a Prince perfume might smell like (the kind Madonna sprayed all over Like A Prayer?). As usual, he sounds like a loon and an asshole when pressed to talk about politics ("`I have friends that are gay, and we study the Bible together,' he said").

Inspired by this thread, I've been relistening to lots of post-1992 Prince. The Comeback Trilogy of Musicology, 3121, and Planet Earth all sport new additions to his permanent canon ("Chelsea Rodgers," "Cinnamon Girl"), but he should fire his engineer: they sound like he recorded them in a box of cereal. Emancipation, however, remains an enduring delight. "The Holy River" should have been the Top Five comeback that "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" was. The ungodly cover of "One of Us" is evidence that Prince isn't one of us, and "My Computer" and the title track are at once deliriously weird and accessible -- and I haven't even mentioned the midtempo R&B stuff like "Soul Sanctuary" that sinks its claws into me every time I forget to remember them. My favorite has always been "Let's Have a Baby," which, despite its author's preference for his work on The Time's "777-9311," features his most inventive bass playing (he told Anthony DeCurtis at the time that Joni Mitchell's use of space and silence served as a continuing inspiration). It's the song every R&B writer of midtempo stuff has tried to write, with intentions loud and clear.


M said...

Jesus, back when I was OD'ing on that album I didn't really register the bass playing on "LHAB." I must dig that out again--or really, I must buy another CD copy. And I have long agreed with you about "The Holy River," which is a Top 5 Prince guitar solo as well.

Alfred Soto said...

We've discussed "The Holy River" before? Cool! Yeah, check out "LHAB," which also boasts a really lovely falsetto vocal.

M said...

We haven't discussed any of this before! And I know the album back and forth, I just forgot about the bass line.