Monday, May 29, 2017
--An old, uninspired Chuck D. laying down bars over synthesizers seemingly left untuned since the Controversy days. This one set the disappointing tone of the entire Rave album early on: Bring in an all-star cast, then don't let them do much of any importance. For his part, Prince brings in a boast about starting trends rather than following them, then saddles it with a Moses metaphor. Not the way to get back in touch with the streets.
404. Love Machine (Graffiti Bridge, 1990)
--Elisa Fiorillo's album I Am was criminally slept on. Her turn on this track as the vocal stunt double for Ingrid Chavez's drunken angel? Eh, not so much. Meanwhile, Morris Day and Jerome Benton get roped into being surrogate mouthpieces for Prince's "let's get this chick in a bubble bath" fetish. All three performers deserved better.
Friday, May 19, 2017
--In which the Don of the Purple Mafia boasts about "snatchin' up kiddies like a circus clown" and uses "asunder" as a verb ("No man should asunder the joy that another man found"). I'm pretty certain both offenses could land one on a watch list of some sort. Much like on "Jughead," we get raps from Prince, Tony and Rosie, and finally Tony finds a beat on which he can outrhyme somebody. (Sorry, Rosie.)
419. The Arms of Orion (Batman Soundtrack, 1989)
--We just keep telling ourselves "it's from a movie." The problem with "Orion" is that it probably has less to do with its superhero source material than any other song on the Batman soundtrack. And very few of them have much direct connection in the first place. This one might have been more at home in a Disney flick.
418. Crazy You (For You, 1978)
--A ballad that casts into doubt some of the reputation of Prince's debut album. The production of For You went too long and cost too much, but "Crazy You" doesn't sound like it took much time at all. It's atmospheric, with some beautiful acoustic guitar work, but it's also a fragment. One clunky verse, one two-line chorus, and we're moving back to the dance floor. Thanks for stopping by.