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Thread started 03/10/06 10:10pm

skywalker

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3121: A Hypocrite's review

Yeah, I know, I know. I started the "wrecking it by listening early thread." Guess what? Listening early is fun and I am glad you all convinced me of such. Now I have MORE to look forward to on 3/21. As I told purpleknight, the dark side is hard to resist(geek alert).

Anyways, my thoughts on 3121:

Initial reaction:


The album is WAY more pop oriented and synth driven than I expected. This isn't a bad thing, but after hearing the organic "Te Amo Corazon", the stripped down "Black Sweat", and SNL's guitar fueled "Fury" I expected something less pop than the previous album. 3121 reminded me that , yes Prince is a brilliant musician who covers many genres, but he is often a writer of pop music. When I say pop music, I don't mean it as a derogatory term. The Beatles were brilliant composers of pop music as was/is Stevie Wonder.

On to the songs-

3121- So far, my personal fave. If "S&M Groove" and "Days of Wild" had sex, this song would be the baby. Typical Prince party lyrics letting us know that a good time is to be had by all and that the party is gonna be treated like the last one before the world ends. Familiar theme right? Camille is that you? Welcome back.

Lolita- I know why our Dirty Mind loving orger digs this song. It's cheesy as hell, but fun and catchy-just like is supposed to be.

Te Amo Corazon- I never hated this song. It has always been a curiosity to me that was enhanced by the video. Still has a Christopher Tracy goes to Panama vibe to me. A good 3rd track.

Black Sweat- Another favorite. People say this copies whoever, but Prince is the alpha and omega of this sound so he can do it as much as he wants and only be accused of copying himself. *IMO, unless he does country music, he'll often be copying himself in some form or another. It's unavoidable 30 years into a career that straddles as many genres as his does.*

Incense and Candles-
the vocoder right? Has Prince ever used this before? I am not feeling this one so much, but I can see it growing on me. Hell, this whole review could be different in 3 months or so. At the very least, Prince is horny on this one.

Love- Dig the grinding synth and drums more than the vocals. I wish it was Prince's voice alone. The melody is cool. Reminds me of a Mayte song-only better. Good pop/dance music.


Satisfied- "On the Couch" pt. 2? I've heard Prince do this a million times before, but I still like it. Slanky and sexy. Just fine.

Fury- How many Prince songs are better live due to how he works the guitar in the mix? If I hadn't heard the SNL version 1st, I'd like this more. Live it has more guts (so did "I could never take the place of your man").Still, this is one of my favorites on the album.

The Word- Hmmm, a song that is spiritual and uplifting? No, not Prince smile Seriously, I like this one. It's interesting. I like the guitar and the vocal and it's a bit haunting. Dope guitar solo at the end. Yeah, I said dope. Scream ending makes it all the better.

Beautiful, Love, & Blessed- I wasn't a huge fan of this song, it's so sweet it makes my teeth hurt. However, in the context of the album it works. A great song to follow "The Word".

The Dance- Something "Batman" about this one. Is this different than the version we've already heard? Lonely Lonely and Lonely. Again, could have been on "Batman". Batman meets Parade. I don't remember liking this song as much as I do on this album. Again, a lonely song. Great vocals.

Get on the boat- Prince and Maceo doin' the horn thang. A good closer. This song is okay, it will kick ass live and be jammed on for 20 minutes.

Overall-

The rest of the world has now started recognizing it,Prince is an amazing and genius musician. However, you mostly get that revelation from seeing him live.

3121 production is very synth driven and pop oriented. I know some fans will be disappointed because they want Prince to be dark, experimental, weird, moody, and sparse. They'll complain that this album is too overproduced. They've been saying that since 1988. Isn't that also the year Prince stopped breaking new ground? Whatever. If you've been along for the ride this long, you know what's up. He's still the best thing going.

Some seem to forget that Prince is a writer of GREAT pop songs. This album is more Prince (1979) than Prince 1999. I am not going to say where I place compared to other albums, because it's too early to tell. Maybe in a month or 20 years I'll know. All I can say is that I like 3121. It's funked out, catchy, and definitely Prince of 2006.
[Edited 3/10/06 22:21pm]
"New Power slide...."
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Reply #1 posted 03/10/06 10:37pm

purplecam

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I enjoyed your reading your review. In fact, I was looking forward to seeing what you had to say about this CD. Welcome to the dark side! lol
I'm not a fan of "old Prince". I'm not a fan of "new Prince". I'm just a fan of Prince. Simple as that
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Reply #2 posted 03/10/06 11:17pm

skywalker

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purplecam said:

I enjoyed your reading your review. In fact, I was looking forward to seeing what you had to say about this CD. Welcome to the dark side! lol


Thank you
"New Power slide...."
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Reply #3 posted 03/10/06 11:34pm

PurpleKnight

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Good review, young Skywalker.

I agree that people tend to forget that Prince is a pop artist first and foremost. People actually seem to be angry when they see that Prince has used "fake instruments" on a song, or made it sound pristine.

The truth is that Prince has done that with most of his recorded music. Sometimes he's taken it too far (Rave, Emancipation, etc.), but I don't think 3121 falls into that category.

It's a very digital album, and it's definitely pop, but it's done so well. It keeps growing on me.
The world is a comedy for those who think and a tragedy for those who feel.

"You still wanna take me to prison...just because I won't trade humanity for patriotism."
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Reply #4 posted 03/11/06 6:52am

KoolEaze

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Nice review, it´s always very enjoyable to read your thoughts, even when I disagree sometimes.
Just like you, I wanted to wait for the official release but due to some stress I´m going through I simply needed something fresh and uplifting, so I ran out of patience.

I kinda agree with most of what you said above but I CAN`T stand Lolita and Satisfied...Lolita is lyrically and musically unlistenable for me,really embarrassing, as is On The Couch,and Satisfied sounds too much like the latter.At least the lyrics are slightly better (on Satisfied) than On The Couch.

Overall, a nice album, but probably overhyped. It sounds a bit like a cross between NPS and Emancipation sprinkled with bits and pieces of Gold ( Days Of Wild, Now, Endorphinmachine) and 80´s stuff ( The Dance)...a good album, enjoyable, but the expectations were raised a bit too high not only by us but also by Prince himself by mentioning the return of old friends, among many other things.

I can´t wait til the album comes out because I need the real deal including booklet with liner notes.
" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"




http://kooleasehvac.com/
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Reply #5 posted 03/11/06 7:07am

muleFunk

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"They'll complain that this album is too overproduced. They've been saying that since 1988."


Thank you for that comment.

I have been around long enough to hear people complain about Lovesexy, Batman, D&P,Symbol,TGE, and any other thing that Prince does.

My advice is enjoy the music. This album is hitting from what I have heard ( I have not heard the album). People bitch and moan too much about the music.
Let it be.
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Reply #6 posted 03/11/06 7:18am

Novabreaker

skywalker said:


Incense and Candles-the vocoder, right?


Not really. Antares Autotune, it's quite different from the vocoder sound as it only shifts the natural pitch and doesn't fuse it with a carrier/modulator wave.


Love- [...] Reminds me of a Mayte song


Just realized that. Good observation.

The Dance- Something "Batman" about this one.


I thought so too.

This album is more Prince (1979) than Prince 1999.


hmmm
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Reply #7 posted 03/11/06 8:32am

Krystal666

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I'm so excited about this new album! Thanks for your review! biggrin
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Reply #8 posted 03/11/06 12:16pm

skywalker

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Novabreaker said:

skywalker said:


Incense and Candles-the vocoder, right?


Not really. Antares Autotune, it's quite different from the vocoder sound as it only shifts the natural pitch and doesn't fuse it with a carrier/modulator wave.




I thought so too.

This album is more Prince (1979) than Prince 1999.


hmmm


More Prince (1979) than Prince 1999 because is more bright and poppy not as dark and moody. I was talking about tone, feeling, and emotion rather than just sound.
[Edited 3/11/06 12:17pm]
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Reply #9 posted 03/11/06 1:16pm

jedinpg

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EXCELLENT REVIEW!!

PRINCE is doing what he always does BEST...MAKE MUSIC HIS WAY.

I am so excited for this album.

~Jonathan
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Reply #10 posted 03/11/06 10:41pm

Novabreaker

Yeah, the eponymous album from 1979 just might be the right record to compare "3121" to. That might explain why, for me personally, these are the two Prince albums that really don't amount to much stylistically, even if I like the songs on them.
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