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Thread started 10/04/21 4:27pm

26ten

Emancipation Appreciation Thread

Do you all agree with me that Emancipation is top tier Prince? It's so consistently good that it's easy to overlook individual peaks of the album, which is why it requires so many listens to really appreciate. It's an album that is hard to tire of simply because of how much there is to discover in it.

I love all the discs equally wouldnt personally want an abridged version but my favorite 10 tracks are:

Jam Of The Year
White Mansion
Sex In The Summer
One Kiss At A Time
Emale
Savior
Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife
Style
Sleep Around
My Computer

How do you rank this album generally and what are your top 10 tracks?
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Reply #1 posted 10/04/21 4:48pm

TrivialPursuit

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It's not top tier, but it's a high second tier. It was the beginning of his acrylic production phase that lasted for another 20 years.

However, there were a bunch of highlights on it. There's also a bunch of filler. So many songs have a tag ending on them simply for the sake of each disk being 60 minutes each.

It's bloated, but the strong songs are really good. Disk 1 as a whole is good, but "Jam of the Year," "Get Yo Groove On," and "eye Can't Make U Love Me" should be trimmed a bit. (shit like, "in this bedroom slash church" is fucking cringe x100) Songs like "Damned If eye Do," "Somebody's Somebody," "In This Bed eye Scream," and "White Mansion" are great tunes.

But "The Plan," "Human Body," "Slave," and "New World" are either unnecessary or irritating. I think with the last three, his falsetto is what throws me off. If he'd sung it in his natural voice, it would've been stronger. "Emancipation" isn't a spectacular song, but the falsetto sorta negates any credibility for me.

Disk 2 gets pulled down with thins like "Curious Child," "Dreamin' About U," "Let's Have A Baby," although "Soul Sanctuary" is a great song.

"Joint 2 Joint," "Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife," "Sleep Around," and "Holy River" should also be trimmed.

There are moments of brilliance. "One Kiss At A Time," "The Love We Make," "Saviour," "My Computer," "Emale," "Right Back Here In My Arms"

My top 10 would be, in no order:

My Computer

The Love We Make

Saviour

Emale

Damned If eye Do

White Mansion

Courtin' Time

In This Bed eye Scream

Sleep Around

Right Back Here In My Arms

It's really one full disk of great songs, or maybe a disk with a bonus EP. It's really only 2 1/4 disk's worth of music anyway, so whittling down to a strong 2 disk set wouldn't be too hard.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #2 posted 10/04/21 7:19pm

LoveGalore

I have strong memories from this album's release and it was definitely not what I expected following Come/Gold/Chaos... But I do have some favorites. I don't mind that it's sprawling. At the time I remember being surprised none were songs he was doing live but hadnt released yet like Hide the Bone or Funky Design.

Some all-time favorites: Let's Have A Baby, Holy River, Saviour, Joint 2 Joint, Courtin Time, Somebody's Somebody, and The Love We Make.
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Reply #3 posted 10/04/21 7:25pm

26ten

LoveGalore said:

I have strong memories from this album's release and it was definitely not what I expected following Come/Gold/Chaos... But I do have some favorites. I don't mind that it's sprawling. At the time I remember being surprised none were songs he was doing live but hadnt released yet like Hide the Bone or Funky Design.

Some all-time favorites: Let's Have A Baby, Holy River, Saviour, Joint 2 Joint, Courtin Time, Somebody's Somebody, and The Love We Make.


I don't think I've ever heard Funky Design before. Will have to check it out.
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Reply #4 posted 10/05/21 11:26am

PurpleColossus

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For me, I'd rank Emancipation around Chaos & Disorder tier. I think since there are many tracks on it, there is probably something for everyone on the album.

.

My Top 10

.

The Holy River

White Mansion

My Computer

In This Bed I Scream

Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife

Right Back Here In My Arms

Saviour

Emancipation

Mr. Happy

Dreamin' About You

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Reply #5 posted 10/05/21 12:05pm

Poplife88

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I really like this album too. I still listen to it on a pretty regular basis, but have to admit its been awhile since I've listened to it all the way through. I do remember being somewhat disappointed when it was released, as I needed time for it to simmer, but over the years it has definitely grown on me.

Some of the Top songs for me:

The Love We Make

Face Down

Sleep Around

In This Bed I Scream

White Mansion

Joint 2 Joint

My Computer

Style

Damned if I Do

Right Back Here in My Arms

Holy River

Savior

We're gonna need a bigger boat
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Reply #6 posted 10/05/21 2:22pm

TrivialPursuit

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I should add, Disk 1 on shuffle is good in just about any order it comes up.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #7 posted 10/05/21 11:03pm

26ten

TrivialPursuit said:

I should add, Disk 1 on shuffle is good in just about any order it comes up.



I wonder how that would play out with disc 2. I think if I had to pick one it'd be that one, but thankfully I don't haha

Still - interesting thought. Would change the feel so much, but the album is a little homogenous despite the immense ground covered.
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Reply #8 posted 10/06/21 6:24am

TheEnglishGent

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Emancipation is great, there's something for everyone. I'm not playing the one disc compilation game again though. lol

RIP sad
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Reply #9 posted 10/06/21 6:47am

Vannormal

TrivialPursuit said:

It's not top tier, but it's a high second tier. It was the beginning of his acrylic production phase that lasted for another 20 years.

-

And there you said it all, and i agree for 91,73%, something like that. wink

-

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves.
And wiser people so full of doubts"
(Bertrand Russsell 1872-1972)
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Reply #10 posted 10/06/21 11:08am

CoolMF

Lots of filler (mostly on disc 3) but often in my top 5 Prince albums. Most of disc 1 has aged well over the years and I always loved disc 2 as a favorite.

*

For me, this was the last "new" Prince album that, upon release, had some straight up "jams". After this, the next few "new" albums sometimes had a decent song or 2 but this, to me, closed out the Prince era.

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Reply #11 posted 10/06/21 11:13am

CoolMF

SIDENOTE- one of my favorite memories from this album was being active on alt.music.prince on AOL.

Around '95'-'96, there was a user on there before the album came out named "BedIScream" that people suspected might be Prince...

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Reply #12 posted 10/06/21 11:27am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

one of his best 90s albums for sure

sex in the summer though, i cant listen to it without cringing at the lyrics.

seems totally lacking in conviction

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Reply #13 posted 10/06/21 11:45am

lurker316

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The drum programming on albums such as 1999 and Sign o' the Times was fresh, orginial, futuristic in some cases, and like nothing else on the radio. In the 1980s, Prince was five years ahead of everyone else when it came to drum machines.

However, when he returned to drum programming for Emancipation (after having relied on Michael Bland for acoustic drums throughout most of the early and mid '90s) his style was bland, uninspired and out-dated. It was five years behind everyone else. It was generic R&B that you'd expect from boy bands.

I think it's terrible album. Bottom tier, along with Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic and Planet Earth.


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Reply #14 posted 10/06/21 11:51am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

top tier stuff on this -

cant make u love me

soul sancutary

curious child

dreamin about u

holy river

lets have a baby

the plan

my computer

one of us

love we make

2nd tier -

right back here

somebody somebody

courtin time

betcha by...

white mansion

damned if i do

in this bed

one kiss

emale

joint to joint

saviour

friendloversister...

slave

new world

human body

sleep around

la la la means...

emancipation

3rd tier -

everything else

courtin time is a good addition to that delirious, jack u off, etc, princes rockabilly type songs, but its a bit flat.

the club/party songs on here are often really quite boring and i just dont buy them at ALL. this is a domestic, married man type album. not a party, in the club, 'checking out the cuties' type album.

if the tracks werent all extended for no reason it would be better. but that just messes up a lot of the otherwise pretty listenable material. the production is mostly bland, which is a shame, as theres good stuff here. but for me, the over long songs, and how robbed of spontaneity this is ruins it for me.

sleep around should have been edited and made into a single btw. great song. totally commercial and generic, but great.

[Edited 10/6/21 11:59am]

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Reply #15 posted 10/06/21 3:49pm

alexanderalm

26ten said:

Do you all agree with me that Emancipation is top tier Prince? It's so consistently good that it's easy to overlook individual peaks of the album, which is why it requires so many listens to really appreciate. It's an album that is hard to tire of simply because of how much there is to discover in it. I love all the discs equally wouldnt personally want an abridged version but my favorite 10 tracks are: Jam Of The Year White Mansion Sex In The Summer One Kiss At A Time Emale Savior Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife Style Sleep Around My Computer How do you rank this album generally and what are your top 10 tracks?

I totally agree! It's on of his best albums. So many diffent type of songs. But this is surely an album for the hardcore fans. I have my 15-ish favorites that i return to on a regular basis, such as:

Jam of the...

somebody's...

White mansion'

in this bed i ...

soul sanctuary'

joint to joint

holy river

lets have a baby

savior

human body

sleep around

my computer

the love we make

emancipation

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Reply #16 posted 10/07/21 12:51am

Sydney

I really like a lot of the songs off the 3 CD set Emancipation but I must admit my favourite tracklist/running order of the album is the one Prince gifted an employee which makes up the boot "The Secret Chapter". I like the flow of this record and ALL the songs. Felt focused and concise to me not like a 3 hour tour de force proving he's the baddest. Great period though and some amazing songs!
[Edited 10/7/21 0:52am]
[Edited 10/7/21 0:53am]
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Reply #17 posted 10/07/21 3:50am

zobilamouche

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CoolMF said:

Lots of filler (mostly on disc 3) but often in my top 5 Prince albums. Most of disc 1 has aged well over the years and I always loved disc 2 as a favorite.

*

For me, this was the last "new" Prince album that, upon release, had some straight up "jams". After this, the next few "new" albums sometimes had a decent song or 2 but this, to me, closed out the Prince era.

Though I agree with the plastic production criticism, my impression is that this album marks the point where he really went full throttle to bring out as much music as he could and wanted which simultanously ended the era of very concise and carefully assembled albums.

We finally received more Prince music but the magic of a coherent concept album largely went out the door. The love TRC got is not only because of it's organic, jazzy sound but was also one of those albums that felt like a chapter on itself.

The HQ-er formerly known as krokostimpy.
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Reply #18 posted 10/07/21 5:08am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

This is actually his best 90s album, it's just buried inside 3 hours of audio dumping lol

Prince was doing big music dumping and overstuffed spotify albums 2 decades two early lol
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Reply #19 posted 10/07/21 5:12am

LoveGalore

funkbabyandthebabysitters said:

This is actually his best 90s album, it's just buried inside 3 hours of audio dumping lol

Prince was doing big music dumping and overstuffed spotify albums 2 decades two early lol


I don't think Emancipation can touch the cohesive brilliance of the symbol album and it certainly has less interesting polish than TGE.

I'd say it is, at best, tied with Rave (also a painfully underrated album).
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Reply #20 posted 10/07/21 5:51am

Hamad

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It’s the best 90s era, outtakes wise. However, the album itself is full of fillers, once you weed them out, you can make a great tracklist of a strong cohesive album.

Oh & btw, I love his version of “One of Us”. I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise and I’ll happily die on this hill smile
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future...

Twitter: https://twitter.com/QLH82
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Reply #21 posted 10/07/21 4:11pm

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

it never quite works as an album when i try to do it but theres prob a good 2 disc set in here that woud work better than a 3 cd set. i think a single disc set is just too small.

1.

jam of the year

right back here

somebodys somebody

courtin time

white mansion

damned if i do

cant make u love me

(guitar feedback from end of mr happy)

in this bed i scream

one kiss at a time

soul sanctuary

emale

curious child

dreamin about u

2. joint to joint

holy river

lets have a baby

saviour

the plan

friendloversister...

slave

human body

sleep around

my computer

one of us

love we make

emancipation

[Edited 10/31/21 2:27am]

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Reply #22 posted 10/07/21 4:27pm

LoveGalore

Emale and My Computer get way too much love. Those are his two absolutely most dated songs ever.

Hell they were dated when he released them! "I scan my computer looking for a site"??? Cringe so hard my eyes burst.
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Reply #23 posted 10/07/21 4:59pm

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

The lyrics don't matter. Its about the other stuff.

Anyways Netscape browsing and AOL were glorious lol
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Reply #24 posted 10/07/21 5:14pm

26ten

LoveGalore said:

Emale and My Computer get way too much love. Those are his two absolutely most dated songs ever.

Hell they were dated when he released them! "I scan my computer looking for a site"??? Cringe so hard my eyes burst.


Hahaha it's funny because the first few years I would be like "oh noooo those lyrics noooo but THAT MELODY WHAT" and eventually I just accepted the lyrics

Singing about tech is dangerous when it advances that fast. His other option is to not talk about it, but specifically My Computer says a lot about a changing world and the ways we connect (or don't). Everything with a specific anything dates itself. Not the songs fault imo. The important point remains. I wouldn't fault a photo for having an AOL disc on it in the same way.

+ this is the same as the Kate Bush song A Deeper Understanding, which is similarly "dated" lyrically But absolutely astounding musically. I'm sure that's why P had Kate do backing vox on My Computer.
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Reply #25 posted 10/07/21 5:31pm

SoulAlive

“Emale” is my favorite song on this album.It has a dark,moody vibe and a very catchy,hypnotic chorus.Great track!
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Reply #26 posted 10/07/21 8:31pm

TrivialPursuit

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SoulAlive said:

“Emale” is my favorite song on this album. It has a dark, moody vibe and a very catchy, hypnotic chorus. Great track!


There's a little percussive moment in the chorus that I always thought was cool: It's a snare rim shot - almost like a click - between words that sorta accents the phrasing.

"double u, double u, double u dot" <click> emale dot <click> cooommm."

It's a little syncopated, it's rhythmic, it fills a space without being extra. It's between the 4 and the next down beat. I always thought that was cool.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #27 posted 10/08/21 3:24am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

i like emale, but its kind of like a la la hee hee type song, like he issued himself a challenge to write a song about email and thats what he came up with. not many people could make it work but he did somehow.

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Reply #28 posted 10/08/21 4:48am

LoveGalore

Lyrics might not be the be-all, end-all but prince was indeed a lyricist. Any kind of reference to cultural ephemera is going to make a song sound dated as shit and affect how we perceive them.

So yeah, Emale and My Computer are pretty cringe to me. So is U're Gonna See Me and the two-way page lyric.

In the context of the 3 disc set, perhaps these cringe songs fit and are okay. There's plenty else to consider on the album. But on a single disc where each song has that much more prominence, I'm a bit more discerning.

Musically, I don't think Emale or My Computer add much. This is an album with musical masterpieces on it, great sections of interesting and compelling sounds that add to Prince's legacy in a notable way. These songs? Blah.

Anyway, this album couldn't be a satisfying single disc to any two Prince fans, but:

Slave
Da Da Da (minus Scrap D)
Joint 2 Joint
Holy River
Courtin Time
Let's Have A Baby
One Kiss At A Time
Style
Dreamin About U
Somebody's Somebody
The Love We Make
Saviour
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Reply #29 posted 10/08/21 5:08am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

the thing is that most of this album is very mid-late 90s anyway

the www refernces in those songs are not dated to me as it was relevant at that time.

it captures a certian excitment about internet communication and relationships in the 90s

its not like when prince sung 'you can just page me' on planet earth when that album was released waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay after the heyday of pagers

any one who includes da da da and style but hates my computer might have to just consider that their view is highly personal and not objectively correct lol

[Edited 10/8/21 5:08am]

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