Thursday, July 15, 2010

Prince - Lovesexy (LP, 1988)

Yes, the cover is ridiculous. And whether that alone was the determinant in making this one of Prince's least commercially successful releases up to this point is unclear, but it certainly couldn't have helped. It could also be the fact that next to Sign "☮" the Times, this record just doesn't hold up that well. It's still a great record, but it's just not one of Prince's greatest.

Lovesexy holds the slot in Prince's discography where the fabled Black Album was supposed to go, before it was hastily recalled at the last minute. Prince was obviously having some internal battle between good and evil, hence the release of this upbeat record, and hence its underlying themes involving God, Satan, all that mess. Those lyrics don't really interest me too terribly much, but I can tell you that there are some great songs on this record, regardless of goofy content.

The LP starts strong, with the one-two combo of the mighty fun "Eye No," and the rap-dance anthem that is "Alphabet St." "Alphabet St." remains a great song, and at five and half minutes, the album version cleans the clock of the radio/video edit. (When this came out, I had the cassette single for "Alphabet St.," which had the radio edit on the first side, and the remaining part of the song on the second side. Pretty cool.) Such a catchy tune, and Prince really knows how to get the most out of the hook.

It's followed by "Glam Slam," which I've never been a fan of. Prince went so far as to make it a single, which really makes me wonder if I'm missing something with this one. In fact, in my opinion, it's one of the weakest tracks he released up to this point in his career. Maybe this is where Prince started losing me. Either way, a very generic song from the little guy.

"Anna Stesia," the next track, isn't too great either, which may be evident from its cornball title. (Not that that's ever stopped Prince songs from being good.) This is where he starts spouting his "God is love" stuff, and it drags. Thankfully, "Dance On" (One of the stronger songs on the LP) and the title track follow it up, and they get shit back on track a little bit.

"When 2 R in Love" is the only track that is on both Lovesexy and The Black Album, which makes me think Prince felt strongly about it. He should have; it's a solid slow jam with a nice refrain. It's followed by "I Wish U Heaven," which is an okay three-minute pop tune, and was the third single from this record. Makes sense. The album closes with "Positivity," which is seven minutes long and a bit draining.

This is the first record - I'm fairly certain - where Prince mentions the New Power Generation. They weren't officially his band at this point, but he was working towards it. This directly coincides with where Prince starts losing me. That and the 90's, I guess. Either way, he seems to get more and more jumbled after this point, and for the first time, I found it hard to go down the weird-ass roads with him.

Well, actually, we took one more ride. Wait - maybe two.

"I Wish U Heaven"

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