audio review : 1000 Xs And Os ( song ) … Prince

The one thing I hate about this song is the title, rather its awkward stylization. It should be A Thousand Hugs And Kisses, but if any song artist can be forgiven for such an aesthetic flaw; the grammar rules of my site omit those two ugly apostrophes; it’s Prince. He’s been doing it with his songs for so long, it’s become somewhat of a trademark.

The one thing I love about the song; a demo version of which has been circulating among hardcore Prince fans since 1992 or 1993; is the beat; easily one of the best he’s ever sang to. It’s produced by, or co-produced with, Joshua Welton and not even Prince’s middling chorus; he’s singing to his “baby”, meaning a wife or live-in girlfriend; can bring it down.

my rating : 4 of 5

2015

audio review : Hit N Run [ Phase One ] ( album ) ... Prince

audio review : Hit N Run [ Phase One ] ( album ) … Prince

audio review : Last Call ( album ) ... Morris Day

It wasn’t a good idea to start this album with samples from Purple Rain because they only remind listeners how much better Prince’s music used to be. That’s not to say this new album is bad; the OX song, June and Fallinlove2nite are worthy additions to his Hit list; just that it pales in comparison. That’s despite a consistently “fun”ky soundscape from producer Joshua Welton.

my rating : 3 of 5

2015

video review : Purple Rain

video review : Purple Rain

This could’ve been a good concert video. Instead the stage bits are repeatedly interrupted by what’s supposed to be a movie. The acting is porn bad; the only two real actors are Clarence Williams and Olga Karlatos as Prince’s dysfunctional parents; but the girls are pretty; Jill is my Apollonia; and the music rocks.

Of course the music rocks. This is a Prince movie and Purple Rain is his best album. The fictionalization of it is off-putting; for some inexcusable reason, his name is changed to The Kid; but its songs shine. Some are poignant enough to leave the ladies in tears. Perhaps the title is a metaphor for running mascara.

my rating : 3 of 5

1984

a dream I had about meeting Stevie Wonder

I don’t know where we were; it seemed like the eatery area of a shopping mall; but I was with Jamel when I saw him. “That’s Stevie Wonder,” I said aloud as I approached him. He looked skinnier and younger than he is in real life, but, at first sight, I was convinced it was him.

He was standing behind a counter like a cashier would if it really were a shopping mall as I greeted him hand to hand; something I almost certainly wouldn’t have done in real life. He had a big smile on his face; I remember his sunglasses and dreadlocks; as I showered him with praise.

I was like a typical zealous fan, telling him how much of a “legend” he was, and he seemed to appreciate it. That is until I told him, rather Jamel and the sparse spread of strangers around us, that he was “one of the big three”, listed the order and pointed out that he was “number two”.

I meant it as a compliment, meaning that, in some hyperbolic blarneying 1980s-throwback way, he was the second best or at least biggest music icon in the world, but he seemed to take it as a bit of a gibe as if I was emphasizing the fact that he wasn’t the best.

I started with number three; Prince; then named himself as number two as he continued to smile. It’s not until I apologized to “Mister Wonder”; something else I probably wouldn’t have done in real life; and said that Michael Jackson was number one that he seemed to take umbrage.

Perhaps it was the way the people around us; I remember unwittingly standing in the way of a freakishly tall guy after all this; reacted when I said it, like the crowd at a rap battle when one rapper lands a devastating insult to his opponent, that made Stevie jump to his own defense.

He wasn’t actually angry or upset, at least he didn’t seem to be, but neither was he smiling as big as he’d been until then. I don’t even remember what he said, but the gist was less how dare I say he’s not the best and more a stern declaration that he is, indeed, the best.

I mentioned what I probably wouldn’t have done in real life and I doubt Stevie Wonder would’ve really argued with me even if he disagreed. He seems humble enough and he and Michael Jackson were Good Friends, so he probably would’ve just laughed or made a joke about it.

2021 ( July 19 )

audio review : U Got The Look ( song ) … Prince ( featuring Sheena Easton )

The concept here is a little confusing. The U in the title refers to “a pretty girl” Prince is “taken aback” by, but Sheena Easton sings the chorus and it’s hard to determine whether she’s supposed to be the girl or an artistic extension of Prince’s thoughts about the girl. The third verse, a repeat of the first, suggests the former, but who knows.

That hook is the best part of the song, especially the first four bars, though it’s the in-your-face drumbeat and sparse guitar riffs that keep it rocking. The setting seems to be some kind of dance club with “ugly lights”, but it’s the bed that will be rocking if heterosexual allure gets its way. “If your love is good,” one line goes, “let’s get to rammin”.

my rating : 4 of 5

1987