Skip to content

Prince’s “Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic” Reviewed


2000 00 party over, whoops outta time. This, Prince’s 23rd album “Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic”, is the one where we had to stop pretending that he could do it on record anymore. Neither rave, nor fantastic, it was a funk meets pop attempt to sell out that failed to do so. The problem was the songs and the gift of song, plus the occasional arrangement, not performance, not singing… all of it is what it is precisely. Prince as an artist  never lost his primary skill, he was a master musician, a genius musician: a funk pioneer and a brittle brilliant business man, who set out to do precisely what he wanted to do exactly how he wanted to do it. What he wasn’t was a great songwriter, for at least the second half of his career.

Prince is fully committed on this album, it is a pop move by definition with guest appearances by popsters Eve, Gwen Stefani, Ani Di Franco, and Sheryl Crowe, and big time black artists Chuck D and Maceo Parker. Only Gwen, on the albums best moment, the over arranged but catchy “So Far, So Pleased” does him any favors. A catchy piece of funky bubblegum, it is a hidden gem among some uninspired Princeisms. By now we can’t really respond to his funk exercises, not the title track which, oddly, isn’t rave music, not the very next track, the Chuck D “Undisputed”, not the ballad that follows. It takes till a third of the way through before the album kicks in to a degree with “Tangerine”, a strummy break up track with probably the best lyric, “Sometimes I feel tangerine, sometimes I feel blue”, followed by the best track “SO Far, So Pleased”.

Once you’re past that, his cover of “Everyday Is A Winding Road” is a true misstep, echoing his earlier and superior “One Of Us”, this time he rewrote it as an r&b track and missed the melody in its entirety. “Man O’War” sounds right but doesn’t sound like a good song, and the love in disarray to the lyric are very plain speak, a mixed blessing true, but if you take the albums lyrical content and compare it to his early 80s heights, it just doesn’t happen. Even his iffy albums in the 90s had scope to them; here he aims for one thing, the charts, and misses.  It is as if he missed a step on a stair, he crates his ideals and ideologue, with the the same old same new Prince, the one we would shrug through to the end of his life. Like Bruce, Paul, Neil, Bono… his well of inspiration seemed to have taken a break and wouldn’t come back. It is the stalled modem of funk albums. Listen to the dreadful piano ballad “I Love U, But I Don’t Trust U Anymore” -a big heartbreaker that never lifts off.It is the near beer of Prince, it sounds as though it should be big and important and it is nothing of the sort.

This is exactly what Prince lost when he left Warner Brothers, somebody to tell him no.

Grade:: C


Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

Meek Mill At Madison Square Garden, Saturday, October 23rd, 2021, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | October 24, 2021 |

he had something to prove and didn’t

Elton John’s “The Lockdown Sessions” Reviewed

By Jack Phillips | October 24, 2021 |

“Elton in the house!” 

L.A. Burning, West Coast Concert Picks October 25th To 31st

By Alyson Camus | October 24, 2021 |

Moses Sumney plays two shows at the Ford

UK Top 10 Albums: 10-22-21 – 10-28-21

By Iman Lababedi | October 23, 2021 |


UK Top 10 Singles 10-22-21 – 10-28-21

By Iman Lababedi | October 23, 2021 |

the highest week 1 figure since Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You

Used Chewing Gum Stories

By Alyson Camus | October 23, 2021 |

the most disposable things to collect

The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 10-22-21 – 10-27-21 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | October 22, 2021 |

a covid-19 as break up, post-pandemic as new love metaphor

The Earliest Bird: Top New Recorded Release 10-22-21-10-28-22, Jack White’s “Taking Me Back and “Taking Me Back (Gently)” Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | October 22, 2021 |

where an innocent child discovers his parents are from another planet

Press Releases For October: Meet The Artists

By Alyson Camus | October 22, 2021 |

a pulsing badass number

“Miracle And Wonder: Conversations With Paul Simon” A New Audiobook From Malcolm Gladwell

By admin | October 21, 2021 |

a window into Paul Simon’s legendary career

Scroll To Top