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Prince’s “The Rainbow Children” Reviewed


‘This concept album illustrates common Prince themes of spirituality and human sexuality, as well as love and racism, through the fictitious story of a social movement toward a Martin Luther King, Jr.-inspired utopian society. The album seems to allude to his recent conversion to the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion, but Egyptian monotheism and New Age concepts such as the Akashic records are used as metaphors as well.” And here I was thinking that Prince had recorded a silly, boring, piece of jazzed up supperclub tedium without a single song you can remember past breakfast but with a sound remarkable in its skill.

For instance… the ten minute smooth jazz opener, for instance the second song, “Muse 2 Song For the Pharoah” with catchy lyrics like “All I want is your extra time and your kiss.” Just kidding, more like:

“And whether the enemy makes a run on the palace
Or whether the enemy does not?
The children will be laced with the protection
Of the word of God, the opposite of NATO is OTAN”

Prince can’t perform badly and therefore he doesn’t perform badly, the music is immaculate and far ranging, with Prince sounding very one man band and music hitting you from every direction, a chick singer is all shading and the album is a kaleidoscope of sound before descending into endless jams by the end of the proceedings. The thing is, the untidier the concept, the better the songs need to be to sell them, and really, they are not even vaguely acceptable. Talk about slack construction, talk about ignoring (I might mean losing) the one reason above all you became a superstar in order to write confounded metaphors about Jehovah’s Witness. It was November 2001 and Prince dealt with those troubled times, by writing theological weirdness. For “God’s sake, he manages to add an “I had a dream” to the end of a song that opened with butt cheek clutching.

This is the only Prince album I haven’t heard before and while I admire, to a degree, the unsettled creativity and urge to connect on the deepest level he chose, lots of people try to do that with minimal effect. and if you are a musical genius

If you want to complete your Prince knowledge and don’t want to slog through the entire enterprise, go for “The Wedding Feast”. Unless you think saying black and white is a fallacy like saying this or that. Otherwise, wait for the next album -a very good live one.

Grade: C

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