Prince
Planet Earth

Columbia
2007
B+
Reviewed by: Alfred Soto
Reviewed on: 2007-07-23



Posted 07/23/2007 - 07:52:26 AM by smezzer:
 I'm not sure of your global location Mr. Soto, but perhaps you're not aware of the connotations in England of releasing a free album in The Mail, the most obnoxiously offensive paper in the country. Had he released it in The Mirror, The Sunday Sport, The Farmer's Guardian i'd be more than willing to part with the cover fee, but he had to choose this hyper conservative pseudo-Nazi rag. The sort of people who'd be running "ban this sick filth" style articles on any of his slightly more raunchy songs if they acheived ubiquity. The sort of people who'd be running "immigrant Prince takes YOUR taxes" stories if they had the vaguest coincedental evidence. And the fact he's chosen The Heil to release his album (i assume he's read it before) really makes me wonder about him. Maybe their "Christian Moral Values" stance sealed the deal. But either way, i really can't imagine anyone who buys the Mail wanting to listen to Prince, bar some of the more hokey ballads. Not heard any of the album, mind.
 
Posted 07/23/2007 - 09:54:18 AM by raskolnikov:
 Prince is utterly boring and irrelevant and really has never put out a good record...his stuff from the eighties (which is considered to be his finest hour) is ruined by awful, awful production. He is so overrated that it would be funny if it wasn't so ubiquitous in critical circles. As far as his politics is concerned he's always been a typically self-absorbed and disinterested American capitalist, so the use of a right-wing rag to promote himself doesn't surprise me. He is also quite possibly the most overrated guitar player of all time.
 
Posted 07/23/2007 - 12:45:41 PM by cwperry:
 Prince has put out half a dozen excellent albums and is one of the greatest guitar players in rock history. That said, the man hasn't done anything worth the entrance fee in over ten years and this will be the first studio album from Prince that I opt not to buy. At least raskolnikov and I can agree on that.
 
Posted 07/23/2007 - 12:46:57 PM by cwperry:
 Let me amend that: 2001's The Rainbow Children was interesting and, I suppose, "worth the entrance fee," but if we are talking truly strong albums you have to go back to 1995 for The Gold Experience.
 
Posted 07/23/2007 - 01:45:19 PM by smezzer:
 no raskolnikov, just no. He's created some of the greatest pop songs in the history of pop songs, as well as having a masterful understanding of what makes a pop song great. And he doesn't just stick to paint-by-numbers commercialism, he twists and perverts it into unique creations whilst still keeping it within the framework of "music what my dad likes". Which is a very difficult thing to do. Admittedly, i'm no expert (particularly of his later career), and all the albums i've heard of him contain a few moments where i think "hmmm, thats just a bit too cheesy". But as a pop artist he's almost without peer. Production wise, i don't see the complaint.. the drums maybe are a bit too prominent in the 80s pop style, but i think they work well within the context of the songs and as whole pieces the music is superbly dynamic and enjoyable to listen to. And as a guitar player.. well, he was hardly cranking out immensely complicated jazz solos, but he played fairly simply but as if the guitar was an extension of his body or another body he was humping sensually. Sort of like Hendrix. And for this i reckon he's fairly underrated in certain circles. Ah well, i'm probably not going to convince you otherwise, but if you like pop music i really can't see any reason for you to not enjoy Prince.
 
Posted 07/23/2007 - 05:51:26 PM by karlkafka:
 ugh, raskolnikov. you seem like such an obnoxious person. i bet you sit around listening to post-rock all day thinking of how overrated prince is.
 
Posted 07/24/2007 - 08:12:54 AM by raskolnikov:
 Sonny Sharrock, Jack Rose, Jimi Hendrix, Thurston Moore/Lee Ranaldo, Nels Cline, Keiji Haino, Michio Kurihara, Mark Morgan, Mick Barr, King Buzzo, Ben Chasny, Grant Green, Ian Williams, Tony Iommi, Steve Albini, David Grubbs, Stephen O'Malley, and J. Mascis are just a few of the rock guitarists of the past 40 years who are far more interesting musicians than Prince. Additionally, Prince hasn't made an interesting record since 1987...twenty years without a good release qualifies someone as shit in my book. Also, Prince's choice of axes (beginning with that bordello-styled swan guitar in Purple Rain) disqualifies him from a list of serious players--as does the fact that all of his guitar playing sounds exactly the same, and his solos never last more than 30 seconds. Considering the favoritism he's always shown towards keyboards in his music, does he even qualify as a guitar player first?
 
Posted 07/24/2007 - 08:32:03 PM by cut_dead:
 I laugh whenever the resident trolls on this site trash any review they disagree with. The question I ask then is: why do you visit the site if it covers music that you hate/despise?
 
Posted 07/25/2007 - 07:57:23 AM by raskolnikov:
 Here's a question for you Cut Dead--why disagree with anything? Why not smilingly accept the heaps of bullshit offered you by society, art, and government? If somebody doesn't like something, they should just shut up and get out of the way of those who do, right? Fuck off and start thinking for yourself.
 
Posted 07/25/2007 - 11:46:32 AM by keag76:
 raskolnikov- you forgot to mention jimmy page and stevie ray. and you're right prince is overrated and has not made a good album in twenty fucking years.
 
Posted 07/26/2007 - 06:27:15 AM by terrorist:
 i agree completely 100% with you Raskolnikov but I'm really hearing what Cutdead is saying too. And yet I feel that Raskol has the upper hand although Cutdead's argument weighs in pretty heavily. In fact Cutdead has just taken the lead in my agreement ratings just this moment but when I re-read Ras's first comment I can't help thinking that he's definitely onto something. His comment about Prince not releasing anything decent since 87 resonates deep with. Cutdead's idea about Ras being a troll nevertheless has merit and I think he may well be right. I think you're both right. Prince is a troll, Raskolnikov is right to hate on Prince and Cutdead wastes Raskolnikov all over the Comments box with his vicious and right-on attack. Hard to say if anyone comes out on top, but Raskol's sideswipes and list of guitar heroes just makes sense you know? Cutdead should have slapped his list down and I might have found myself nodding, going yeah yeah, pick that list to bits bitch.
 
Posted 07/26/2007 - 08:32:07 PM by cut_dead:
 I probably should've made myself more clear, Raskolnikov. Every comment you make on the site is an attack on either the reviewer or the artist. You'd probably like to believe that you've got the critics shaking in their tube socks, but instead you come across like a disgruntled reject who didn't get hired by the powers that be at Stylus. With the exception of your stance on even the most widely revered music of Prince's (oooh! how edgy!), all of your targets are painfully shallow & obvious. The problem is that nothing you say is a challenge to the argument of the musician's (or writer's) quality (or lack thereof). Maybe you idealize this site to one day meet your standards of music criticism, so I'll pose another question: why not find an alternate outlet that features writers you somewhat respect covering music that you don't outright hate?
 
Posted 07/27/2007 - 08:18:14 AM by raskolnikov:
 Cut Dead thinks like GW Bush--stamp out all dissent!--but I say someone has to remind people they have a right to speak their minds. On this site, speaking one's mind seems to mean echoing the obvious and shallow conclusions drawn by the smarmy writing staff. As far as that is concerned, I'll gladly call myself a hater...but as far as hating music, though, I must take issue--I listen to anywhere from four to eight hours of music a day and my collection surely stands with any reader's or writer's on this site in terms of sheer numbers of albums and musical variety. I also see anywhere from 50-75 shows a year. To get back to the argument at hand--Prince is lame, lame, lame and he is a remnant of a dead industry's star system. If he is judged by what he has produced there is no argument--the man's music is terribly dated at best and a soulless, slick moneymaking machine at worst. Accepting what's proferred by fascist corporations as art doesn't qualify you as anything but weakminded. Try cutting something else, CutDead--either your ability to congratulate yourself, or your credible nature....
 
Posted 07/27/2007 - 08:35:46 AM by raskolnikov:
 Terrorist--if Cut Dead messed with my list that would only reveal further ignorance....my list is unassailable.
 
Posted 07/27/2007 - 09:58:41 AM by florenz6:
 Oh, my god. Raskolnikov. THE TRUTH! And his task, to remind people of... WOW! I think a Soviet post-rock-band (licensed by Putin´s ministery of culture) should sample his statements and make a decent dub-album out of it. Would be fun and bring down this weird over-serious hyper-ego-attitude. As far as it concerns Prince, I do share most the opinions of our Dostojevsky-lover. But his way of putting it into words can easily produce the headache that beloved M´Orville gets when reading my elitist, broken english mumblings:) Here is the good advice: leave your record collection, start calling yourself Fürst Myschkin - and go on holiday. I know some nice surfing areas in Lanzarote!
 
Posted 07/27/2007 - 10:25:59 AM by terrorist:
 when doves cry. raspberry beret. little red corvette. kiss. starfish and coffee. dirty mind. darling nikki. hmmm, can't name anything post-87. ras was right.
 
Posted 07/27/2007 - 04:08:59 PM by cut_dead:
 Rodya, I have no objections to your taste in music, but rather your antagonistic approach. However, your most recent comment illuminates that you're most guilty of musical autofellatio, which to me is as offensive (if not moreso) than people who possess the lousiest of music taste. Also, comparing me to Dubya is pretty rich coming from a music fascist such as yourself. Nobody is silencing your freedom of speech, but it doesn't mean that you have the right to an audience.
 
Posted 07/27/2007 - 07:14:05 PM by raskolnikov:
 The last thing I'll say is I've dropped a lot of love on this site, it's not all hate (see defense of Sonic Youth, Jesu, Nels Cline, Husker Du, and unabashed admiration for such bands as BxC and Bardo Pond)....if my approach rankles then so be it. I am no fascist--rather I am a vehement man and there is quite a difference between the two. Ultimately it is boring to talk about oneself when music is so much more interesting. Critics need to be reminded that what they do is much easier than what a musician does, and that the bully pulpits they so casually abuse are worth nothing in the light of even the shittiest band's efforts to write and play music. OK?
 
Posted 07/28/2007 - 06:50:15 AM by florenz6:
 No ok! I think there are a lot of creative writers, and to read them gives me much more pleasure that the shitty efforts of some bands. For example (running gag, be aware) - in the new German edition of "Rolling Stone" some musicians write about so-called masterpieces they don´t like at all. And now, one of this not-so talented guys from Franz Ferdinand expressies his absolute polemic view about "Marquee Moon". I had tears in my eyes from laughing.(Humour required, Rasky!) And the wonderful Green Gartside showed thumbs down to the second Arcade Fire-album. Well-done!
 
Posted 07/28/2007 - 10:19:25 AM by florenz6:
 P.S.... not to be misunderstood: Marquee Moon is gorgeous!
 
Posted 07/31/2007 - 02:38:01 PM by cwperry:
 We all can only listen to so much, and to say that no post-'87 Prince music is good is to reveal that one stopped seeking out Prince music. Prince received massive radio play in '90-'92 for the likes of "Cream," "Gett Off," "Thieves in the Temple," and "7," but those were with the New Power Generation--which paled in comparison to his other backing band, The Revolution--and that turned many people off. However, from '94 to '96 he released a few albums that, while occasionally spotty on the whole, contained some spectacular songs: "Gold," "P Control," "Loose!," "The Holy River." These are lost on folks who stopped following Prince; and, unless you sought them out, you probably wouldn't hear them on the radio. To cite '87 as Prince's final strong year is to admit that you haven't examined very much that's happened since then. That said, to have an educated view of his post-'87 work would require to examine everything since then--for my money, Prince's last great album was in '95, his last really good one was in '96, and his last interesting one was in '01. Aside from those, there are good songs to be had here and there, "Black Sweat" from '06 being his most recent. I don't judge anyone for opting not to follow Prince; but, to say he's sucked since '87 is to speak ignorantly.
 
Posted 08/01/2007 - 10:29:14 AM by florenz6:
 Totally agree with your last sentence, cw perry. I liked "Sign Of The Times", and confess that i.m.o. the song "Kiss" is one of his greatest achievements. I never liked "Purple Rain", but this is a personal thing. I´ve good friends that always tell me what is good on his latest albums, but I lost the track. besides, I´m now curiously waiting for Stylus writers putting the thumbs up or down for some of my beloved new albums. If my dear friend Ian Mathers (for example) would be cleaning his mouse to give "Jinx" from "The Kammerflimmer Kollektief" anything but an A, he´d surely hear a "Big Bang"-Echo from the German woods!:)- with all due respect!