Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lost on Planet Earth

Damn you, Prince. You ain't doing it to me again.

It's a vicious circle he's stuck me in before. You see, Prince puts out a new CD and, as usual, a herd of mesmerized critics bleat about how "different" it is. At last, they say, Prince finally stops his self-indulgent bullshit and releases the prophesied Masterpiece of Awe-Inspiring Brilliance that his faithful disciples have been impatiently waiting for. Oh thank you, Your Purple Majesty!

And then, of course, you listen to the tracks and you discover that it's another frustrating Prince CD: Good, great, bust, filler, good, O.K., so-so, the end. Again.

What drives me nuts is that Prince isn't a mediocre artist. He is a genius, and not only do geniuses produce CDs that are good from the first song to the last, they're able to do it from CD to CD. Stevie Wonder did it with Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale, and Songs in the Key of Life. Joni Mitchell did with Blue, Court and Spark, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, and Hejira.

But, for some perplexing reason, it isn't that Prince can't do it, he just doesn't want to. Why? Damned if I know.

"Guitar", the new single from Planet Earth, is a great song. Fiery chords of molten gold shimmer and sizzle as Prince powerfully demonstrates what a criminally underrated guitar player he is, leaving us exhausted and exhilarated. Will I buy the CD? Uh-uh, nope, negative, no way, Jose.


Goddamn you, Prince.