Around The World In A Day

Prince And The Revolution

Paisley Park, 1985

http://www.3121.com

REVIEW BY: Michael R. Smith

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/09/2007

[READ THIS FIRST.]

Leave it to Prince to surprise his fans by releasing an album with no announcement and zero fanfare in the summer of 1985. What's more, it was the polar opposite of its predecessor, Purple Rain.

Colorful and whimsical are the two words that instantly come to mind when listening to this seventh Prince release. Whereas Purple Rain was dark and insulated, Around The World In A Day is light and loose. Even the gospel-tinged closing numbers “The Ladder” and “Temptation” have elements of hope and redemption in their lyrics. It is as if Prince is trying to cleanse himself of his own sins through this pair of tunes. nbtc__dv_250

The fascinating part is that he’s letting us all in on his dirty little secrets, making the album’s songs serve as cautionary tales for us to follow and live by. Who would have pegged Prince as a role model? Then again, stranger things have happened.

The lead-off single “Raspberry Beret” has everything a summer anthem should have. It’s probably the happiest and sunniest song Prince has ever recorded. Even two members of his Revolution, Wendy and Lisa, get a chance to shine here (as they do as on “Pop Life,” the album’s other big hit). Another high point is “Paisley Park,” which was so Beatles-esque in its sound, Prince opted to only release it as a single in the UK. Never one to let his fellow Americans down, he even includes a patriotic song especially for them, “America.” 

Two tracks on this album that probably could have been better are “Condition Of The Heart” and “Tamborine.” As the album’s plaintive ballad, “Condition Of The Heart” finds Prince at his most introspective and fragile. The problem is when Prince sings in a strange falsetto, it makes him sound like a wounded old lady. Oops. As for “Tamborine,” he attempts to perform a loose and funky jam with his band, but the nonsensical lyrics and his manic delivery are a little over the top for it to be effective.

The title track is another Prince song that you either love or hate. I find the erratic-sounding flute solo to be a great jumping-off point for the album. Taken in combination with the colorful patchwork album cover art, the listener automatically knows that this is something new and different. That is the tell-tale sign of a gifted artist -- the unpredictability quotient. Prince has always been someone to rely on when it comes to keeping us guessing.

Prince may not have been consistent in putting out perfection every time with his records, but he has always kept us interested, and this is a reason why.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2007 Michael R. Smith and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Paisley Park, and is used for informational purposes only.