CD Reviews

Apr 052006
Authors: Hailey McDonald

The royalty of funk provides spectrum of music

5 out of 5 Rams

Prince is in the house, ladies and gentlemen. Not The Artist formerly known as pretentious, but the funky, carnally salacious Prince that we all know and drool for.

Prince seems to have rediscovered his in his new album “3121.” The CD reminds us once again the personal kind of genius Prince brought into the music scene. With a line-up of funky-fresh lyrics and party-packed melodies, the album is as awkwardly desirable as the artist himself.

The entire sound of “3121” gives me the feeling that Prince was listening to the radio recently and thought he would give modern music a try, but make it 10 times better.

Tracks like “Lolita” and “Black Sweat” are delicious pieces of music meat, not to mention that they are the tracks that will most likely set the tone for the album. The songs have the all-inclusive Prince signature styles: choppy beats, bizarre electro-tones and barely decipherable lyrics that are nearly screeched.

From this, you can see that the album is far from perfect, but it’s the fact that Prince draws upon the imperfections and makes them irresistible that makes this album so appealing. In this light, I see why Prince called himself The Artist. Bad music is just ugly, and there is no way to get around that unless you are Prince, or Leonardo da Vinci who turned homely Mona Lisa into an artistic sex symbol.

There are tones of LL Cool J and Andre 3000 in some of his slower tunes, specifically “Incense and Candles,” and he also visits the style of the Neptunes in the beat-driven “Love.” It’s hard not to notice his welcome revisit of “1999” in the tune “Fury.” It’s also hard not to notice that you can’t take the party out of Prince, with lyrics like, “If you ain’t gonna get yours, then let me get mine. See, there ain’t gonna be no drama cause we have a good time” and “I know you’re fine from head to pumps. If you were mine, we’d bump, bump, bump.”

If you liked Prince before, you’ll love him now. If you thought his debaucheries were pieces of trash, your opinion is probably not going to change much after listening to “3121.”

Tracks to download: “Black Sweat,” “Lolita,” “Incense and Candles” and “Fury.”

P!nk bumps herself up on the celebrity scale

3 out of 5 Rammies

After the initial craze over P!nk and her hit single “Get This Party Started,” she kind of faded into the background for everyone except hard-core fans, but the lady of attitude and ever-changing appearance is back. P!nk has charged out of her B-list status with a vengence. Her new album “I’m Not Dead” comes with political rhetoric, acoustic jams and the catchy P!nk we all knew before.

Considering radio and MTV has plagued the public with her single “Stupid Girls,” most know what P!nk is up to, and that she has, once again, stolen some media attention from the other divas on hiatus like Britney, Christina and Jessica.

Like the artist herself, “I’m Not Dead” comes with more of a rock feel rather than bubble-gum, sticky sweetness. “Cuz I Can” and “Stupid Girls” is the same crass P!nk we have seen before while “The One That Got Away” and “Dear Mr. President” are excellent melodic displays of the voice that will make P!nk remembered. Her deeper, raspy Janis Joplin-esque voice is certainly played upon throughout the CD in order to bring some diversity to balance her catchy tunes like “Stupid Girls.”

Also, her powerful, ballsy lyrics in “Dear Mr. President” and equally ballsy team-up with the long-gone Indigo Girls give the album honesty and edge.

For all of you die-hard pop fans, not to fret, P!nk hasn’t completely abandoned her initial basis for fame in the pop scene. However alternative the CD may sound, there will certainly be a number of catchy hits, for the artist is working with a few old friends who helped her with the popular “Missundaztood.”

“U and Ur Hand” and “Runaway” are up-beat ballads with a Kelly Clarkson feel, and it will certainly capture the younger fan base just as “Stupid Girls” did.

At the heart of the album is “I Have Seen The Rain,” a song that was written by P!nk’s dad during his time in the Vietnam War. This is a song that I would certainly never expect from the P!nk I knew four years ago.

You can expect a changed, more artistically mellow, yet more introspective P!nk on her new album. “I’m Not Dead Yet” will definitely get the attention it deserves and the album will no doubt open many more opportunities for her future career.

Tracks to download: “U and Ur Hand,” “Dear Mr. President,” “Runaway” and “Cuz I Can Be.”

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