Thursday, March 30, 2006

Totally Prince'd Out


I never thought that in a million years I would be Prince'd out. As the music industry and legions of fans across celebrate his 3121 as the number one album in the country, my attitude is nonchalant. You would think that I would be excited and ready to throw a "Purple Party" in his honor, but I feel like "whatever." How did it come to this? Why now? What happened? I'll break it down.

Recently, I attended the Tamar featuring Prince concert and it was by far the worst concert experience of my life. I have been to many a bad concerts, and eventually found something to redeem my sense of purpose for being there. With this latest Prince show, I was the least bit impressed with standing in a long line for hours just to see him play second fiddle to an up-and-coming vocalist. A friend of mine and I actually walked out; confused and disoriented about what we just saw. My image of Prince was a bit distorted and hazy and I was upset and angry and trying to find the reason why and it hit me: I had placed him on too big of a pedestal. When he didn't live up to the expectations that I had set for him, it was disappointing. For years I had marveled at his genius and considered him this god of music and forgetting that he's mere mortal like the rest of us.

Plus it didn't help that since he dropped the Musicology disc back in 2004, I was literally feeding myself a musical diet of nothing but Prince. I would listen to music by other artists every now and then, but a Prince CD was always in the chamber and ready for it's spin. It didn't help that a buddy of mine sent me in excess of 30 Prince discs full of unreleased material. It was a Prince overload and I gorged myself full of Vanity, Apollonia, the Time, and even Carmen Electra. If it was produced by Prince or had any type of Prince overtones, I had to have it. I could care less if it was Dale Bozzio or Madhouse 24, I had to have it. I've been told that too much of something is not always good and it's funny, because I never applied that to music. I figured you could take a piece of music or something by an artist and enjoy to your heart's fulfillment. Not so. I've listened to the unreleased Dream Factory so many times that the thought of hearing it again is making me cringe. I can't believe I allowed myself to be consumed with Vanity 6, knowing all the while that it was a horrible project even for someone considered eye candy. And Mayte? Lord forgive me for I have sinned!

I will always admire Prince. His music has provided the soundtrack for my life. I got my first kiss to a Prince song, and I fell in love with the woman who is now my wife at a Prince party. But deep down inside, I know I have consumed so much of the music that I have to take a step back. 3121? I have to admit -- I'm not feeling it. For some reason, it just doesn't rock my boat. I was so excited when Musicology dropped because for the first time in years, it was Prince. None of that TAFKAP or One Night Alone business. It was back to being Prince and it was back to guitars and thumping basslines. It was the stuff that used to move me, have me bobbing my head to the beat. This new stuff is a throwback to a Prince era that's long gone. "Black Sweat" has 1982 written all over it. I went into this new CD wanting a fresh new sound, some innovative grooves, and some banging tracks. I don't think I've been this letdown over an artist's CD since Michael Jackson's HIStory.

Prince, I love you man but the time has come for a long overdue break. That means putting Purple Rain away for a moment and stop trying to figure out the meaning to Grafitti Bridge. I'll always be an admirer, but I am missing out on other artists with great material as well. I'm putting Camille on the shelf and boxing away Vanity. Time to move on.