Prince - 3121 Album Review


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Review of 3121 Album by Prince

Prince
3121
Album Review


You can tell it's a different time from the heyday of Prince's career when he releases an album and the most we hear about him is when he gets criticised (and praised in equal measure) for appearing on the final of Pop Idol. Forgotten are the classic levels he reached on the 'Purple Rain' score, singles like 'When Doves Cry' and 'Sign o' the times' and fresher in memory are the 14 minute missteps on albums released as TAFKAP or Sign. His current release '3121' is arguably a better album than what he's released recently (excluding 'Musicology').

At 47 Prince is struggling to regain relevance, he has a fanatical followership and they would not agree with me, but there remains a massive gulf between the Prince on 3121 and the Prince on his earlier works and his classics (his first release 'For You' had Prince producing, arranging and playing all the instruments on the album himself). On this album, the need to maintain a balance between his current admission of being a Christian and the musical sexual revolutionary Prince of old sees him constantly tempering his once lewd and hugely suggestive references; on the first single off 3121 'Black Sweat' he goes "I'm gonna make you scream my name as if it was divine/ But we both know that we gotta praise the one who made ya". Rather tame from a man who once sang 'Can't u see I'm harder than a man can get/I got wet dreams coming out my ears' (from 'Sexy MF' on 'Prince and NPG').

Prince 3121 Album


The album boasts the eccentricity of the title track '3121', the call and response pop commercialism of 'Lolita', the rock tinged Latin smoothness of the ballad and second single 'Te Amo Corazon' and the electro feel of the first single 'Black Sweat'. Then there's some more pop on the R&B infected and predictable 'Incense and Candles'; this is a Prince looking to win back fans so the odd pop song or 2 or 3, previously unacceptable on classics from a funk genius like Prince, are forgivable considering the depths of mediocrity he's waded in for the last few years in his battles with his old record company.

On 3121 Prince grabs back some of the funk he helped to pioneer but really doesn't seem to know where to take it; he draws a lot on what we know he has – the ability to infuse brilliant funk into his music, ever present on this album– but fails to break new ground like he used to. Apart from the impressive horn arrangement from Maceo Parker and 70's live funk feel on 'Get on the Boat' and the summer breeziness of 'Beautiful, Loved and Blessed' (featuring Tamar) the second half of the album doesn't quite live up to his own high standards.

Prince set the bar earlier on in his funk odyssey but struggles to match or scale these bars on 3121. A very listenable album, in spite of my unfulfilled desire for a 'Sign O' the times' or 'Purple Rain', and hopefully an indication of the resurgence of a pioneer.

Seyi - Website

3/5




Site - http://www.npgmusicclub.com



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immanuel6's picture

immanuel6

Whenever I read another reviewer's point of view on Prince’s music, I'm always amazed. I can tell when someone is in a "time warp" when they want to hear music from a musician that "mimics" his or her past accomplishments. If you don't like "3121", that's cool, but be objective about his work from the arena of music today, not yesterday. There is no way that Prince can reproduce "Purple Rain", "SOTT" or "Parade". That was another time and space. Prince once said, when I want new music, I just go into the studio and make it." Can the reviewer of "3121" say the same? I'm not a musician, yet I can listen to the music and see how it affects me today, not yesterday. Lovers of real music can hear a Prince song and hear elements of another song in his repertoire, however, you have to remember, Prince is Prince. Prince can hear a bird sing and hear the notes in the music. Prince has been given the ability and the gift of being able to reproduce sound in a form that is palatable to the ear. So, sometimes you will hear music that come from Prince which “mirrors” his mood for that day or something that he had already written, but wanted to hone before he releases it. I just don’t think that it is fair for anyone to request the impossible. Wanting to hear another “Purple Rain” from someone like Prince is like telling God to change the color of the sky, not possible. Please, just listen to “3121” from 2006 standards and not from 1984 and I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

8 years 7 months ago
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andy b's picture

andy b

First of all, I would like to say that i've enjoyed all prince's music. I have seen him many times over the years, first in 86 and after that 87, 89,90,91, 94,95,99,01,02,04,05,06,07 and hopefully to come many times in the future.I would like to say i don't really know why there is such a debate,what is there to debate. Prince has proved himself over 30 years. Some work maybe diferent but so what, every album can't be the same, if it was it would be un-original. I know that some people want purple rain over and over again, but why? I think that alot of prince fams aren't really fans, but people who just like to moan about there non-music taste, ( if it's not the same as before we don't like it) THANKS Andy Beaumont

7 years 1 month ago
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Seyi's picture

Seyi

Purple Rain = Timeless ClassicDesire for a 'Purple Rain' or any other Prince classic = Desire for a Timeless Classic off 3121 not for 'Purple Rain' itself.

8 years 7 months ago
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Seyi's picture

Seyi

Not sure how the Prince >>>> Michael Jackson angle comes into a discussion on Prince's album :-D

8 years 7 months ago
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Chinadoll58's picture

Chinadoll58

Prince! Where are you? Hope you're well.

7 years 1 week ago
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purpracer2's picture

purpracer2

If any reviewer listens to "Fury" and doesn't think it's one of Prince's very best, then they need to find another job. Oh, and by the way... for those reviewers,... didn't it enter at number one? Enough said.

8 years 7 months ago
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Hotthang319's picture

Hotthang319

People have got to stop trying to compare Prince from back in the day and "NOW". Prince have grown and moved forward and people need to do the same. If he sounded the same way as in the past, people would have something negative to say to that too. People wouldn't buy his music because it'll sound the same and he'll be singing the same thing. Which is the problem with some of these other artist. Too predictable! Also, like Cedric the Entertainer said in Kings of Comedy, "He's a Grown A** Man". People would say he's a "Dirty Old Man" if he'd continued to say the things he sang about then now. Bottom line, He's still and will always be a Musical Genius and communicate to friends, fans and supporters he's messages through his music in a Tasteful, Adult manner in which he has done so very well. Everybody just need to also "Grow UP", GET ON THE BOAT" and move past Purple Rain. This isn't the "Twilight Zone".

8 years 7 months ago
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faggotjackson's picture

faggotjackson

I believe Prince has been poorly served by his marketing. He's certainly much more talented than Michael Jackson.news://alt.music.michael-jacksonhttp://groups.google.com/group/alt.music.michael-jackson?hl=enhttp://www.childrenhatemj.nethttp://www.fluttergirl.com/michaeljackson/http://www.imagedump.com/index.cgi?pick=get&tp=426184

8 years 7 months ago
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