we can all agree on this:
is influenced by himself
yo, I finally got to listen to Musicology and I must disagree
with you. I really enjoyed a majority of the songs and I found
it to be one of the most listenable CDs I've heard this past year
(the only other I like as much is Alicia Keys).
Since I shopped at the "Very Best Buy" (borrowing it
from my buddy and let's face it, is anything better than
free?), I can't stop listening to the CD. I like the fact that the
little guy has incorporated, and stolen from, earlier music influences.
What is so great is that he has been influenced by himself. It reminds
me so much of what he has recorded in the past.
I have heard critics bitch that this CD sounds "old,"
unlike Alicia Keys's, which sounds "old school." I say
that there is nothing wrong with sounding old because it has a place
in my collection, too. I have been using the analogy that it's the
difference between a new throwback jersey and a Trailblazers' jersey
worn and autographed by Bill Walton. One is new and pristine and
the other is, well, original.
Prince seems to effortlessly transition from a salute to classic
soul, to a salute to his own classics, to songs with sociopolitical
leanings and all while remaining totally funky. The boy is BAD!!
A lot of Musicology reminds me of earlier stuff, but since
it's HIS earlier stuff, I didn't mind. Too many people are "borrowing"
from others. I admire artists who don't need to look to other songbooks
to find new sounds (I will admit that he hasn't totally stuck to
his own stuff, as one of the songs kind of reminded me of Hendrix,
but hasn't Prince always done that?).
People have been going ape shit over OutKast's recent CD and, to
tell the truth, since I bought it last year I've listed to the whole
thing maybe twice. This is what I mean about listenability. I'm
sure it's good but I find it uneven. I found that the music reminded
me of Isaac Hayes; Earth, Wind and Fire; Stevie Wonder and, yes,
his Purple Badness, too. Something fresh and new shouldn't remind
me of so many different people. It seems as if they made a CD of
everything they had listened to since they were teen-agers. Their
music isn't new or original. What is new is their audience. Other
than being the voice of Cook on "South Park," most of
these kids probably never heard of Isaac Hayes or his music. As
far as Earth, Wind and Fire and Stevie Wonder, I'm pretty sure these
kids aren't looking to them as reference points in OutKast songs.
But can you believe the "International Lover" is lamenting
about being "On the Couch" alone? He's matured, found
a new religion (though his music, even at its most sexual, has always
been based on his belief of the spiritual), and seemed to find a
conscience when it comes to sex. "Oh, come on, baby it's undignified
2 sleep alone." Prince? Begging to get back in his bedroom
for some monogamous sex? Unheard of!! I mean, he has begged before,
but it was always in an effort to do something freaky ("If
I was Your Girlfriend" springs to mind).
It's rare that an artist concerns himself with what's going on
in the world (with songs like "Cinnamon Girl" and "Dear
Mr. Man"), yet still realizes that it's just as important to
be the "Life 'O' the Party."