LotusFlow3r (2009)


  
1. From the Lotus... 2. Boom 3. Crimson and Clover 4. 4Ever 5. Colonized Mind 6. Feel Good, Feel Better, Feel Wonderful 7. Love Like Jazz 8. 77 Beverly Park 9. Wall of Berlin 10.$ 11.Dreamer 12....Back to the Lotus

 

It seems like most latter-day Prince albums have some sort of story behind them that has absolutely nothing to do with the music. For this one, Prince released it as part of a triple cd package that was (I think) only sold at Target. At least in the U.S. Of the other two discs included in the package, one wasn’t even a proper Prince album, yet an album by one of his protégés that he was trying to draw exposure to in the crowded music field .

By itself, this record is a bit of a strange one. Let’s remember that this is Prince, and anytime he releases anything, we must assume he knew exactly what he was doing. So if it was less than spectacular or didn’t meet expectations, you had to have the understanding that this was the exact intention of the artist. His focus on this record is his guitar playing. He’s letting the world know, once again, that he’s multi-talented, and he can play as good and as hard as the rest of them. He hasn’t rocked quite so hard since 1996’s Chaos and Disorder.

The problem though is that he doesn’t seem to be paying quite as much attention to making these songs sound like….well…..songs. The whole experience is a bit rough, and the only song here that sounds remotely radio friendly is the cover of Crimson and Clover. In many ways, you feel as though Prince is paying homage to Jimi Hendrix. This album seems to almost belong in the late 1960s, with plenty of black and purple strobe lights and a slew of edible mind altering chemicals.

This album takes many listens for one to give it the attention that it truly deserves. Repeated playings reveal such gems as the political Colonized Mind and the very hard and heavy Wall of Berlin. Such cuts deserve a bit more visibility than how they were received on this record. He goes completely melodic on us with the beautiful instrumental 77 Beverly Park featuring a gorgeous Mediterranian-ish acoustic piece. Like everything else here, though, it sounds as though it could have been much better had it been featured on a more consistent record. It’s also rather short at about two and one-half minutes.

Still, if you want to listen to an album where you can focus on Prince the guitar player, this is one of those albums. It’s a bit of diamond in the rough, but could have sparkled more had more care went into it.

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