Parade (1986)


  
1. Christopher Tracy's Parade 2. New Position 3. I Wonder U 4. Under the Cherry Moon 5. Girls and Boys 6. Life Can Be So Nice 7. Venus De Milo 8. Mountains 9. Do U Lie 10.Kiss 11.Anotherloverholeinyohead 12.Sometimes it Snows in April

 

A bit of a weird one. With Prince being the most important sought after commodity during the 1980s, it certainly made sense for him to enter the world of movies and film. Now, you might be thinking that “he already did that” with 1984’s Purple Rain, but that movie was mainly meant to highlight the music on that album while telling a semi-biographical story of Prince himself. What he’s now doing is trying to make a serious stab at cinema, and these songs serve as the soundtrack to the movie (starring and directed by Prince) “Under the Cherry Moon”. Critics were not kind towards the movie. Neither were fans, either. It seems like after the first handful saw the film, word got out that it was definitely no “Purple Rain”, so most of the rest of the admirers stayed away. I never saw it either. I’ve seen photographs from the movie, and with its black and white tint, it always came across to be as some sort of period piece. Again, Prince being Prince, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t do such a project. It just so happens that this particular venture just wasn’t very good.

Which leads us (finally) to the actual music, and in my opinion (although most differ), this thing doesn’t really succeed that well either. This album sounds as though it’s trying to do much. Many of the songs have the waltzy-schmaltzy style of 1940s music, other songs sound as though they’re simply instrumentals to love scenes during the film, and then there are some songs that sound like the Prince that we all know and love. It must be said that most everything on this album, whatever style it fits into, is done very well, and it is mostly enjoyable. The problem is that the continuity, however, is basically lost. He’s trying to cover too much ground here. Now, again, I didn’t see the movie, but I can’t imagine a period piece such as Do U Lie or Under the Cherry Moon being on the same continent as one of his best, funkiest songs ever Kiss. Maybe that’s why the movie was so poorly received?

It's a bit of a shame because, again, he does it all so well. What I almost wish that he would have done is saved the more “Prince” like tunes (the aforementioned Kiss along with Mountains, Girls and Boys and maybe one or two more) and released them maybe as an EP, or tack them onto one of his other “normal” records. Had he done so they would have seemed a bit more at home. We then also have the problem with song length. Most of the “soundtrack” songs here seem to only run about 90 to 120 seconds or so, so even though they have their moments, this short length seems too abrupt to really classify as a good song. When we finally get to the first “typical” Prince song, the fifth cut Girls and Boys, I would swear it’s longer in length then the first four songs on this record combined (It’s not. It just sounds that way). Again, critics seemed to love it and the album sold very well. Part of me wonders if it’s because the record followed the lukewarm received Around the World in a Day and when fans, here, at least heard a few tracks that sounded like the Prince of old, they were overwhelmed that the artist that they fell in love with was now “back”, so to speak.

Go to the Next Review
Back To Main Page