George Starostin's Reviews



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Geoff K <> (29.03.2002)

This album certainly elevated Prince to the next level of public consciousness and deservedly so. The title track is one his best five songs ever in my opinion maybe only trailing "Little Red Corvette". "Sexuality" is top rate also, and several others are great to listen to.

However, I think "Annie Christian" drags this album down a notch below 5 star level. That thing just drones on and on with only the occasional lyric preventing a short nap. The only Prince album without a clunker like this was "Purple Rain". That said, this album is certainly four star and maybe even four and a half.

At least "Annie Christian" is the only droner on this album. The next album was chock full of them.


Michael J. West <> (01.06.2002)

There are many people who consider this album to be among Prince's worst, because it is so long and repetitive. Both of these statements are true, but that's the best part of this album. If you want to dance, you want tracks that give you the chance to! But more importantly, when you have hooks that work, why not repeat them? And he does. And bless you, George, for being the one to realize how great "Let's Pretend We're Married" is!

Bob Josef <> (18.02.2003)

Well, call me a tight-assed white guy, but I disagree -- some of these songs do wear out their welcome over these lengths. Especially "Automatic" -- nobody needs 9 1/2 minutes of this, sorry. But I also really can't complain all that much either, because these are extremely catchy, hook-filled songs. The Yamaha synths and Linn drum machines that would become overly abused by everyone else over the next 3-4 years are used very creatively here by Mr. Nelson . The arrangements are much expanded over his earlier albums. Although he performed most of the music alone, you can tell that he was was writing more with his live band in mind. And his vocals are better than his earlier stuff, because he sings most of the songs in his natural tenor range as opposed to the affected falsetto of stuff like "Do Me, Baby".

I also have to agree about "Let's Pretend We're Married" -- I first discovered the tune as a live Tina Turner B-side, but the original is very driving as well. At the end, his usual sexual obsessions are are annoying, but I have to believe that "International Lover" is done totally tongue-in-cheek, unlike his other love ballads. I happen to like the naive ballad "Free" a lot -- it's a nice change of pace from all the non-stop boogie monsters. But my favorite is the title track, which has all the best elements of the album on view.

I have the first issue of the CD, which excludes "D.M.S.R." The liner notes say it's because they needed to put it out as a single CD (???). Evidently, CD technology was new to these folks. There's room now, but not for a couple of B-sides, the first example of the Artist being ridiculously over-prolific. "Horny Toad", on the B-side of "Delerious", is a funny song very much in the same vein; while "Irrestible Bitch", on the flip of "Let's Pretend..", is much more stripped down, with Prince semi-rapping to the beat of a Linn drum and chime about a woman so beautiful that she tortures him, a la "Lady Cab Driver". Get a grip, guy!

George, with a MP3, you unfortunately miss the treat of seeing Our Hero semi-nude on his bed in the inside cover photo. Whoever told this scrawany little guy he was sexy, anyway?

Glenn Wiener <> (09.04.2003)

I have to agree with the masses. Some of these songs are too long. 'Automatic' and 'All The Critics Love U In New York' just don't have enough ideas to warrant their length. 'Something In The Water', a somewhat shorter tune, lacks a decent melody.

However the rest is high quality. '1999' and 'Little Red Corvette' are grade A singles. 'Free' is a compelling ballad which breaks the disco stranglehold just a little. And 'Lady Cab Driver', 'DMSR', and 'International Lover' are all super tunes. Somehow the length of these puppies don't bother me too much because Prince adds something interesting to them like some cool rapping. Overall its a winner.


Michael J. West <> (01.06.2002)

I adore this wonderful wonderful album. And you seem pretty taken with it yourself, sir, so I'm only going to take you to task for not mentioning two favorite parts of mine: the midsection guitar solo on "Computer Blue," which is pretty great, and "Take Me With U"-- Clare Fischer's strings alone make that one great. But man, you're right about "Baby I'm A Star"--it's interesting, isn't it, that it segues directly from "I Would Die 4 U," since it sounds like just a dance-mix extension of the latter. Barely there, really. But the rest of this album is, as Homer Simpson so eloquently put it (and being Prince it really applies), "groin-grabbingly transcendent."

Glenn Wiener <> (23.06.2002)

Loaded with many hit singles such as 'Purple Rain', 'Lets Go Crazy', and 'When Doves Cry'. All of them very good. However I prefer the minor hit 'Take Me With You' and emotional 'The Beautiful Ones'. The vocals are the later track are what elevates the song. Prince really utilizes all of his range and tones on that one.

The songs rely to much on a repetitive chord progression which can be a little annoying. But otherwise this is a solid effort.


Martin Teller <> (02.07.2002)

Thought you might want to know: the full version of "America" runs for almost 22 minutes. It's on the 12" single (good B-side, too). Keep up the good work.

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