July 23, 2007

Prince’s Planet Earth Too Grounded

Filed under: Music Review — N @ 11:16 am

Prince is one of those recording artists that can either set the music world aglow or just give it a little light. With his latest offering Planet Earth, the Purple One isn’t giving us much illumination at all.

Prince seemed to be on a creative rocket. He returned to form with Musicology, a killer record, followed by a massive world tour where Prince wowed audiences with his showmanship and killer music. Following Musicology came 3121 with some seriously hot numbers and more killer shows, including a gig at the Superbowl. Now we get Planet Earth and save for a few songs like “Mr. Goodnight” it appears that Prince’s rocket has run low on fuel.

Not that Planet Earth is a complete dud, its not. However, we expect more from the man that gave us Purple Reign and 1999. Most of Planet Earth, seems like throwaway songs that didn’t make it. Prince has always been one of the “It” artists but here he has hit a road block. With many tracks on Planet Earth Prince wants us to take his politics seriously but the lyrics make it hard. The title track is an ecological anthem that is so sappy it seem like saving the world might be a questionable idea; the closer, “Resolution”, is self righteous attack on war that makes being for peace sound cynical and smug. Prince tries to tell us what is wrong with war and killing the planet but its hard to take him seriously.

The record certainly has its strong moments like the slow jam of “Future Baby Mama” and the rock of “Guitar”, the first single. This in not nearly enough of the eclectic Prince that we have come to expect. Planet Earth is a good record and many artists would love to have made it but its not full on Prince. Maybe all the touring and such has sapped his energy. Maybe the diminutive one needs to kick back, relax and recharge his funky batteries. One thing is for sure, if you can see Prince live, go for it, his shows are amazing.

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