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Thread started 03/21/20 3:45am

SanMartin

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Just like the sun, the Rainbow Children rise

I've been listening to The Rainbow Children once or twice a day for over a week now. I heard it before, a few years ago, and again a few months ago, but back then the whole album went in one ear and out the other. It's unpredictable when a record'll 'get you' - something to do with being mentally prepared for one type of music or another, I suppose. But, this week, The Rainbow Children definitely got me.


What a pleasant surprise! The Rainbow Children is extremely good. It's too soon to say how things'll stand when the dust settles, in the sense that it all sounds too new and fresh for me to make a balanced judgment, but my current instinct is that this is probably one of Prince's finest post-80s works.


Yeah, I know, the lyrics are all very religious, but they're certainly interesting, and a lot less offensively dogmatic than I'd been led to believe. In the coming weeks I may make specific threads about some of the songs, but for the time being I need to get to know them better. What I'll say for now is that so far I like all of them. After years of seeing The Wedding Feast routinely cited as one of Prince's worst songs, it was then anti-climactic to find out that it's not really a song at all, so much as a segue, and a clearly jokey one at that. I will mention that Last December is a lovely song to go out on. It's similar to Gold in closing the album on a soaring note of positivity, and in my opinion does it more tastefully (to clarify: I don't dislike Gold, however it's marred by the fact that Prince clearly wanted it to be rather more majestic than it actually is).


What do the rest of you think? Shall this thread celebrate The Rainbow Children or shall we rip it apart?

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Reply #1 posted 03/21/20 5:51am

rasskinn

Musically, My favorite album, the music is generally fantastic and the sound is organic and beautiful. Haven't taken time to dig into the lyrics though wink

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Reply #2 posted 03/21/20 7:20am

luv4u

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Never liked the 'darth vader' voice neutral

Otherwise it is a great album

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Reply #3 posted 03/21/20 10:35am

funkaholic1972

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I have always liked TRC although I could have done without Darth Vader and some of the lyrics. Certainly makes my top 10 Prince albums, possibly even top 5.

RIP Prince: thank U 4 a funky Time!
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Reply #4 posted 03/21/20 11:16am

MIRvmn

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It's one of my favorite Prince albums smile
We are living in Orwell's 1984
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Reply #5 posted 03/21/20 12:32pm

Empress

TRC is a masterpiece musically. It really shows off Princes diversity and the guitar work is incredible. The lyrics in some of the songs are whack, but otherwise a great album.
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Reply #6 posted 03/21/20 4:21pm

slyjackson

I'm just startin to listen to this album, but it sounds great and organic and funky.

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Reply #7 posted 03/21/20 4:33pm

WhisperingDand
elions

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Darth Vader was a highlight... I like any vocal effects/pitch shifting from Prince, in either direction.

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Reply #8 posted 03/21/20 5:13pm

PurpleColossus

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The Rainbow Children is in my top 10 all-time favorite Prince albums.

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Reply #9 posted 03/22/20 2:34am

dodger

I respect it as a piece of art, and I'd even go as far to say it's a masterpiece, but it's not something I listen to often.
.
The obvious Darth Vader like narration and some lyrics are off putting. I love the music for 1+1+1 Is 3 but the likes of 'we don't give a duck' and 'shake your pants' sound ridiculous. If you don't want to swear; fine but don't write lines with swear words in then swap the word in question, for ducks sake
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Reply #10 posted 03/22/20 2:47am

SanMartin

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dodger said:

I respect it as a piece of art, and I'd even go as far to say it's a masterpiece, but it's not something I listen to often. . The obvious Darth Vader like narration and some lyrics are off putting. I love the music for 1+1+1 Is 3 but the likes of 'we don't give a duck' and 'shake your pants' sound ridiculous. If you don't want to swear; fine but don't write lines with swear words in then swap the word in question, for ducks sake

Hahaha, I hadn't noticed that. So far I've been listening whilst working or studying, so I haven't yet had time to really listen, following the lyrics from start to finish, picking up on stuff hidden under layers of instrumentation etc. With regards to swearing, even back when I was quite religious in my late teens, I never saw any reason not to say words like "fuck" and "arse/ass". Don't take the Lord's name in vain, sure, but those words aren't biblical.

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Reply #11 posted 03/22/20 2:53am

SanMartin

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Empress said:

TRC is a masterpiece musically. It really shows off Princes diversity and the guitar work is incredible. The lyrics in some of the songs are whack, but otherwise a great album.

As I say in my previous post, I haven't had time to properly listen through to the lyrics. There are snippets that stick in my mind, and I've got the gist of all the songs. Out of curiosity, what specifically are some of the lyrics you dislike?


On a different note, I see most people don't much care for the Darth Vader voice. I'm in two minds about it. I doesn't bother me all that much, although I also accept that it might have been better had those sections been delivered through spoken word, rap or maybe even just by distorting Prince's voice a little less.



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Reply #12 posted 03/22/20 6:42am

Harps

SanMartin said:

Empress said:

TRC is a masterpiece musically. It really shows off Princes diversity and the guitar work is incredible. The lyrics in some of the songs are whack, but otherwise a great album.

As I say in my previous post, I haven't had time to properly listen through to the lyrics. There are snippets that stick in my mind, and I've got the gist of all the songs. Out of curiosity, what specifically are some of the lyrics you dislike?


On a different note, I see most people don't much care for the Darth Vader voice. I'm in two minds about it. I doesn't bother me all that much, although I also accept that it might have been better had those sections been delivered through spoken word, rap or maybe even just by distorting Prince's voice a little less.




I don't mind the voice when I'm listening to the album start to finish and have set aside the time to this, as it pulls it together as a listening experience and as an album theme. It's when I have the album on shuffle or part of a Prince playlist and the voice is part of the track it annoys me. I always think that if you're going to have segues like this then have them as separate tracks so they can be omitted from playlists. Similar rant about some of TGE tracks.

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Reply #13 posted 03/22/20 7:50am

Empress

SanMartin said:



Empress said:


TRC is a masterpiece musically. It really shows off Princes diversity and the guitar work is incredible. The lyrics in some of the songs are whack, but otherwise a great album.

As I say in my previous post, I haven't had time to properly listen through to the lyrics. There are snippets that stick in my mind, and I've got the gist of all the songs. Out of curiosity, what specifically are some of the lyrics you dislike?



On a different note, I see most people don't much care for the Darth Vader voice. I'm in two minds about it. I doesn't bother me all that much, although I also accept that it might have been better had those sections been delivered through spoken word, rap or maybe even just by distorting Prince's voice a little less.






I don't particularly like some of the lyrics in The Rainbow Children, Digital Garden and Wedding Feast. Just a bit too much religious dogma for me. Otherwise, it's very sophisticated musically.
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Reply #14 posted 03/22/20 7:51am

Empress

dodger said:

I respect it as a piece of art, and I'd even go as far to say it's a masterpiece, but it's not something I listen to often.
.
The obvious Darth Vader like narration and some lyrics are off putting. I love the music for 1+1+1 Is 3 but the likes of 'we don't give a duck' and 'shake your pants' sound ridiculous. If you don't want to swear; fine but don't write lines with swear words in then swap the word in question, for ducks sake

Agreed! Just sounds so silly.
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Reply #15 posted 03/22/20 3:32pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

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luv4u said:

Never liked the 'darth vader' voice neutral

Otherwise it is a great album

Darth Vader didn't talk like that Darth Sidious did

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I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
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Reply #16 posted 03/23/20 8:13am

PurpleColossus

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Over the years people have often noted their issue with the Darth Vader voice and some of the lyrics...However, as many others have noted, from a musical perspective the album is a home run. I think Prince is at best when he's stretching his abilities and being more musically adventurous. I always prefer something like The Rainbow Children (even if it has unusual elements), than something with a more cookie cutter approach, like Musicology.

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Reply #17 posted 03/23/20 11:13am

SanMartin

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PurpleColossus said:

Over the years people have often noted their issue with the Darth Vader voice and some of the lyrics...However, as many others have noted, from a musical perspective the album is a home run. I think Prince is at best when he's stretching his abilities and being more musically adventurous. I always prefer something like The Rainbow Children (even if it has unusual elements), than something with a more cookie cutter approach, like Musicology.

This is why I said it's been a surprise for me. Before The Rainbow Children you've got Rave. Rave is a very 'safe' Prince album. Cookie cutter, like you say. The same can be said of the whole run from Musicology through to 20Ten. The style and quality varied, but all of those albums were pretty unadventurous, with the exception of the odd song here and there. I shouldn't have been too surprised, though, considering that Xpectation and N.E.W.S are from around the same time.

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Reply #18 posted 03/24/20 8:53am

PurpleColossus

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SanMartin said:

PurpleColossus said:

Over the years people have often noted their issue with the Darth Vader voice and some of the lyrics...However, as many others have noted, from a musical perspective the album is a home run. I think Prince is at best when he's stretching his abilities and being more musically adventurous. I always prefer something like The Rainbow Children (even if it has unusual elements), than something with a more cookie cutter approach, like Musicology.

This is why I said it's been a surprise for me. Before The Rainbow Children you've got Rave. Rave is a very 'safe' Prince album. Cookie cutter, like you say. The same can be said of the whole run from Musicology through to 20Ten. The style and quality varied, but all of those albums were pretty unadventurous, with the exception of the odd song here and there. I shouldn't have been too surprised, though, considering that Xpectation and N.E.W.S are from around the same time.

I agree with this. I think the timing of its release is why The Rainbow Children stands out so much. I also find it amusing that albums like Rave and Musicology were hailed as Prince's 'comeback', when The Rainbow Children's hypnotic and catchy grooves blow those albums out of the water. Although, I can understand this notion, because The Rainbow Children might be Prince's least commerical sounding album, and doesn't really to appeal to the mainstream.

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