Monday, July 31, 2006

earCandy: Prince - the Next Millenium (2006) /mixTAPE/

I've been writing a lot of eyeCandy movie reviews recently, so I thought I'd change directions and try out an idea I had for another "class" of earCandy music review - witness... mixTAPE. :-) In my opnion, there is a great art to making a good mixTAPE - a myriad of strange little rules to be followed. Nothing is ever perfect, but crafting a solid 1 hour and 20 minute CD can be a rewarding and worthwhile experience.

I think I'll spread what I consider to be the "gospel" of making great mixTAPEs over each mixTAPE posting, but let's start with a central one: you need some sort of "concept". This can be as simple as "the best of ..." or it can as complicated as my attempt to chronicle all of the music of mankind over one 90 minute tape (I think I did a decent job too - hard to smoothly transition from ancient Oriental music to Charles Mingus, but it can be done :-) ). So let's get started:

Prince is a classic figure in popular music but he's also been releasing some really interesting music over the past five or six years. I desperately wanted an updated Prince mixTAPE but I wanted to be able to present the more jazz-infused modern Prince in isolation to the rock/pop classics everyone knows. The solution: divide Prince's career in two.

Thankfully, Prince really found his way through James Brown into Miles Davis territory with 2001's Rainbow Children, his first album of the new millenium (and voila - a title seed for the collection). Discounting the 4-song, all instrumental N.E.W.S. (2003), Prince has had two other albums since then: 2004's Musicology and 2006's 3121. Some fantastic and not always what people think of as Prince tunes here. (Disc II of this collection, "the Last Millenium", will be featured in a subsequent post)

A couple of obvious rules I might as well mention now: don't put two songs from the same album back-to-back, and you're permitted to put a song of questionable "fit" as song one b/c it is easily fast-forwarded past so the rest of the CD can be played without interruption.

NOTE: Some albums, like the Rainbow Children, have great tunes buried within extended intros and/or outros. Or sometimes you just need to shave a little off to get things to fit onto one CD. Because of this I sometimes like to begin or end the song mid-stream. The notation [x/y] gives the starting (x) and ending (y) points of songs as necessary. These may not always correspond exactly with your own versions.

PS: I own all the materials I use for mixTAPES. I would also freakin' pay $50 for an exact copy of the Rainbow Children without that annoying deep bass voice preaching slow-pitched nonsense throughout what is an otherwise incredible album. :-)

Prince: the Next Millenium (2006) /mixTAPE/

  1. Family Name (the Rainbow Children) [3:00.6/7:52.1]
  2. The Word (3121)
  3. Everywhere (the Rainbow Children)
  4. Dear Mr. Man (Musicology)
  5. Get On The Boat (3121)
  6. Mellow (the Rainbow Children)
  7. Beautiful, Loved & Blessed (3121) [-/5:13.4]
  8. 1+1+1 Is 3 (the Rainbow Children) [0:16.5/-]
  9. What Do U Want Me 2 Do? (Musicology) [-/3:46]
  10. Incense And Candles (3121) [-/3:53.4]
  11. She Loves Me 4 Me (the Rainbow Children)
  12. 3121 (3121) [-/4:27.9]
  13. Muse 2 The Pharoah (the Rainbow Children) [-/4:16]
  14. Musicology (Musicology) [-/4:23]
  15. the Everlasting Now (the Rainbow Children) [-/5:48.4]
  16. Te Amo Corazon (3121)
  17. the Work Pt.1 (the Rainbow Children) [3:46]

Honorable mention:
Rainbow Children (the Rainbow Children) [3:32.75/7:04.85]
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7/31/2006 07:21:00 p.m.  


Blogger Bret Taylor said...

The mixtape is definitely an artform in itself. To me the biggest criteria is, does it flow well? If it does, you can pull off all kinds of juxtapositions that shouldn't work.

September 28, 2006 3:27 a.m.  

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