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Purple Rain Deluxe (Expanded Edition) by Artist object: 5 stars

July 19, 2017, 7:35 a.m.

Purple Rain Deluxe (Expanded Edition)

Based on what I’ve read this was remastered at Paisley Park in 2015. The contents of the original album are not wildly different from the original release, it was not remixed just remastered. Some of the more subtle things are more prominent in the mix compared to the original CD release (I don’t have an original vinyl copy to compare to) and mostly sound slightly crisper, a bit more string section is noticeable. Overall a nice version of the album, and if you don’t already have it this is the version to get.

The included booklet contains much of the original insert from the original LP release as well as track by track commentary from the band, an extensive essay on the album and movie by esteemed producer, engineer, and professor of music production Susan Rogers. Liner notes for the Bonus ...

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Journal For Plague Lovers by Artist object: 5 stars

Oct. 2, 2009, 3:15 p.m.

I approached Journal for Plague Lovers with much trepidation. Steve Albini at the helm certainly made me hopeful but exhuming the words of the 14 years missing Richey Edwards made me fear a rehash of the brilliant horrorshow that was The Holy Bible, the last album on which he was the driving force. My fears were quickly assuaged.

A decade of Nicky's sparse lyricism and sense of a line gave James enough of a break to be able to wrap his mouth around the unconcerned constructions that typify Richey. The text is lighter than THB, there is a sense of a weight lifted. Still angry, still biting, still self obsessed, still casting wildly about from the Grand Odalisque to professional wrestling to mental instutions to Noam Chomsky. But not the despondent self loathing and solipsistic disgust of THB. It has a lighter touch, a sense of ...

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Planet Earth by Artist object: 4 stars

Aug. 3, 2007, 5:35 p.m.

Anger asked if I thought that Guitar was similar to Kiss, and it got me to go back and listen to the album all the way through again. It's a decent album. Not one of his best, but it has more tracks that I like than anything since the internet-only album Chocolate Invasion in 2004. Looking back over the discography this is probably his best since Come in 1994 if you restrict it to albums that the general public could walk into a store and buy.

Planet Earth - The heavily orchestrated ballad was done much better with Still Would Stand All Time or Grand Progression. It has a nice message about proper stewarship of the earth, but the religious component is pretty heavy handed, as has been his tendency in the past few years.

Guitar - Best song on the album. This is the sort of thing ...

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3121 by Artist object: 4 stars

March 23, 2006, 5:09 p.m.

This album has one of the clunkiest Prince tracks I've ever heard. Which is a shame as the rest of it is top quality. Musicology was the first time Prince was relevant to the mainstream since the Symbol album, and 3121 promises to attract as much appreciation if not more.

It opens with a killer dance track that recasts Hotel California as a kind of urban hipster paradise. Prince announces that the party is here and now and you better shake your ass. The less said about the second track the better. The first track to appear back in December was Te Amo Corazon with an appropriately lush video, directed by Salma Hayek. This is as good or better than the once omnipresent 7 and is possibly his best ballad in twenty years. The new single, Black Sweat, is a great minimalist dance track that combines aural aesthetic of Kiss with ...

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Rebirth of a Nation by Artist object: 3 stars

March 17, 2006, 5:09 p.m.

Another early 90's blockbuster revisited. And with wildly different results. Smooth rhymes and beats. You can tell these guys did their time in rap battles honing their chops. No sloppy matches or awkward forcing here. Flavor is just Flavor. Fame, fortune, and Brigette haven't gone to his head. Chuck is as mad as ever, if not more so. Heavily political and appropriately so PE calls for people to rise up against the oppresion of the government that brought you the Patriot Act and illegal wiretapping. Plenty of references to their earlier hits, but they flow so well and are recast in a modern context nicely.

A lot of the music has the heavy production and minor chord keyboards that are de riguer for hip hop today, but you can't change Chuck D's rap style and you wouldn't want to. What's interesting is that the lyrics are all the work of Bay ...

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