Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
Prince's bold, somewhat unusual follow-up to Purple Rain
on 14 June 2003
The 80s wouldn't have been the 80s without Prince. Around the World in a Day was his follow-up album to the immensely popular Purple Rain. While this album is certainly not as momentous as its predecessor, it most certainly does have its good points. First of all, and I think this was a wise decision on Prince's part, Around the World in a Day has a different feel and sound to it than Purple Rain, a new mood which the cover of the album ably reflects. There are psychedelic touches to this music, as well as a plethora of Indian and perhaps oriental sounds, that give the album a somewhat upbeat, rather mystical atmosphere. The opening track Around the World in a Day sets the record straight from the very beginning, giving ample warning that this album is not going to be a Purple Rain knockoff by an artist content to coast his way down from the top of the mountain of superstardom. Raspberry Beret was naturally a huge hit, and it has something of a light, energetic quality to it that makes it fun to listen to even now. Pop Life is another pop-oriented song that got ample play on the radio, and its airy yet serious style is quite in contrast to the song and released single America. America has a dose of serious guitar of a slightly heavy variety, making me think of (yet not actually reminding me of) Jimi Hendrix, except Jimi never screamed the way Prince does on this track. Paisley Park is a wonderful song, boasting some of Prince's best and most emotionally touching lyrics. It is followed by the equally impressive yet very different song Condition of the Heart; this love song starts with some impressive tickling of the ivories before eventually leading into Prince's high-key and perfectly mournful lyrics. The final two tracks offer another contrast in styles. After The Ladder, a serious, even philosophical track with something of a gospel sound to it, Prince immediately shifts gears to the wild, uninhibited, scream-heavy Temptation. I can't say what kind of reaction die-hard Prince fans had to this album when it was released, but I admit having initially found it a little disappointing compared to Purple Rain. Now, it is easy to look back and see how well most of this music holds up. Prince always did his own thing yet remained highly successful, and this album is a case in point. I could do with a few less of those vintage Prince screams, but overall I have a lot of respect for the new direction Prince followed on the heels of Purple Rain.