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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 10 May 2013
One of the first albums to be relased away from Warner brothers. On the Arista label I believe and up to his usual funkynes. A couple of suprises on here. Prince meets chuck D and a song that still confuses me one of sheryl crows own songs done by Prince but sheryl Is on this album on another track. If you love him when he's funky you will love this.
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on 9 November 1999
Now I like Prince, I've always liked him.
Even his change of name and subsequent nose dive into hardcore funk never really put me off.
I buy all his CD's, always have, probably always will.
But not since Diamonds and Pearls and perhaps Symbol has the purple enigma produced anything know...really vintage Prince.
There have been flashes; Emancipation showed signs.
But 'Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic' is the album I have been waiting oh so long for.
It's a proper CD, not some 5 disc boxed set. Just 17 real songs. And Oh boy, what songs. They are Prince at his swaggering best.
This is what a Prince album should sound like, hell, this is what every album should sound like.
I would pin-point a highlight, but that would imply there are low points, and quite simple there aren't any.
Prepare to be blown last.
Now repeat after me, 'I must buy this record'.
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on 16 May 2001
Upon first buying this album I was very pleased with it's commercial sound, but nowadays it rarely comes off my shelf but for a listen to a few of its tracks. These tracks are the stomping title track, "The Greatest Romance Ever Sold", "Tangerine", the excellent "Man O' War", and the Maceo Parker aided "Prettyman". "So Far, So Pleased" has a searing guitar solo but remains quite dull, and "Baby Knows", with Sheryl Crow, is pretty standard fare too. There is definitely a lot of filler, about as much as on "Newpower Soul". It's a good album in places, but largely very average, and certainly not a proper return to form for this musical genius.
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on 20 November 2003
'Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic' is Prince's last album of the 90's and coincedentally one of his weakest as well.
There's nothing wrong with the quality of the songs found on the album, the problem with 'Rave' is the production - it's simply too 'slick' for a Prince record... all of the wonderful drum programming the man used to put in his music from the 80's is
absent here, and the job is instead left, pretty much, exclusively to Kirk Johnson.
Plastic-production aside though,'Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic' is a fine Prince album with a selection of brilliant songs on it.
The albums title track is in fact an outtake that had been in the Prince vaults for quite some time; over 10 years in fact, since his 'Batman' days. It's a stripped down demo-like number dominated by deep guitar licks and a solid organ-line. It's simplicity makes it a standout track and it benefits from not being over-produced like much of the album.
'Undisputed' contains the only interesting drum-programming on the album, it's an unusual song with quick chants from the 'N.P.G' and Prince singing over the rhythm of the drum-loop,
not as impressive;' Hot Wit U' is a non-descript r'n'b song which to this day remains one of Prince's weakest album tracks, even less distinguished is 'Everyday Is A Winding Road' which I won't even go in to.
'The Greatest Romance Ever Sold' (the album's first ballad) is one of the few brilliant tracks on the album, the songs structure is terrific and it contains a simple melancholic keyboard line throughout.
The albums two other conventional ballads; 'Man O' War' and 'I Love U But I Don't Trust U Anymore' are equally as impressive.
Introduced by a lovely orchestral segue; 'Man O' War' is an dramatic yet strangely simplistic ballad with some of the better production on the album, 'I Love U But I Don't Trust U Anymore' on the other hand is the albums masterpiece. A hauntingly beautiful song featuring a wonderful vocal perfomance from Prince, it is similar in more ways than one to 'Sometimes It Snows In April' (from 'Parade') and as with the title cut it's under-prodcution and simplicity makes it stand out from the rest of the album.
Of the remaining tracks 'Strange But True' and 'Tangerine' stand out the most.
'Strange But True' is a quite brilliant song that really should be listened to on headphones to experience it's full effect, again the song is drenched in plastic produciton but this track in a way actually benefits from it.
'Tangerine' is a 1 minute or so moment of Prince genius, it is intriguing in the same way 'Starfish & Coffee' ('Sign 'O The Times') was and is one of those songs you know only Prince could write.
The rest of the tracks I haven't mentioned still impress but they never reach the heights of the aformentioned songs.
Make sure you don't stop the CD after 'Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do''d be missing out on what is probably one of Prince's funkiest tracks of the late 90's: 'Pretty Man'.
Bolstered by some horn work from Maceo Parker the track grooves like few other Prince tracks of the time and it's a shame it is as short as it is.
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on 1 February 2013
I tend to be a fan of the more ballad type of songs that Prince does/did and even thought his album is not the best ever, it does feature 4 songs worth mentioning: The greatest Romance Ever Told (good) Tangerine (a bit less so), and my two favourites: Everyday is a winding road (super driving song, try keeping still to that one) and the superbly cheesy ballad: the Sun, the Moon and Stars. Worth a buy!
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on 26 June 2001
After listening to albums such as Sign 'O the Times, The Gold Xperience, 0{+>, Emancipation and Diamonds and Pearls, fans may be a little underwhelmed and dissapointed by the commecial sound of this album. It is a brilliant album in it's own rite, and coming from any other recording artist is would be considered a masterpiece. But it just isn't TAFKAP. There are some good songs, including 'Man O War', 'Prettyman'and 'The Greatest Romance Ever Sold', but I would reccomend it only to the most devoted fans. For everyone else, I would suggest that their money is better spent on similar but better 'The Gold Xperience'.
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on 28 March 2000
As a lifelong Prince fan, I salivate at the prospect of a new album. However, in recent years, they haven't been quite up to scratch. Prince was always an artist who never conformed to one genre or another. Alas, the past few albums have seen him try to tune into what's "in" at a particular time, e.g. hip-hop, dance, techno, etc. While there are a few nods to the new hip-hop/r'n'b realm on this album, he has returned to the unique multi-genre sound that has defined him. I hope this is a permanent return to form.
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on 2 December 1999
just got hold of the new cd and it is far better than expected Baby knows is the stand out track but check out the Reworking of Everyday is a winding road it just proves who is the best. Having followed the man under different names since 1999 this will never be a classic like Around the world or sign o the times but compare it to the music thats around now and even on an average day he still is a Funky man, and it proves he is back.Lets just hope we get a live CD next.
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Upon 1999, and in what looks to be an attempt to reclaim his commercial appeal, Prince gave the world this intensely promoted, and long, epic. After the uncertainty of 1993-98, where albums appeared at random with no cohesive narrative, "Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic" - which only borrows a title from an abandoned 80's album - is Prince's attempt to reclaim the mantle and crown without the material to back him up. There was, and always has been,. A lot of love for Prince, and his fans would dearly love if he were to reclaim the commercial and artistic prominence of the past. Sadly, his albums haven't exactly warranted it. There are some classic Prince moments here, but no more and no less than most of his records from this era, and whilst the unexpected and stunning version of "Every Day Is A Winding Road" lifted me from the Pfunkfatigue, it's relief was short. The album, like many of his at this time, is too long. Prince needs someone to argue with him, sit him down, and tell him, that he needs to write less but think more.

Around this time, Prince was also preparing "A Celebration", a virtual greatest hits of reclaimed re-recordings of his best known songs which only yielded "1999:The New Master" and never came out. The spirit of re-capturing his former glories is barely audible here : good songs and bad sit next to each other, alongside unnecessary covers with an air of general floundering.
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on 6 February 2006
Take my advice unless you're a Prince completist don't bother buying this album, instead join the NPGmusicclub ([...]) and get yourself the remixed version of this album, that album is worth 5 stars but this album's worth only 2, I hated this one from the day I bought it and it was very nearly responsible for stopping me buying Prince albums. If Prince hadn't released the brilliantly funky rainbow children I wouldn't be crazy for all things Prince anymore and this album caused that decline in my feelings. . . well. . . this and the album before it, new power soul. BUY THE REMIXED VERSION IN THE RETAIL SECTION OF NPGMUSICCLUB. . . NOW . . . IT'S FANTASTIC.
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