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on 13 February 2002
If anybody thinks Prince has gone away, lost his mind or is past it....THINK AGAIN. I know its been a while since anything of the quality of Purple Rain thro Gold Experience, but here it is, pure bliss, an exiting journey through a whole range of emotions, Prince back at his very best, I always think if you get five good songs on an album, you're doing well. All the songs here range from good to pure brilliance. This is a must for any Prince fan, I feel welcomed back to his music with open arms. Not before time.
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on 9 November 2001
Yes indeed, at long last, after a full decade of occasional flashes of brilliance interspread with mediocrity comes the first real Prince album in a long long time.
Once you can see past the religious mumbo jumbo on this opus, you will be greeted by the kind of stupendous music that we all know Prince can churn out in his sleep. Gospel choirs sing, Grooves groove and the Funk ...Funks! If you love music you WILL love this. A definite must buy, tell your friends....Prince is back!!
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VINE VOICEon 24 August 2007
This album groans, screams and shakes - it is Prince full of religious ecstasy, funk and bliss, yet combined with periods of a sublime jazz tranquillity. It must rank as one of his best albums and has defined his current musical direction.
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on 20 December 2001
I am happy to indulge genius and anybody who can play evey instrument except the Tuba (but we'll let him off that one) is undeniably genius in my frustrated non instrument playing world. However the thing about geniuses (not that I know many) is that they are self indulgent. This is not normally a problem unless you are buying that persons records. Sadly Mr Nelson has in the main, in my opinion, for the last few years been living in his own Paisly Non-Warner Brothers world. So thank the Lord (although I'm not sure which 'Lord' were talking about here) that he has refound his inspiration. This really is a special album - not because it knocks you out (I actually find it quite understated and not at all confusing - which is maybe because I gave up trying to understand Prince many Dawns ago) but because it is the first time in a while that he has actually crafted an album which is exciting, different & varied - and he sounds like he's enjoying it. I don't 'wish that he'd play like he used 2, old scraggleyhead' as people need to move on and frankly I'd look stupid now in a jock strap and leg warmers but I'm just glad he's not playing like the last three albums. This a return to form - if Prince has a 'form' - now lets see him do it live.
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on 23 November 2001
After over a decade of so-so efforts by Prince, I bought this CD expecting another hlaf hearted effort. I couldn't be more wrong. It's like saying hello again to a long-lost friend.This album is the 'Lovesexy' for the new millenium! There IS a great deal of religious/spiritual mumbo jumbo but if you can put that aside for the moment, you will hear the greatest collection of Prince tunes this side of 'The Gold Experience'. From the opening title track, through the excellent 1+1+1=3,the beautiful 'She loves me 4 me' and the amazing 'Last December' we are reminded that Prince is doing what he does best-being a MUSICIAN! This is definitely a must-buy album.
Prince, welcome back my friend.
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on 24 November 2001
Set aside an hour, get comfortable and LISTEN to this album. Don't expect catchy pop songs, it's much more than that. Like a good film let it absorb you, it's a musical experience. If you don't like it, then go and paddle in the musical shallows of pop.
Don't worry about the religious leanings, they're not in your face and the narration doesn't interfere with the music particularly.
I've read it in a few reviews now, but I think the test of time will show that this album does deserve classic status. It's is basically damn good music.
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on 24 November 2001
This album is truly magnificent. At last Prince is making music from the heart again and without his gaze fully focused on the charts. Its hard to believe that this is mainly the work of one musician. This ablum has a strong jazz feel throught but it also has plenty of funk, soul, rock and plenty more flavors in the brew. Buy this CD today.
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on 15 December 2001
as a fam who has been with him since 1983, i rushed out and bought the cd, and wow its everything we ahve been askin 4 from prince.
it starts with the tonebox and rainbow children which is an inspired song, and moves through the album setting a scene,stand out tracks are rainbow children,1+1+1=3, family name, everlasting now( the latter 2 only he could do), last december. this album proves beyond all doubt he is a genius, there isnt 1 poor song on the album,it is a very spiritual album reflecting his recent change of faith, but no matter what religiuos believes the man has this is a real gem and the best piece of work he has done since lovesexy.
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on 24 January 2002
As a long time Prince fan my patience is begining to wane. This is like a case of "the Emperor's New Clothes". I read the other glowing reviews with great interest, but don't agree, and sadly, I feel heretical by not doing so. I often describe Prince as the Mozart of our times, an oft times musical genius. But with the last number of releases it seems patently obvious (to me anyway) that what Prince needs more than anything else is a musical editor of some description to tidy up and put some focus on consistency with the material.
"Rainbow Children" is a seriously flawed record. There ARE moments of sheer Prince magic ("Mellow Mellow" and "1+1+1=3") but with that there are tracks I'll never willingly listen to again. I'm saddened by this increasingly ever diminishing return. I DON'T like the religious stuff (and this is full of it - Prince seems to have far too much time on his hands to spend contemplating higher powers. The paradox of course is that it doesn't compare well to his use of sexually charged language? Say one thing do another?). I do accept the argument of taking an artists output as their choice of material. But hell I'm really begining to miss the Prince of the 3 minute classic pop song that can turn a groove, rock out and make you laugh, sometimes all at the same time. As a serious fan I'd point any readers back to "Emancipation" and advise caution going any further...until further notice. Sorry, but I can't pretend the guy is doing it anymore....
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on 14 December 2001
This album is probably only really for the true die hard fan and if you are expecting quality like that produced by Prince in the 80's and 90's...sorry this isnt what you are looking for. There are only 2 excellent songs on this album - the beautiful 'She Loves Me 4 Me' and the moving 'Last December'.

With the exception of these 2 tracks the whole album is purely a way for Prince to press his views on people (all be it via a very funk method). Songs such as 'Family Name' and 'The Everlasting Now' are merely tools for Prince to vent his anger over the subject of slavery (having said this the actual tunes are very good).
The rest of the album sees Prince repeating his belief in his new found Jehoavah Witness religion and trying desperately to convert the listener. Once again the actual music is good but even that attraction wears off when you realise that,yet again,you are being told that only by listening to God will you be as great as Prince thinks he is. Tracks such as 'Wedding Feast' are just too awful to go into except to say that it consists of a chant/ditty about not eating meat but instead eating leaves.
For some bizzare reason Prince ties all the songs together with a dull narration about religion spoken in an annoying deep voice (like Tora Tora for those who are familiar with his previous work).
Overall a fairly average album with some cool tunes but very boring and repetative moral lectures throughout. Unless you are religious by the end you either feel like telling him to shut up or feeling extremely guilty for living your life the way you want to.
I bought this album the day it came out and have only listened to the entire CD twice.
Whilst the funky tunes and 2 good songs save The Rainbow Children from being outright awful you know somethings not right when you find yourself thinking "hmmm has potential" about an artist who has been making albums for nearly 25 years.
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