Prince - "Batman" album review
Check out the below reviews of the Prince album "Batman" with songs like Electric Chair and Partyman. This version of the CD was released 15. of June 1989.
Tracklist BatmanThe Future - Electric Chair - The Arms of Orion - Partyman - Vicki Waiting - Trust - Lemon Crush - Scandalous - Batdance
Holy Purple Popster! Prince does it like it's 1989!
Report to Commissioner Gordon on the Batman Soundtrack.
There's something well, quirky about this CD. Don't get me wrong, this ranks among one of Prince's best efforts. It's just that it sounds like he cranked this one out in three/four weeks compared to the material he spends more time on. Then again, the man eats, drinks, sleeps, dreams, and bleeds music.
In each song, he lists the lead vocal as one of the main characters from the movie: Batman, the Joker, Vicki Vale, and Bruce Wayne. There's also a character called Gemini, half of him representing good, the other half representing evil, who makes his only appearance in the ultra-kickin' track "Batdance", but it's a significant appearance.
Holy Frozen Smile! The best lead vocalist here is the Joker. "Electric Chair", "Partyman", and "Trust". The thumping bass and rough guitar on "Electric Chair" is comparable to the Joker's dark side. The latter two are just fun, reflecting the villain's playful side. I mean face it, who was the more interesting character in the movie? When the villain steals the show from the hero, there's gotta be something wrong, right? Or is it just Jack Nicholson's superiority as an actor compared to Michael Keaton? As a result, the Joker's songs are more playful, being the twisted libertine he is, while Batman's songs are more somber, brooding, and romantic (check out "Scandalous").
"The Arms Of Orion" is his second vocal collaboration with Sheena Easton and both parties got the best with this wonderful ballad.
"Lemon Crush" has a little bit of the funk reminiscent of The Time. "Scandalous" is another lovely ballad done in his falsetto voice. It has the dishonor of being played over the closing credits of the movie, at which time the stop button is pressed on the VCR or DVD.
The raucous guitar and techno beat of "Batdance" is a summary of the movie, both in movie soundbites and to some extent of some of the earlier songs, such as "The Future" and "Electric Chair". The song explodes with chaos and violence at the end until Prince himself says "Stop", ending the song abruptly. Genius of the man!
End of Report. Please call me at the Bat Cave if there are any questions.
Dark & Brooding
On the soundtrack to Tim Burton's blockbuster hit Batman, Prince perfectly captures the mood and theme of this dark film. The movie looks at Michael Keaton's Batman as the Dark Knight, deep, intense & brooding. The songs on the album about him reflect that mood. "The Future" opens the album on a dark, ominous note and then slides into the frantic "Electric Chair" while "The Arms Of Orion" and "Trust" follow Batman's relationship with Vicki Vale. Prince also captures the manic, crazed persona of Jack Nicholson's Joker in the funky "Partyman". The album's closer "Batdance" is menagerie of film dialogue, funky beats and sound effects that gives the listener as kaleidoscope image of the film. Even though Batman is about a film, it comes across as one of Prince's most personal albums.
Maybe Prince should hire himself out for soundtracks. In a commercial soundtrack, there are external pressures to keep the songs short and listenable, two positive traits absent from Prince's music since "The Gold Experience." Without these influences, Prince tends to submit these massive, multi-disc monstrosities containing 10-minute songs with nonsensical lyrics and gooey, grating melodies.
Anyone who has bought one of these later albums ("Emancipation," "Crystal Ball," etc.) will appreciate the discipline apparently enforced by the conventions of a movie soundtrack. Instead of the rambling tunes that have marked Prince's later work, you get the tight, driven funk of "The Future." And instead of whatever he was doing on "Emancipation," you get the clever lyricism of "Electric Chair," and "Lemon Crush." The best song on the album, "Vicki Waiting," manages to capture a bachelor's conflict between the desire for a long-term relationship and the fear of commitment better than any other song I've ever heard. Even "Batdance," "Trust," and "Partyman," while far from original masterworks, are simply more fun to listen to than nearly anything Prince has done since.
All in all, 4 stars for an underrated album. Here's hoping that, some day, Prince returns to what made this album good.