Prince giving away his Planet Earth CD for free on July 15th in the Mail on Sunday newspaper was quite the event. Knowing that so many people received the CD (3 million according to reports), there's probably quite a few other people doing the same thing that I am right now in the UK - and that's listening to the new Prince CD.
Even though he may have burned some bridges along the way, I would say that Prince has pulled off this free CD giveaway. Although I do like quite a bit of his music, I probably wouldn't have gone out to the shop to buy the CD. So Prince has managed to reach at least one listener through his controversial means of distribution. I'm sure I'm not alone.
Planet Earth has ten tracks and there's a lot going on with genres and sound throughout the album. The musicianship is superb and the songs range from funky, catchy guitar riffs, horns, laid back jazz, overlaid female backing vocals, gospel, rock, soul and r&b.
I like the eclectic mix of music on Planet Earth. I'm always interested to hear where Prince is going musically. Since each song has quite a different feel though, the average listener might lose interest and their patience with it. I can see the Planet Earth album working well at dinner parties. Some tracks like "Guitar" and "Chelsea Rodgers" will probably go down well in the clubs. But fans of those songs may not like the others and vice versa.
Occasionally there are reminders of the early 80's Prince like his vocals on the opening track "Planet Earth". When "Lion of Judah" started I immediately thought of "Purple Rain" because of the guitar effects - but then after the intro it doesn't sound anything like it. There are times when it seems like he's straining his vocals, but then, that could just be his style right now.
With the Mail on Sunday distributing Prince's new album, free for a day, will there be another artist or band who dares to do the same? Will other newspapers get in on the act? Could this be the start of a new trend or was it just a one off? How will this effect Prince's CD sales? Will his record company get over it? So many questions, only time will tell.
Ticket holders for Prince's upcoming 21-day O2 Arena tour in London August and September 2007 are also set to receive a free Planet Earth Cd.
Buy: Prince - Planet Earth on amazon.com.
Planet Earth track listing:
1. Planet Earth
3. Somewhere Here On Earth
4. The One U Wanna C
5. Future Baby Mama
6. Mr. Goodnight
7. All The Midnights In The World
8. Chelsea Rodgers
9. Lion Of Judah
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