Around the World in a Day by Prince

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Around the World in a Day by Prince
Around the World in a Day by Prince

Album Released: 1985

Around the World in a Day ::: Artwork

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1.Around The World In A Day3:25
2.Paisley Park4:41
3.Condition Of The Heart6:46
4.Raspberry Beret3:31
7.Pop Life3:42
8.The Ladder5:26


A strange try at inaccessibility and boundary expansion by the synth/funk star, Around the World in a Day is a marked departure from the hugely successful Purple Rain soundtrack in terms of style.

Although the album is a bit uneven, the psychedelic experiments work for the most part - the weirdo Eastern-sounding title track is a great opener, strangely evocative of George Harrison's raga/rock work with The Beatles, but even more psychedelic of course, thanks to Prince's style.

"Paisley Park" is bouncy singalong pop/rock fun; "America" a brash political funk jam; and "The Ladder" a dreamy yet off-kilter ballad with bipolar religious imagery.

Perhaps my favourite tracks are two works of melodic genius that really stand out ... the wistful "Raspberry Beret", a wonderful exploitation of 60's pop sensibilities defined by a very deep and lush string trio, and "Pop Life" is pretty damn funky to say the least.

Unfortunately, the album has its share of filler tracks as well. "Condition of the Heart" is a bit stretched out; "Tamborine" is under three minutes' worth of nothing but plain atonality that drives me absolutely CRAZY wondering if Prince even wrote it in one consistent musical key; and "Temptation" is for the bulk of its 8-minute length, a very good track, except that I could've done without the extremely lengthy and slightly egotistical outro, which doesn't communicate its message any more than the main part of the song does.

Still, I'm glad that Prince had the meat to carry out these experiments, no matter how many misfires he may've made here, because as far as I'm concerned a lot of the material on this album made for the addition of quite a bit of variety to his musical palette.

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by Reviewer: Ryan Alexander

So how is the world's most sexually explicit pervert since Mick Jagger's Sticky Fingers going to top that? Release his own equivalent of Exile On Main Street? Well he did, but that was two years down the line.

In the interim, Prince put out two so-so albums that only confuse and try the patience of his newfound fans. Admittedly, "Raspberry Beret" is better than any single the Small Faces released, but little else here matches that standard.

Prince must've felt guilty about all the hedonistic carnality he'd been putting down on record, so here he indulges in Jesus-freak religious messages like "The Ladder", that might conceivably be credible if they seemed thought-out, or at least sincere.

"Pop Life," is another winsome single, but most of this album is a frustrating case of 60's sound without 60's substance, as if he's gearing up to metamorphize into Lenny Kravitz. It ends with a psychedelic guitar workout called "Tempation" as in I'm talkin' about sexual temptation, which demonstrates perilously that for the first time Prince's carnal liberation might be more limiting than liberating.

Around the World in a Day is Prince's first (and certainly not last) serious stumble.

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by Reviewer: Creative Noise

Prince can always be trusted to defy record industry conventions. In this case, it’s the idea of front-loading the good songs on Side One of an album, and letting the weaker numbers flesh out Side Two. Not Prince though ... Side One of Around the World in a Day is a whole string of stinkers, while Side Two is teeming with catchy tunes and inspired instrumental performances.

The album kicks off with “Around the World in a Day” and “Paisley Park”, about which the best that can be said is that the atmospheric production doesn’t completely smother the lame hooks. “Condition of the Heart” shows that while Prince’s falsetto is fun for interjections, it’s not enough to carry 7 minutes of listless piano vamping, and “Tambourine” seems to have lost its melody on the way to the studio.

In the middle of this dreck is one of the gem’s of Prince’s career, “Raspberry Beret”. With a shimmering string arrangement, irresistible sing-along chorus, and intense visual imagery in the lyrics, it’s one of the great hits of the 80’s. Even this song though, suffers from one of the major faults of the album - lazy drum programming. After the innovative drum lines on 1999, it’s really shocking to hear how little effort Prince puts into the beats on this album - there'd be more interesting rhythms on a Belinda Carlisle album.

Prince turns things around for Side Two, with three killer songs and one intriguingly twisted epic. “America” is essentially a funk jam on “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”, and it’s amazing how cool that song sounds funked up. The faded ending implies a longer jam. “Pop Life” is another of Prince’s classic cuts, combining slap bass, astringent strings, and a lyric simultaneously affirming and accusatory (best line: Is the mailman jerking you ’round? Did he put your million dollar check in someone else’s box?). I don’t know why it isn’t more popular in 80’s revival scenes.

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by Reviewer: Steve Knowlton (blogging at Steve's Record Reviews)

I love the sound of this album, although as the follow-up to Purple Rain it's freakier and less consistent, but the whole thing is so damn pretty I can't stop listening to it. Sometimes I even forget that most of the songs are underdeveloped and totally iffy as compositions.

There are about a million different ideas stuffed into this album, and plenty of them are good - the guitar licks on "America"; the snappy percussion on the one-man-band showcase "Tamborine"; the lush arrangement of the other one-man-band showcase "Condition of the Heart", which is touching despite never fully coaslescing as a song.

The title track is a groovy rave-up; "Paisley Park" is an irresistible rocker with great backing vocals from Wendy and Lisa; and "Raspberry Beret" is pop perfection, Prince style.

The sound throughout is lusher than I would ever have expected from the purple guy - Novi Novog's violin is prominently featured, and gives the whole thing an enjoyable orchestrated feel. Sound aside, it becomes clear that stuff like "America", "Tamborine", and the catchy "Pop Life" aren't great songs, but they're nevertheless entertaining.

The only unlistenable track is the absurd, self-indulgent "Temptation", which changes from an unimpressive funk workout to a listless spoken-word conversation between God and Prince (!) ... yech. I guess after a few months at No.1, nobody at his record company was willing to tell the man to rein himself in a bit. Still, that's preceded by a ballad called "The Ladder", with a lovely Gospel-ish chorus.

For some reason, I'm entertained whenever I put this album on - that's a rarity, and as Prince covers so much stylistic ground here, I'd recommend Around the World in a Day to anyone curious about his reputation.

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by Reviewer: Cosmic Ben (blogging at Cosmic Ben [Defunct])