Margaret S. from GLENVIEW, IL Reviewed on 7/19/2012...
Ok, the sounds are dated, but I loved the movie and when I listen to these songs, I can see the movie in my head. Round and Round is still one of my favorite songs. I am stuck in the 80's and like it.
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Overlooked - for sure!
Samhot | Star Land | 02/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Prince obviously has made a truck load of music - and to think to this present day, he still has hundreds of songs left in the vaults. Aside from music, he also decided to write a few films ("Purple Rain" he didn't write - surprisingly.) In 1986, he made the hilarious, kitschy and stylish "Under The Cherry Moon," which many critics panned. Then, in 1990, he made "Graffiti Bridge," which also got panned (Note: 1987's "Sign O' The Times" I believe was a concert flick, as opposed to an actual scripted film.) A complex and difficult to understand film, it mainly focused on spirituality. Supposedly, it was also a slightly altered follow-up to Prince's role as "the kid" in "Purple Rain."Each of those films have soundtracks (of the same names of course.) So now, I won't talk much more about the movie. Instead, I'll talk about some of the underrated music found on this soundtrack and musical smorgasbord. There are many collaborations with such r&b/funk/pop artists as The Time, Tevin Campbell, George Clinton, Mavis Staples and several associates who would turn out to be members of Prince's band, The New Power Generation (the track of the same name probably gives hint of this.) Plenty of diversity can be found here. There's Prince returning to his classic formula - singing and playing all the instruments to certain tracks like "Can't Stop This Feeling I Got," which shows off his instrumental skills (not to mention some [tail]-kicking guitar playing.) Funky, ...shaking numbers like The Time's "Release It," the sex-tinged Prince & George Clinton get up of "We Can Funk." ... "Tick, Tick, Bang," the hilarious, rowdy and rousing party number "The Latest Fashion," which is performed by The Time & Prince, and the very cool lady power of "Melody Cool," performed by Mavis Staples. However, for me, the highlight of the album is the title track. A dreamy, ethereal number, which begins with some faraway-sounding orchestral bits, leading into the heavenly vocals and choiral-like chorus.' The building vocal crescendos, which are layered atop one another, combined with the fact that this is an inspirational song, has sent me into tears many times when I've listened to it. That's something that almost never happens to me, but this track is the only one that has actually hit me in a deep, sensitive and designated place that rarely gets accessed. [Darn] you, Prince!A terribly overlooked album. If you're a fan of Prince's diversity, as well as some of his undertakings (The Time, etc), then there's no reason to skip this album. It's fun, exciting, diverse and, yes - moving. Check it out, and have yourself a jolly good time."
M. Allen Greenbaum | California | 12/07/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There are some great tracks here amidst a variety of enervated clunkers. Part of the problem is that this is a soundtrack to the movie of the same name, and soundtracks are sometimes linked (and given more depth) by the scenes in which they appear. The anthemic (I wish he'd get away from those) title track is good, but lacks the emotional impact that it might have on the big screen. Several of these tracks just sound too homogenized and bereft of emotion; for example, "Still Would Stand All Time," "Elephants and Flowers," and "New Power Generation." Then there's the annoying "Can't Stop This Feeling I Got"; I can't help but feeling this sounds too much like Kenny Loggins (!) "Footloose" (another soundtrack title cut).Here's the good news: Mavis Staples, Mavis Staples, Mavis Staples. On "Melody Kool," her rich husky voice is soaked in soul; Prince performs all the instruments. "Question of You" - equal parts Robert Cray and Bela Lugosi, Prince hits his stride with this ballad, as he does on "Joy of Repetition." ON `Joy' he seems interested in the music again, and there's some excellent screaming guitar work here. "Love Machine" with Morris Day and Elisa on vocals, is either a tribute or a mocking of Michael Jackson, in any event, it's playful and danceable. Finally, "Shake" is an old-fashioned rocker, with great cheesy organ effects, it's like a 50's or garage band song if you had a few million dollars for superb sound.Some of the "big" songs have some excitement to them; "NPG (part II) has a nice messy sound with a genuine-sounding rap. It moves along nicely, but still needs some instrumentation or vocals to cut through the wall. On the mediocre numbers, there's simply too much background, and not enough foreground... again, this may be due partially to the requirements of a soundtrack. On the better numbers, Prince is superb."
One of Prince's weake albums, redeemed by some goodies
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 02/29/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I never saw Graffiti Bridge, having no luck in finding a theatre that carried it. The sound of the soundtrack itself threw me for awhile, but I wondered why it had been put in the cut-out bins only two years after its release. It was clear that Prince was still in some kind of transition period that had begun with LoveSexy, been interrupted by the superlative Batman soundtrack, and would end with Diamonds And Pearls. Many of the songs are retreads of his previous oeuvre.The energy of "Can't Stop This Feelin' I Got" is a great way to start the soundtrack. It could be a cousin of "Let's Go Crazy," except its missing those fiery Hendrix riffs.With "N.P.G.", we have the introduction of the band that would be billed on his next album Diamonds and Pearls. With a heavy funk beat, and a call for a revolution and against the imposed old rules, and the calling for others to join them on the dance floor. There's still the peace and love motif, but it's activist. Other guests include Rosie Gaines, to get more fame on the title track to Prince's next album, Morris Day on drums here, and sampling by Levi Seacer, who would collaborate more with Prince later. Part II of this song concludes the album, reminding the listener that a new era is about to begin.The Time get four songs here, of which the first "Release It" starts out with some of Morris Day's rapid-fire talk, then a sax bit by Candy Dulfer. It also has the steady rollicking drums that would pop up on Diamonds And Pearls and (Symbol). Nothing like the Time's debut or Ice Cream Castle, but it does have Day's primping man-about-town-with-the ladies schtick that has Jerome hunting down Stellas for him: "I'm not a man. Jerome?/He's an adventure/Slap me." Dulfer gets some chance to do some nice blowing here in this dance jam. The mid-paced funk of "Love Machine" has Elisa on lead vocals, Morris doing his raps, and Candy back on sax. The best number is "Shake," with some insistent guitar riffs and keyboard motifs that would pop up in Prince's "Cream." Finally, the Time and Prince team up in funking "The Latest Fashion," which resurrects the line "What time is it?" the line "oak tree," which was from Day's first solo album, and Morris's squawking laugh in the beginning. Dulfer again appears in sax support.The slow-bumping ballad "The Question Of U" is one of the highlights of this album, recalling "Under The Cherry Moon." "Elephants And Flowers" fits in the Sign O The Times era with its tight funky beat and instrumentation. And at least Prince is telling the truth when he and George Clinton duet on "We Can Funk.""Thieves In The Temple" became the only big hit here, and the temple here is one's soul or self-esteem, with the thieves being negative feelings and thoughts. Although not bad, I would've chosen some other number as a single.Mavis Staples' bluesy-soul-dance of "Melody Cool", backed by the Steeles, is decent enough to offset some unspectacular filler earlier. The Steeles back Prince in the piano and synth ballad "Still Would Stand All Time," which is one of the standout cuts here.It's clear that with the title track, Graffiti Bridge is the same as Paisley Park, some place of happiness, whether it's "a reason to believe that there's a heaven above" or "everybody's looking for love," or a place where "everybody wants to find the perfect one/someone that makes you happy/someone who makes you laugh when you want to cry." This multivocal harmony sung by Prince, Mavis Staples, Tevin Campbell, with backing vocals by Levi Seacer Jr. and Sheila E., and an orchestra, is definitely the best song here.Compared to Purple Rain, Graffiti Bridge is more a soundtrack as despite being billed as a Prince album, it contains songs by other artists, most of whom outshine Prince, particularly the Time. Taken by itself, it's ok, but within the entire Prince canon, ranks as one of his weaker albums."
A Half Brilliant and Half Dull Effort, You Have To Skip Arou
Brandon Ousley | Chicago, Illinois United States | 07/06/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In 1990, Prince filmed a movie called Graffiti Bridge, which was a so-called sequel to his phenomenal 1984 film, Purple Rain. Yep, that one absolutely bombed and critics panned it to the ground. But, some of the music in that film contained some great music. The soundtrack isn't just a Prince album and it shouldn't be considered that because other artists perfrom here. This soundtrack was an all in all mixed bag. There's much to like here and the styles of music that are presented on this album is half brilliant and half dull. The opening track, "Can't Stop This Feeling I Got" is an elegant rock song with uninspired guitar hooks and bumping drum patterns. "New Power Generation" is a bumping, new-jack urban track that is one of the best on here. "Release It" is a track performed by The Time and it sounds different from anything they previously recorded. It's more of a hip-hop flavored tune, full of loops. "The Question of U" is another great, yet seductive song on this album. On this song, he does some incredible bluesy guitar work. The song is a slow, blues and old-school R&B ballad with everything you would love in a Prince ballad. "Elephants And Flowers" is a fun-based, catchy track with wild, yet funky instrumentation. "Round And Round" is a song by the young Tevin Campbell; that is a decent filler track with uninspired synthesizer work and patterned drum sequences. "We Can Funk" has Prince doing a steamy collaboration with funk master, George Clinton. The song is so funky and sexy at the same time. "Joy in Repetition" is another slow jam on here with Prince doing yet another soaring guitar solo with some airy and soft instrumentation being played in the background. "Love Machine" is another pumping funk track by The Time, with Morris Day doing some halirious, yet sexy-influenced raps and Elisa doing the lead vocals. "Tick, Tick, Bang" is a flawed attempt for Prince to mix heavy metal, rap, and soul together to create a masterful soundscape. "Shake" is a funky-dance number performed by The Time with plastic sounding guitar hooks and keyboard work. "Thieves in the Temple" is a haunting tune that has Prince playing yet another earth-shattering guitar solo. It was the only big hit on the album. "Latest Fashion" is a humorous and repetitive tune by The Time that serves as filler. "Melody Cool" is a wonderfully crafted funk-dance jam that is performed by Mavis Staples. "Still Would Stand All Time" is a powerful gospel song that beautifully showcases Prince's spiritual beliefs. "Graffiti Bridge" is really an intoxicating "grand-finale" ballad that sums up the theme of the album. "New Power Generation (pt.2)" is an patchy reprise of the first part of the song, which began the album.
The Graffiti Bridge soundtrack is ultimately a mixed bag. Most of the material is just too spiritual and the production is pretty good. But what makes the production so underwhelming is that it does have a strong hip-hop influence. The other artists from the Prince canon does some great, yet inconsistent stuff here as well. Tevin Campbell's "Round and Round" and The Time's "Shake" and "The Latest Fashion" can all be considered as filler that can be skipped over. Some of Prince's set of songs can be considered as filler as well. The flow of the album is just too cluttered because it isn't coherent. For example, after Prince does a song, a Time song pops up, and then another song by Prince comes on. Prince and the other guests that perform on the album tries to tackle as many styles of music they can, but it just gets unsuccessful and jumbled. So, the Graffiti Bridge soundtrack is a 68-minute hit and miss album that does have duds, but you have to skip around it to get to the good stuff. C-"