Mike Hayes

Evenings & Weekends!

 

RELEASE
November 19, 1996
LABEL
EMI Music Distribution
GENRES
Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Urban, Contemporary Pop/Rock

Album Review

Emancipation was a critical moment for Prince, one that he designed as an artistic rebirth and, optimistically, as a commercial comeback. In a typically perverse fashion, Prince decided to make the album a triple-disc set running exactly three hours, easily making it the longest album of all-new original material ever released by a popular artist. As the first album he released since leaving Warner Brothers, Emancipation was supposed to dazzle, proving that he had not lost any of his creative skills or power. And it does dazzle, but it's hard to digest a full three discs of music, even if it is almost all of high quality. Fortunately, Prince made each disc into a distinct entity in its own right, with the first being the most pop, the second being a song cycle devoted to his new marriage, and the third being a dance/funk extravaganza. Throughout all three discs, Prince tries on a variety of styles, from jazz to R&B, but he doesn't break any new ground; instead, the album is simply reaffirmation of his strengths as a composer and a musician. Emancipation doesn't have the bristling, colorful eclecticism of Sign 'o' the Times nor does it have the wildness of early one-man projects like 1999 or Dirty Mind, but with its gentle ballads and complex jams, it signals that Prince has evolved into middle-age gracefully. It's a mature effort, to be certain, but in this case that doesn't mean that it's an album bankrupt of ideas -- it means that Prince's craft continues to grow.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Jam of the Year
  2. Right Back Here in My Arms
  3. Somebody's Somebody
  4. Get Yo Groove On
  5. Courtin' Time
  6. Betcha by Golly, Wow
  7. We Gets Up
  8. White Mansion
  9. Damned If I Do
  10. I Can't Make U Love Me
  11. Mr. Happy
  12. In This Bed I Scream
  13. Sex in the Summer
  14. One Kiss at a Time
  15. Soul Sanctuary
  16. Emale
  17. Curious Child
  18. Dreamin' About U
  19. Joint 2 Joint
  20. The Holy River
  21. Let's Have a Baby
  22. Saviour
  23. The Plan
  24. Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife
  25. Slave
  26. New World
  27. The Human Body
  28. Face Down
  29. La-La (Means I Love You)
  30. Style
  31. Sleep Around
  32. Da, Da, Da
  33. My Computer
  34. One of Us
  35. The Love We Make
  36. Emancipation