Party o’ the Times
A Tribute To Prince
For an artist as known for funky sounds as Prince (oh, excuse me — I mean Symbol Man), there’s surprisingly little funk to be found on this newest entry in Cleopatra’s seemingly-endless series of tribute albums. That’s not to say that there isn’t some good stuff on Party o’ the Times — to the contrary, there are some really interesting takes on classic material-formerly-known-as-Prince’s here — but overall, the record falls into the problem that plagues most tribute albums, that being, “why bother when you could listen to the originals?” Sterling exceptions to this rule come from Information Society and Heaven 17 (with stark electro versions of “Controversy” and “Sign o’ the Times,” respectively), Dead Or Alive (whose shimmering, psychedelic “Pop Life” recalls Siouxsie & the Banshees’ “Kiss Them For Me” far more than the modern disco sound they’re best known for), Gary Numan (with a straightforward yet distinctive “U Got the Look”), Buddy Miles (with a blues/gospel-tinged take on “Baby I’m a Star”), and Ice-T (who joins up with 2Live Crew’s Brother Marquis for an even racier hip hop version of “Head”). In the “nice, but won’t make you forget the original” category, you get Missing Persons’ Dale Bozzio with a techno take on “I Would Die For U” (remixed by Keoki), Mellow Man Ace’s version of “Irresistible Bitch” (with an assist from Geo), and Meeks’ strange-yet-charming “Little Red Corvette.” Lackluster versions of “1999” (Adeva), “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” (Sigue Sigue Sputnik?!?! They’re still around?), and “I Wanna Be Your Lover” (Loleatta Holoway) fill out the disc, but the Golden Voice Turkey of the Album award goes to “supermodel” Rebecca Romijn Stamos, for her nearly unlistenable version of “Darling Nikki,” “co-produced” by her hubby, Full House star John Stamos. Nope, not even a whiff of lipstick lesbian homoeroticism can save this one, kids!
If you DO pick up this disc for the several worthy tracks (and overall, I’d say that’s not a bad idea — the good does outweigh the bad), allow me to forewarn you — Mrs. Stamos is track 2. Be prepared to hit the skip button. Hey, I finished the review without a cliched millennial reference to partying like it’s…
Cleopatra Records, 13428 Maxella #251, Marina Del Rey , CA 90292