Prince fans have long trusted the mayor of Erotic City on matters of love and sex but how does he fare when it comes to inspiring us about the environment? The title song of Planet Earth, released in late July, opens with that particular kind of piano tinkling that foreshadows a serious soap opera moment. The lyrics deliver on the promise:
Imagine holding Planet Earth
In the palm of your hand
With no regard for your place of birth
Or claim to any land
The theme is arguably a bit of a stretch for Prince. The awkwardness of this newfound earth evangelism is only evident when contrasted to rest of the album that finds the pop master in familiar terrain musically and lyrically. The strongest point made in "Planet Earth" is not new:
50 years from now what will they say about us here?
Did we care for the water and the fragile atmosphere?
Not that Prince should be expected to raise new questions about the global climate crisis, but then things get weird:
Imagine you could rid the Earth
Of anyone you choose
Which ones would you need the most
And which ones would you lose?
Do we want to judge another
Lest we be judged too?
Careful now... The next one might be you
The song careens between planet earth, faith in God, and anti-war sentiments - all very important topics but in the end a strange conflation of issues. Add to that the somber tone and once again talking about the planet is serious business and totally not sexy.
The album cover and title might also be seen as misleading, as the rest of the songs aren't organized around an earth/environmental theme.
Prince isn't one to jump on a bandwagon so chances are he's not simply cashing in on the global warming buzz. Of course it's genuine -- he's Prince after all! And if anyone can deliver a much-needed, come on everybody we need to save the earth now anthem, it's Prince. Something with the get off your ass and dance quality of "Let's Go Crazy," the screaming urgency of "The Beautiful Ones," and the revolution-inspiring message of "New Power Generation." Or if not an anthem, a true ballad.
Or not - maybe planet earth isn't pop-worthy?
I'm Simon and I'm a blogger from Italy. I write on a blog about Prince and we'd like to exploit this article for one of the next chatting meeting. Would you like to join us? Thank You
I totally agree that some musicians need to take it on themselves to take some serious issues and make them fun enough to move the asses of the masses.
But how to present that flashy green image to millions without being a big hypocrite? That's tough. That makes me want to write a ballad.