Frequent readers of Daily Prince likely know by now that if there’s one thing I don’t like about Prince it’s the music that he did that doesn’t sound like Prince. When I say that it doesn’t sound like Prince, what I’m really saying is that it sounds like anyone else could’ve done it. Unfortunately, “Style” falls in to that category.
“Style” is the 30th track from Prince’s 1996 triple album Emancipation. I dig Emancipation but Prince could’ve trimmed a lot of fat from it. There’s some uninspired music littered throughout the album and I would place “Style” in that category. For someone who possessed unrivaled style, Prince’s song of the same title is quite bland. His vocal performance is closer to rapping than singing, but it’s a stretch to call it rapping. It’s more shit talking than anything. There are a few thought provoking lyrics on the track, for example:
Style ain’t sittin’ court side with the owner of the team
Style is owning the court and charging ’em all a fee
Style is not lusting after someone because they’re cool
Style is loving yourself ’til everyone else does to
Musically this track sounds like a lot of other R&B songs from that time, and that’s why I criticize it. Prince could make music like this in his sleep, which leads me to believe he was half asleep when he did it. There’s nothing outstanding about it. It’s just average mid-90’s R&B music, which I’m actually a fan of, but I expect more from Prince.
There are two interesting facts hidden in the liner notes on this track. First, there’s something you don’t see too often on a Prince track: “Contains a sample of…” Yes, Prince sampled George Clinton’s “Atomic Dog” on this track. For a song with an “Atomic Dog” sample I would’ve expected something a lot more funky. The other interesting find in the credits comes at the very end. As it lists the names of the horn players and additional vocalists the final line credits someone named Azifwekare with being the “jobless pothead.” No idea what he’s getting at with that, but it’s a head scratching addition to the song credits.
I’m going be overly harsh on this one. It’s not a bad song, I just expect more from the G.O.A.T. and I’m punishing “Style” because of it. Plus, I’ve been giving out a lot of high ratings lately and I need this to pull the average back to the middle. Hopefully we’ll get something more fun tomorrow.