Prince’s “Girl 6” Reviewed
The problem with a movie about phone sex girls in 1996 is that by 2016, it is well beyond dated. “Girl 6” is the equivalent of doing a movie starring a modern day cobbler, they exist but nobody knows any. Spike Lee’s “Girl 6” -which I loved at the time, is terribly dated, more dated than “Do The Right Thing” and “Mo’ Better Blues” combined, and is not well remembered. Checking it out the other day, Theresa Randle gives a real star turn, I am surprised it didn’t make her a star, and the movie is a clever sex comedy, funny stuff in a successful effort to mainstream black life.
On the other hand, Girl 6 the soundtrack album, put together and featuring Prince on his 18th album, hasn’t aged at all. Not a greatest hits, though it has a little of the greatest hits, and a little of the airing out of songs you know and love but considered buried elsewhere, plus three new ones, and a coupla Paisley Park denizens, as well, so not 100% a PRINCE Prince album, but better than it should be. Top of the food chain is “Pink Cashmere” and ” Erotic City” -which we’d just heard on that Hits triple. Right after that are three songs slumming off Sign O’ The Time. After that, three newbies, including the title track. Finally a song by The Family and the hugely influential “Nasty Girl” by Vanity -as sampled, and as plagiarized, as anything in Prince’s oeuvre.
So the question really is, how do these parts fit together? As a party to the movie, not really, despite starting with “She Spoke to Me” and ending with “Girl 6” -both of which reflect onto the film. The album is a self-contained state of Paisley Park 1996 -pop, funk, ballads, jazz, something old, something new, all fitted together in just over an hour: proof absolutely something that Prince failed to pay attention to, that less is more.
You can listen to Girl 6 from one end to another and not skip a song, no dialogue, none of those horrible spoken word segues, it is all of a piece, all the gorgeous sensibility and artistry of a giant at his best. I can’t remember when Prince had last managed such a consistently pleasurable album –Sign O’ The Times, probably. If this was, indeed, his last masterpiece, it was a great album in every single way. Much better than I remembered, give it a spin for all times sake and you’ll be surprised how well it holds up.