Prince’s “Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic” Reviewed
Not to be mistaken for Un2, 2 years earlier, now it is 2001, and Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic, album # 24 -the remix, never released to record stores, only available (till Tidal got it) on CD directly from Prince’s NPG Music Club, no actual chart numbers, nothing. And a remix album as well, a break of two years and THEN A REMIX ALBUM. From being insanely prolific to taking three years for two albums, one thing is sure, he will release no album till he chooses to release it, even if it isn’t a reworked version of iffy songs to save them, but a remixed version of songs to elongate them.
If Un2 was a bad album, In2 is alright for its somewhat minor ambitious. It rids of the terrible segues, it adds us to the groove tracks and while it might be no more than a good groove on the first two tracks, for some reasons, perhaps our much lower expectations, it does its job well enough, it isn’t an EDM extension, but rather, it at least sounds like a live one, and given another minute to unfold the beat, it is a better song for it.
The one song that Prince should have saved, with Gwen a huge star at the turn of the century and “So Far, So Pleased” a potential hit by any standards, perhaps a remix would have saved it, but this is the same version as on U2, and anyway, no one could get their hands on it at the best of times. And anyway, they aren’t remixes the way you think of remixes, and they certainly aren’t extended remixes: the longest track is five and a half minutes, the shortest track two minute and a touch, On “Undisputed” -the Chuck B track, all Prince does is drag the beat and add a minute, it is neither a rethinking, nor a rewriting, nor a disco flourish. Prince dubs the songs either extended or remixes, I think the album is more like what the album would sound like if Prince had decided to tweak it a little more. he dumps the covers, no Sheryl Crow here, and adds a couple of outtakes.
Not a bad idea and In2 is a better album than Un2, “Man’O’War” and “Baby Knows” picks up the pace, “Beautiful Strange” is a good addition, Eve and Ani get additional verses in other songs, and while no one would mistake In2 for a masterpiece, it actually solves quite a few of the things that made Un2 so disappointing. Listen to them back to back and you get a quick lesson in album creation… and its hazards. Prince crept on revving and slowing on the first album, and the two sides hurt each, on the latter it is only six minutes shorter but without the segues and with a better second side, it feels shorter.