For You (1978)
Prince’s first album and one of his best. He burst out on the scene in Minneapolis with this album – with brilliant elaborate works or complexity and simple ballads which give you a taste of things to come. Still finding his style, he gives us a bit of everything on this album. All the tracks are stand out tracks. The first song, “For You” is a multilayered falsetto introduction to the world of Prince and the music he wants to give to us. He really means it, and puts his all into this beautiful intro to the album. “In Love” is a sweeping second song with a real 70’s mid tempo disco feel to it. It sounds like it is meant to be a commercial song and while it is catchy, it is not a classic – it is a short segue onto the albums most memorable song “Soft and Wet”.
Soft and Wet, apart from it’s kinky title is really the funkiest and most catchy song on the album. It best encapsulates the approach Prince would have over the next 10 years, sexually charged, sparse funky pop. It is a classic and still stands out on the record today. Soft and Wet is one of many styles on For You, but it is clear from listening to it, it is the most succesful approach, and a sign of things to come…. A classic. This doesnt mean that the album doesnt offer more greatness. The following tracks are all great songs in their own right.
“Crazy You” is a brief but sublime journey into Prince’s inner soul, with raindrop beats and rythmic 70’s acoustic guitar you could almost imagine yourself in a French suaret with a glass of scotch wearing a white turtle neck sweater. Theres one verse and one chorus, which are so brilliant that it makes for a disappointing listen (ie just when you are getting into it, it all ends so soon). Crazy You could be considered a throw away filler, but to me it’s a special peice of Prince legend.
“Just as long as were together” is one of the more ambitious songs, including a “dance” mix of the song at the end, which is as good as the song itself. “Baby” is a sugar sweet, song about responsibility and what seems to be the repercusions of teen pregnancies (in case (I guess) his condom breaks), which is out of the question, because he doesnt know how this could happen to a very careful man like him. Im sure he is careful, but considering the topic matter, the song is very grandious and perhaps a little immature, but its great fun to listen to and a masterpeice considering his age. The next song is “My love is Forever”, a swinging, light, and (ultimately) very catchy song. The song never gets boring and embodies “For You”, its innocence, the lightness and effortlessness all in one song. The ending of My love is forever, is about as funky as anything Prince has ever done.
The classics dont stop. The next song is another masterpeice, and like My love is forever, “So Blue” takes a few listens to truly appreciate its brilliance. How can I put this.. this song is a masterpeice, true and simple. The song is a blues song, where Prince bemoans lonliness and despair, he wallows in the the bleakness of it all. The song is perfectly structured, brilliantly sung, with all the heartfealt experience of someone 20 years older – it is a window to the genius that is Prince. The last song is “Im Yours” and in way the most impressive song on the album musically, but probably the least intersting in terms of lyrics and songwriting. It is basically a music fest where Prince shows off his guitar playing skills. It’s imbalanced, as if he was trying to catch up for the lack of guitar freakiness on the rest of the album – and who can blame him, it’s his first record and he may not have another chance to show the world all his abilities, the only time to get the world to notice – and boy did they….
“For You” was no commercial success, it is not a commercial record in that it takes a few listens to really get into. But once you do, you really get it, you realise this guy is a genius and this is only the start.
(4 out of 5)