Prince is one of pop's true originals. His credo of eroticism and his nervy, androgynous pose have made the 24-year-old Minneapolis native a constroversial figure. Radio stations often ban his sexually explicit songs from airplay, but his music is an ingenious blend of keyboard funk and guitar rock. Purple Rain is a kaleidoscope of pulsating sounds and velvety textures. It opens with the cheerful chaos of "Let's Go Crazy," in which Prince preaches hedonism in the face of impending apocalypse. "Darling Nikki," about a steamy encounter with a nymphomanic, features a wailing guitar, and "The Beautiful Ones" is a breezy, romantic song sung in a sensual falsetto. Prince excels on "When Doves Cry" by mixing anguished guitar notes with the nagging beat of tribal drums. When he conveys his full range of heated emotion, the irrepressible Prince makes a commanding form of poetry.
Maclean's August 6, 1984