Sound — 10
Prince is one of the most talented musicians of modern times, and this legendary record proves it. In an era of manufactured pop and rock, Prince established the most unique voice of the decade. From catchy arena rock style songs, to synth driven songs, to some of the most beautiful slow songs ever recorded in pop music. What gives the album such a distinct and immediately recognizable sound is the stylish and seamless mixture of pop, R&B, rock and roll, gospel, and avant-garde. Prince is world renowned for his musical proficiency, and for good reason. He play most of the instruments on the album: guitar, bass, keyboards. He shows skill with all the instruments, but his guitar playing is what struck me. He may not be the most technical player, but definitely one of the most soulful. From hard rock riffing to ear piercing soloing(especially on the title track, "Purple Rain"), Prince's musicianship is front and center.
Lyrics — 9
Prince has a voice made for pop. He can hit ridiculously high notes for a male, and that might turn some of you off immediately, but others will appreciate his obvious skills as a singer. The lyrics on the album range from rock and pop cliches ("Let's go Crazy" "I Would die 4 You"), to the downright poetic ("Purple Rain", "When Doves Cry").
Overall Impression — 10
This is beyond a shadow of a doubt my favorite Prince record. With this record he found the perfect middle ground between almost all genres of music. The standout tracks to me are: Let's go Crazy (fun, catchy hard rock tune, awesome guitar parts, although the lyrics may be a little on the cheesy side). When Doves Cry (fantastic pop song. Very dry sounding groove, due mainly to the fact that Prince decided not to have a bass line for the song, very unusual for dance songs at the time). Purple Rain (without a doubt my favorite song on the record and quite possibly my favorite Prince song ever. An epic combination of rock and gospel, the track features poetic lyrics, Prince's most expressive singing, and a fantastic guitar solo, one of Prince's best. Purple Rain is without a doubt Prince's crowning moment, and a crowning moment for all music).