132: The Work Pt. 1

The Rainbow Children (2001)
I couldn’t get into The Rainbow Children when first released, although I now struggle to think how. I gave the album several goes but my younger self must have carried too many naive expectations to meet it on its own terms. It was too experimental and had no obvious singles. Nowadays I rate the lp his second best since reverting back to Prince (behind the equally experimental Art Official Age) and how the hell did I miss The Work pt. 1 which has killer single written all over it? With this album Prince said he wanted to retreat from pop and make music he was happy making, which in this track’s case was classic funk born from a childhood spent idolising James Brown. Will a part 2 ever surface or was the second part of The Work the door-to-door evangelism he practiced with Larry Graham and other Jehovah’s Witnesses? Or is he handing over the baton: “I’m willing 2 do the work; tell me now, what about u?” What’s likely is the title was aiming for an air of funk A-side authenticity. One half of a dusty rare-groove 7″ slipping through a wormhole and landing in the wide expansive fields of wherever the Rainbow Children live. The Digital Garden? MendaCity? I admit my grasp of the plot is sketchy – it’s just as baffling as it was in 2001.