241: Somewhere Here on Earth

Planet Earth (2007)
The track 3 ballad spot on Prince’s 32nd album goes to Somewhere Here on Earth – a song that would receive much more gushing over if on almost any other lp of his. The year it was released, Joshua Bell, one of the world’s greatest violinists, performed for 45 minutes in a New York subway disguised as a busker. In this experiment, only 7 out of over 1000 passersby stopped to listen to the Grammy award-winning musician, who sells out theatres for $100 a seat. Setting certainly counts. Those who stop and give Somewhere Here on Earth the time of day will recognise it as a world-class slow jam. A maturer cut to discover and bask in when we’re ready. Live performances help with the setting (especially Montreux 2009 and the same year’s Jay Leno appearance) but I do miss that synthetic vinyl noise. It adds a nostalgic warmth. To anyone growing up in the CD or mp3 age the added pops and crackles may seem gimmicky, but to these vinyl-weened ears they’re a comfort blanket. A little analogue seasoning to bring out the embedded flavours.