Purple Rain (1984) by Prince is his sixth studio album and second with backing band, the Revolution. Although associated with the film of the same name, in which Prince stars, this soundtrack album is a stand alone classic to many music historians. While it does have some redeeming factors, we happen to think that Prince has better albums, including the followup, Around the World in a Day. So, what works against Purple Rain? Well, to start, it reeks of 80s overproduction. More often than not, there’s way too many things going on, instrumentally, to disguise the lack of hooks in songs. On the first number, Let’s Go Crazy, Prince starts off with the classic line of, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life”, before the song is ruined by a cheesy mix of percussion and synth. Next, on Take Me With U, the opening drum fill sounds like Neil Peart from Rush, but as if he was trying to play In the Air Tonight. It’s just plain corny. The majority of third song, The Beautiful Ones, isn’t much better, even with Prince’s patented falsetto. Only when Prince starts getting angry, late in the song, do we feel like there’s something to be said. Computer Blue is plagued by the same problems, mainly the drums, but does feature some awesome mid-song shredding from Prince, which is Eddie Van Halen-esque. A Gary Numan-like keyboard part adds a much needed hook, as well. Darling Nikki, for the first time, seems to understand what we want to hear, which is more of Prince’s do-it-all vocals, and less of the drums, being out front. The terrible copy-and-paste drum beat returns on When Doves Cry, but a killer opening guitar riff, and another keyboard hook, saves the day. I Would Die 4 U showcases the sassy side of Prince, but the overproduction bandit strikes again. Baby I’m a Star is a hookless bore, but the self-titled song, Purple Rain, ends the album on a high, seeing as it’s arguably Prince’s best song, thanks to his once-in-generation voice and guitar playing. Looking at the sum of this album’s parts, though, and it’s frustrating that it can’t capitalize on the great finale.