Any honest fan of Prince's catalog would be hard pressed to say the late 90's were a time of inspiration for the man. Coming off the heels of NPS, a bottom three album for me personally in Prince's catalog, (only "bested" or ahhh "worsened" by Hit and Run Part One and Kamasutra), Rave was an attempted return to commercial form.
The problem, beyond the continuation of the plastic sounding production that absolutely destroyed what could have been a great triple album, Emancipation, is the lack of songs. Granted, this album did have a number of absolutely stellar cuts on it. But the overall feel and vibe is sorely missing the greatness of his majesty.
Perhaps sensing the sorely lacking soul of the original release, for some odd reason, Prince decided to re-visit this record with a remixed, re-imagined version of the album titled Rave In2.... For my money, Rave In2 is the FAR superior version of the album, even though it still remains severely lacking in many ways.
What this package does, is combine up the original Rave Un2, the previously hard to obtain Rave In2, and the DVD from the Pay Per View special that aired on New Years 2000.
I'm happy to support this release, even though I already have all three separately, because I want to make sure the funnel for new projects stays funded. The packaging and images are quite nice. It feels like a lot of effort went into this from a repro standpoint, even if there is absolutely no new material offered. (You'd think the heavily edited DVD would have been ripe for adding SOMETHING new into the mix)....
For those of you unfamiliar with Prince's catalog, this is most decidedly not the place to start. But as a repackaging of older material that has not been readily available for quite some time, it's a job well done.