Like Come before it, Chaos and Disorder is a contractual obligation album for Prince, a way to get himself out of his contract with Warner Brothers. Unlike Come, Chaos and Disorder doesn't sound disjointed and pasted together -- it's a fun, offhanded throwaway. For the first time since 1987's Sign 'O' the Times, Prince has made a pop/rock album, complete with squealing guitars and sighing melodies. None of the songs qualify as major songs in Prince's canon, but that's part of the record's charm -- Prince sounds like he's having a good time, and he could really care less what anyone else has to say. Or, as he puts it in one of the album's best and most careening tracks, "I Rock, Therefore I Am." Chaos and Disorder sounds immediate, like the songs were recorded the same day they were written. While that might mean there's a handful of throwaways scattered throughout the album, there are wonderful moments like the stuttering jazz-funk of "Dig U Better Dead," the scathing "Had U," the psychedelic clashes of the title track, the heavy rock of "I Like It There," and the beautiful "Dinner With Delores," a rough gem that ranks as one of Prince's simplest and most charming singles of the '90s. So, Chaos and Disorder isn't Prince's best or most important work, but it is a really fun listen, especially if you're willing to accept it as what it is -- a record that does nothing more than rock.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine