Prince had stumbled commercially with Lovesexy, which may be one of the reasons he decided to record the soundtrack for Tim Burton's dark, gothic interpretation of the DC comic Batman. Reportedly, the Batman album was recorded quickly, and it shows in the loose, offhand nature of the songs, which actually comes as some relief after the big ambitions of all of his records since 1999. "The Future" and "Electric Chair" are fine, funky one-man efforts, and "Vicki Waiting" is an excellent pure pop song, while "Arms of Orion" is embarrassingly enjoyable sappy mainstream balladry and "Batdance" is a fun dance-club pastiche of the entire album. Even with these highlights, there are no true classics on the record, and it tends to evaporate in the memory after it's finished -- there's no doubt it spent six weeks at the top of the charts because of the blockbuster film. Still, Batman sounds fine while it's playing.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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