The Time's third and final album before the band splintered into three different camps, Ice Cream Castle is yet another six-song offering highlighted by a cache of fantastic songs ("Ice Cream Castle," "Jungle Love," "The Bird") offset by some slight material (the Morris Day features "Chili Sauce" and "If the Kid Can't Make You Come") that essentially serves as filler. As was the case on the Time's previous two albums, Prince reportedly performed all of the music except for Morris Day's vocals and Jesse Johnson's guitar, though there's no evidence of that in the liner notes (at least not on the initial edition), as the only sign of Prince's involvement is a production credit for Jamie Starr, one of his pseudonyms. On the other hand, Ice Cream Castle does explicitly state in the liners that "all jams [were] written" by Morris Day except "Jungle Love," which was written in conjunction with Jesse Johnson. So, again, it's unclear who did what -- Prince, the Time, or some of both. (One thing's for sure: Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis weren't involved with the album, having been replaced by Mark Cardenez, St. Paul Peterson, and Jerry Hubbard, reportedly for missing a concert on account of a blizzard.) Regardless of who did what, there's plenty to enjoy on Ice Cream Castle, which stylistically sounds akin to Prince's Purple Rain. As it should -- both albums were recorded around the same time, and Ice Cream Castle was released only a week after the film Purple Rain, which prominently featured Morris Day in the role of the antagonist and also featured the Time as his band (both "Jungle Love" and "The Bird" are heard in the film). Despite its half-greatness, Ice Cream Castle marked the end of the Time in its original incarnation, for the band acrimoniously splintered into three camps: Morris Day mounted a solo career, debuting with Color of Success (1985); Jesse Johnson mounted a solo career also, debuting with Jesse Johnson's Revue (1985); and remaining Time members Jerome Benton, Jellybean Johnson, and St. Paul Peterson formed a group called the Family, debuting with a 1985 self-titled album. The original members of the Time would eventually reunite in 1990 for the Pandemonium album and the Graffiti Bridge soundtrack.
Ice Cream Castle Review
by Jason Birchmeier