Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Batman [Warner Bros., 1989]
Packaging this as a soundtrack is as ridiculous as complaining that there's only six minutes of Prince in the movie, because the movie it's designed for exists only in Prince's head--his six minutes of soul are a distraction from Tim Burton's nostalgic ominoso futurism, which Danny Elfman's otherwise useless score expertly evokes. "The Future" is Prince's most visionary piece since "When Doves Cry," and as aural objects, all the others are more than passable. Yet they are really designed for a movie, and all of them--especially the received "Partyman" and the subpoignant "Vicki Waiting"--cry out for the focus of Prince's unrealized alternate version. Hence, what "Batdance" deconstructs is mainly itself. B+