Cool, new prince album…..so, if prince is a genius,the cd cover of the master is ……….aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarh !!!!!!
Extract from Rolling Stone Mag :
Leaving aside the Super Bowl halftime show and the assless pants, Prince is like Woody Allen: They’re both reclusive, sex-obsessed genÂiuses who release new material relentlessly and without any Âregard to the law of diminishing returns. Prince’s recording career now spans 31 years: Counting fan-club records, he’s averaged more than one studio album per year. His latest release actually contains three separate albums, including one he wrote and produced with his new protÃ©gÃ©e, Bria Valente. The package is excessive and uneven, of course, but it’s also intermittently brilliant and a real bargain (that is, if you buy it for $11.98 at Target â€” not so much if you download it with a $77 membership at lotusflow3r.com).
Prince played every instrument on MPLSoUND â€” just like the old days, only now he gets obsessive with Pro Tools. He isn’t as bawdy as he once was (becoming a Jehovah’s Witness will do that), but he’s still got a lot of humor and swagger. On the funky « (There’ll Never B) Another Like Me, » he sings about his beauty routine (it involves olive oil in his hair), and on the seven-and-a-half-minute « Ol’ Skool Company, » he covers issues from the TARP bailout to the state of radio (« If the White House is black/We gotta take the radio back »).
Five of MPLSoUND‘s nine songs sound like lost B sides from assorted classic Prince albums (Dirty Mind, 1999, Controversy, etc.); these days, even a really good Prince song usually reminds the listener of a better, earlier one. What really hamstrings the album, though, is a four-song sequence in the middle: Two syrupy ballads, one overlong tribute to Valente and one Caribbean-inflected number that sounds like a Smoove B seduction.
On LOtUSFLOW3R, Prince has a specific mission: showcasing his long-underrated guitar playing. Whether it’s the spare funk of « Wall of Berlin, » the metal grind of « Dreamer » or the hazy cover of? »Crimson and Clover, » the music kicks into high gear when Prince starts soloing, delivering one epic face melter after another in a style halfway between David Gilmour’s and Eddie Hazel’s. The drawback is that when he isnâ€™t playing guitar, the music on this disc is oddly muted â€” you keep waiting for Captain Six-String to fly in and save the day. It’s OK to call a song « Love Like Jazz, » but the jazz in the title shouldn’t be cocktail jazz.
Itâ€™s been more than a decÂade since Prince successfully launched the career of a female sidekick, but he’s trying again with Valente. Prince has touted Elixer as a quiet-storm album in the Sade mode, but most of it is just generic pop ballads. The lyrics are memorable only when they’re clunky (« Taste the rainbow, » goes one line, which sounds like it could have come from a Skittles ad). Valente has a pleasant, if thin, voice â€” she doesnâ€™t have the chops to elevate this material into anything memorable. There is one gem here: The catchy dance number « 2Nite, » where Valente whispers over insistent disco keyboards. One day, it, along with the best tracks from MPLSoUND and LOtUSFLOW3R, will sound right at home on Princeâ€™s inevitable box set: 2 Much of a Good Thing.
MPLSoUND – Three and a half stars
LOtUSFLOW3R – Three stars
Elixer – Two stars