Tuesday, September 30, 2014


MY CUP RUNNETH OVER!! Prince, his Purple Badness, has blessed his subjects with not 1, but 2 new albums today!!! Unbelievable! Technically ART OFFICIAL AGE is a new Prince album and PLECTRUMELECTRUM is Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL, his new backing band, but c'mon...it's Prince. 2 very diverse albums full of pretty much every kind of Prince U would want. Let's start with ART OFFICIAL AGE. It is a concept album about a man in suspended animation for 45 years (get it...artificial age...art official age) who is awoken by a British computer 2 explore this very different world. Prince often uses these segues in albums between songs 2 set up a theme, but don't let it throw U off, ART OFFICIAL AGE is pure Prince pop joy. The album literally starts with a bang when the title track jumps off, all big beats and making it clear that Prince is about 2 serve up his most commercial music in years. If U remember Prince's chart topping heydays, that is a great thing. There is a slick guitar-driven pop sensibility that runs throughout the entire album from the neo-soul groove and claps on the amazing CLOUDS 2 Controversy-era throwback funk joint THE GOLD STANDARD. 2 standouts have to be the beautiful ballad BREAKDOWN, which recalls Prince's psychedelic Around The World In a Day scorcher Condition of the Heart, and U KNOW, the sexiest song Prince has done since Cream. The whole album is a masterclass in hooks. It's the perfect blend of classic Prince with his feet planted firmly in the future. U'll hear some different sounds from Prince on WAY BACK HOME and WHAT IT FEELS LIKE, but plenty of Sign 'O' The Times-era on tracks like FUNKROLL and 90s smooth ballad Prince (a la Diamonds and Pearls and Peach) on TIME and THIS COULD BE US. Overall, this is the Prince pop-driven album U have been waiting 4 since the early 90s, in my opinion. Now turning 2 PLECTRUMELECTRUM with 3RDEYEGIRL, Hannah Ford Welton on drum, bass player Ida Nielsen and guitarist Donna Grantis. The album starts off with some hard guitar riffs that turn N2 a bluesy, Beatles-esque burner WOW and makes it obvious this is going to be a very different Prince than ART OFFICIAL AGE. It's quite a start 2. The album keeps shocking UR body with the excellent rock track PRETZELBODYLOGIC, a song that I set as my alarm every morning because it gets my ass out of bed. Prince lets the ladies in 3RDEYEGIRL take the mic on a couple of tracks, and although I prefer only Prince on my Prince albums, the songs stand up quite well. I certainly don't know these ladies as well as Prince's most famous female band members, the amazing Wendy and Lisa from The Revolution, but maybe I will in time. (THIS JUST IN: I WON'T! I'm obsessed with Wendy and Lisa) Still their leading turns on AINTTURNINROUND, the rock/rap hybrid BOYTROUBLE and the truly mesmerizing slow jam WHITECAPS, which may just be the standout track on the album, are worthy of place in the Prince pantheon of excellent album cuts. While not as glittery and shiny as ART OFFICIAL AGE, if U like UR Prince rock hard, PLECTRUMELECTRUM's rousing instrumental title track and the guitar jam FIXURLIFEUP will more than satisfy your thirst. There R some easy grooves thrown N 2 give U a break, like STOPTHISTRAIN, a duet between Prince and the ladies, ANOTHERLOVE, which draws easy comparison 2 Prince & The Revolution's Anotherloverholenyohead from their amazing 1986 Parade album, one of Prince's funkiest, sexiest mid-80s efforts, and the dreamy TICTACTOE. PLECTRUMELECTRUM delivers Prince's finest rock performance in ages.  I'm telling U, these 2 records R a return to form for one of the most prolific, genius and celebrated artists of the rock era. There are songs on these records that will take you right back to rocking out in your room to Let's Go Crazy or Kiss, and swooning to The Beautiful Ones or I Hate U. Everything you want in 2 easy packages. ART OFFICIAL AGE and PLECTRUMELECTRUM R both available on iTunes 2day!! GET THEM! I'm N heaven!!! Listen to the gorgeous WHITECAPS below.

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