Prince "Rally For Peace" Baltimore Mix

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I think this is one of my first blog posts since I heard of the passing of The Beautiful One. Haven’t wanted to listen to any music, feels like the end of a beautiful era.

But anyhow here is a mix direct from one of Prince’s Dj’s Dj Dudley D who says as follows:

In May 2015 during the “Dance Rally For Peace” party at Paisley Park I played a couple of Prince tracks right before and after he performed that were appropriate for the climate in the country and theme of the party. The next day I received a message that Prince wanted me to make a 30 min mix of his music that was “relevant to the times that are happening in our country at the moment.” After going back and forth with him and changing some things it ended up being twice as long he was happy. If you were not at the Baltimore concert you would not of heard this. I have posted it on Sound Cloud for all to listen. Share and enjoy.

Prince played this mix before his May 10th 2015 “Rally For Peace” concert in Baltimore.

Track List
Dear Mr Man
Sign O The Times
Undisputed (Moneyapolis Mix)
Peace
Race
New World
The Future
We March
Act Of God
Family Name
When Will We Be Paid
Lovesign (Shock G’s Silky Remix)
Slave
Colonized Mind

Artwork – 100% Prince Tribute

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Loving this Prince Mix by Artwork that aired on Rinse last week. It’s been beautiful seeing all the tributes pouring in from the most respected artists and producers worldwide and my twitter feed has been Purple all week, just wish it would 4ever remain Purple but that’s already beginning to fade as the days go by since his untimely demise.

Also wish that this sort of appreciation had occurred much, much more whilst he was still alive.

The great thing about this and any other Prince Mix for me is that it doesn’t just focus on all the tunes everybody who has a passing flirtation with Prince already knows. It includes a lot of his lesser known material from the late 70’s and early 80’s which I think is far more interesting when you’re a Prince nut.

Props 2 artwork for such a groovy mix. How long it stays up is anybody’s guess and so catch it while you can:

Prince's Final Piano & Microphone Show : Live at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta

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A recording of the Beautiful One’s final show has surfaced on the internet.

I was in 2 minds about sticking this up given his hatred for this kind of thing but Prince needs to be heard, this is magical and heart-breaking.  He even does my personal all time favourite Prince track “Girl” which holds a lot of sentimental value to me.  As far as I’m aware he has rarely performed this track before.  The quality of recording isn’t brilliant but any Prince is better than no Prince.

Here’s what the uploader says:

Dearly Beloved: Fans mourn and reflect on Prince’s last concert in Atlanta

www.axs.com/news/dearly-beloved…ncert-in-atla-82233

No one imagined that it would be the last time Prince would perform, when they saw him during his stop in Atlanta last week, April 14, 2016, after a 12 year hiatus. Prince’s “Piano and a Microphone” tour was a flawless display of his artistry. Like the show’s title suggests, it was just him, his piano and a purple strobe light beaming down as he played. The backdrop was a screen with illustrations of various images of the artist that dissolved into a collage of his various looks and album covers through the decades.

Prince was a vibrant example of genius who negotiated both God and sex into his music as never seen before. His songs were a blend of prayer and foreplay. He made spirituality and sex coexist – as they should.

Prince was magical.

Prince was a free man.

Fans witnessed this display of freedom when he played his last two shows at 7pm and 10pm at The Fox Theatre, downtown Atlanta. Both were sold out. He poured his heart out in an intimate setting with no band and no backup singers – only his free Black-self donning a natural Afro.

“The setting was intimate and it was an amazing event,” commented Marla Pruitt, a motivational speaker and accountability coach.

“The opportunity to see him live and performing alone was life changing. The image of him sitting at the piano will be forever embedded in my brain,” she said.

That evening, as he played a 90 minute medley of songs from his iconic catalog, he discussed, love, relationships and social issues. He also reminded the crowd that #BlackLivesMatter. Throughout the show he made several references to his pending memoir about his life. Upon hearing the news of his passing, fans expressed disbelief.

“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57,” said his publicist Yvette Noel-Schure.

On social media the sentiments poured out across the virtual world.

@FrankWrenn: “One week ago today, I was excited to see Prince perform at the Fox. No one could know that his Atlanta performance would be his last”

@IamRickyChin: “Prince did Marley’s waiting in vain in his last performance. Piano only.”

While fans were told not to snap photos or record videos some were able to capture a few images and shared them online during the show and then again one week later with their expressions of grief.

Actress Holly Robinson Peete tweeted, “In Atlanta now where Prince performed his last show. My heart is shattered. Cannot process.”

One of Prince’s final tweets immediately after his Atlanta performance reads: I am #transformed

We too are transformed “your Royal Highness.” So are we!

The FINAL SET-LIST

• When Will B Paid
• The Max
• Black Sweat
• Girl
• I Would Die 4 U
• Baby, I’m a Star
• Ballad of Dorothy Parker
• Dark
• B-side Song (Indifference)
• I Love U But I Don’t Trust U
• Little Red Corvette
• It was a non-stop onslaught of songs;
• Dirty Mind
• Linus and Lucy (The Peanuts theme)
• back to Little Red Corvette
• Nothing Compares 2 U

Encore 1

• Cream
• Black Muse
• How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore

Encore 2

• Waiting In Vain (Bob Marley)
• If I Was Ur Girlfriend
• back to Waiting In Vain
• back to If I Was Ur Girlfriend

Encore 3

• Sometimes It Snows In April
• Purple Rain (the crowd goes nuts)
• The Beautiful Ones
• back to Purple Rain
• Diamonds & Pearls
• back to Purple Rain

MAY U LIVE 2 C THE DAWN!

 

Prince : “This Could B Us” [PrinceStep]

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I made a special request not so long ago for my Purple friend to start embracing more underground sounds into his music and it seems he has started to take on board some of my advice. He teased us with snippets of it on his last release Art Official Age and some of it worked and some of it didn’t. It seems he’s intent on doing more of the same on his forthcoming new record HitNRun. Shades of PrinceStep on this track, perhaps a few years too late but at least he’s now starting to get it a little bit more and it’s possible you’ll hear some Purple Fodencia, Tarraxinha, Tarraxo or even Future Tarraxo in the coming years. Here’s hoping.

I’m feeling this track and would be interested to hear where the full thing goes.

Thanks to our good dude Eddie from Okayplayer for letting me know about this and here’s what his site says:

A 30 second preview of “This Could B Us” has been put online for those abstaining from TIDAL, but don’t expect to see it pop up in your Spotify or SoundCloud feed anytime soon. Prince has gone on record calling much of the conventional record industry “slavery” and praised the high-end streaming service as a platform made by artists, for artists. “Jay Z spent $100 million of his own money to build his own service. We have to show support for artists who are trying to own things for themselves,” he said earlier this month.

This Could B Us from TIDAL on Vimeo.

Dorothy Parker ϟ : The Supercute Mixtape [SuperPop]

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The first thing that drew me to this mixtape was the name of the Artist “Dorothy Parker” which all purple people will recognize from the brilliant track “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker”, quite possibly one of my favourite Prince tracks of all times.

The second thing that struck me was the title of the mixtape, it is, as it says, “Supercute” and I love the tag “SuperPop”.

Thirdly, I really like the artwork too.

Finally, the sounds are pretty funky and it’s a lil’ weird mixtape which I really dig too.

Hawaii Tiger Moves – Toby Gale
Cat vs. Dog (Kane West RMX) – Kero Kero Bonito
T.R.U.E.L.O.V.E. – Kane West
Big Boob Bitch – Dai Burger
Elevator Elevator (Lucid x DJ Dior) – Rizzla
Up & Down – Vengaboys
Boss Ass Bitch vs. Drunk In Love (BYRELL the GREAT RMX) – BYRELL the GREAT feat. Nicki Lewinsky & Queen Bey
Y.A.L.A (MikeQ Bootleg) – M.I.A.
I Chant, You Vogue – Leggo
Bug-A-Boo – Hoodboi
P’casso Baby (MikeQ RMX) – MikeQ feat. Jay-Z
Yass Bish (BYRELL the GREAT RMX) – BYRELL the GREAT feat. Lewinsky
Dump Challenge – DJ Taj feat. Lil E & Sliik
Lemonade – SOPHIE
1+Only – So So In Luv
Pink and Blue – Hannah Diamond

PRINCE : PEACH & BLACK PODCAST

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I’m quite a Prince obsessive, indeed he is possibly my favourite artist of all time, that’s how much I love and rate his material. Albeit, for me most of his genius work occurred in the 1980’s. The legacy of that decade however continues to live on up until today. I still find it difficult to find material that can touch his output of work during the 80’s.

In brief, I have covered what that decade meant to me in previous posts and so I won’t labor on that again.  You can read it for yourself:

Slowsexy 1

Slowsexy 2

Funksexy

Rocksexy

Art official Age & Plectrum Electrum

Although, I’m a Prince obsessive, it’s not to the degree where I see him as some kind of God or worship at his altar or read into his private life and all that stuff.  In fact I’m not like that about anybody.  I’ve always listened to his music and enjoyed the journey of the album and placed myself in his world as a passenger without really trying to figure out his world or what it all means.  I’ve just lost myself in his music and that was really enough for me.

However, I chanced upon this great Peach & Black Podcast series about a week ago and man it’s addictive.  I can’t stop listening to the various episodes, obviously starting with my favourite albums and working my way around shows about other stuff.

It’s a Podcast series that was started 6 years ago by a bunch of fellow Prince obsessives based in Australia.  Here’s what they say about themselves:

Founded 2009 in Australia, the Peach & Black Podcast reviews the work of Prince and associated artists. Check out all our episodes at http://peachandblack.podbean.com/

The central place to listen to critical analysis and opinions on Prince music

from

MC Slomo
ToeJam
Captain
&
Playa

The Peach & Black Podcast is a non-profit digital media broadcast and is in no way affiliated with, in no way have any connection with, and are in no way endorsed or sponsored by Prince or any affiliated companies, or any other business interests Prince may hold, including any related sites currently owned by Prince. All views expressed are those of the podcast members and do not represent the views of Prince or those associated to Prince and / or affiliates in any way.

Don’t worry, we won’t hurt you….we only want you to have some fun….

I mean these dudes really know their shit, really!  I have found these Podcasts informative, educational, funny (tip O’ hat 2 “Captain” who is hilarious) and highly entertaining.  I’d go as far as to say, these Podcasts are the best things I’ve ever heard about Prince, ever!  These 4 guys really put a lot of work into these Podcasts and they’re always on point.  They completely understand Prince material and shed even greater and new light on it.  They’re very honest and critical about his work and they say it as it is and keep it 100% real.

If you’re into Prince or want to find out more about him, this is probably the best place to start to try to make sense of what his music is all about.

It is fascinating to hear them talk about each track on each album, floods of nostalgia come running back and you hear things about tracks that you share with them but which you always thought only you thought about that particular track. Then you learn a bunch of new mind-blowing stuff that had passed you by and which you never before picked up on. It is really magical listening to these Podcasts and more people should know about them worldwide.  This is the best place to go to hear about Prince related material bar none.

Here’s a few to get you started and a big thank you to the guys at the Podcast for their unwavering committment and dedication for all things Prince!  Long may it continue!

Etienne Jaumet – Metallik Cages (Acid Arab Rmx)

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Acid Arab are really taking Arabic fusion to the next level with a lot of their new productions as this new Remix testifies. It’s a trippy track that starts off in an eerie mood with 80’s vocoderism and gradually transforms into something really epic taking in a lot more 80’s flava with a sped up Prince Sign O’ Times sounding sample (before the infamous “oh yeah” kicks in) and eventually reaching classic Acid Arab territory.

It’s an epic journey!

Just pure class!

Prince – FUNKNROLL (Canblaster ReMIX)

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First time I’ve actually heard someone other than Prince make a Prince track better than the original.

Must confess, I wasn’t a huge fan of the original track, albeit, I am a HUGE Prince fan but this Canblaster Remix is something else!!!

How long it will stay up on Soundcloud is anybody’s guess.

PRINCE – I WANNA BE YOUR LOVER [Fenech Soler Cover]

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Would I be posting this if it wasn’t a Prince song, maybe not but it’s always interesting to hear another artist’s interpretation of his work. This is ok, it’s pretty good, well mainly average. Kinda strips away the soul & funkiness from the original and comes across as sounding like an XX track being produced by Nile Rodgers, which ain’t no bad thing.

Download via Mixmag.

“Fenech Soler have spent the last nine weeks stateside, holding down a weekly residency at The Echo in Los Angeles and during their time there, they’ve been playing out a cover that’s been raising some eyebrows for all the right reasons.

We’ve all heard ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’ by Prince but you probably won’t have heard the Fenech Soler version that effortlessly swaps the guitar licks for glitzy synths and mischievous bass-riffs. We’re really feeling this and the guys have given us the track as a free download.”

 

PRINCE & 3RD EYE GIRL : ART OFFICIAL AGE & PLECTRUM ELECTRUM [A Prince Celebration]

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This was a celebration of Prince that was originally published on Generation Bass on 5th October 2014.

A Musical Legend

Prince is the greatest living artist alive today, a musical genius and a legend of epic & enigmatic proportions.

He began his career as far back as 1975 and hit the heady heights during the 1980’s as one of the most essential artists there ever was. In the 80’s he was side by side with Michael Jackson and Madonna who also made their greatest marks during that decade. They were the Holy Trinity during that decade but Prince was something different, something special, something unique, something of the like we had never encountered before.

Unlike MJ & Madonna however, Prince played all of his own instruments, wrote all his own songs, he wrote songs for others too, produced his own albums, had a wider sound and explored multiple genres. He could be Rock God one minute, Funk Master the next, Soul legend one moment and Pop Impressario the moment after. He could dance and sing better than both of them and he was cooler too! In the 80’s Prince ruled the Universe!

When I thought about talking about his 2 new releases, I was at great pains to decide which approach to take. Do I stay totally objective and put aside my Prince obsession and not listen to the albums as a Prince obsessive but as an objective listener or do I write with a deep bias in favour of him as one of my all time favourite artists. I decided that I had to try to merge both approaches as I had to be honest with you and also with myself.

Dilemmas & Comfort Zones

So why the dilemma?

Well, it’s because Prince has not really recaptured the essence of the the kind that he exhibited throughout the 1980’s. After the 80’s he has delivered and it’s been a delivery of great quality but it’s been predictable and unsurprising albeit, it has been very welcomed and appreciated.

I think the problem, if there is one, and clearly I feel there is a bit of a one, is that whilst Prince has continued to make great music since the 80’s to present date, he’s been kind of stuck in the same groove and not being stuck in the same groove is what distinguished him and set him apart in the 1980’s. He has been stuck in his own comfort zone for far too long!

In the 1980’s Prince “innovated”, he surprised, he created new fusions, he was unpredictable, he was unclassifiable, he wowed and he blew our minds. He stopped doing that though and slipped into his own comfort zone. He still makes great music, his albums are still essential, he is still greatly appreciated and it is always a great joy when he brings out new work but he has stopped blowing our minds and he has stopped being innovative. His “unpredictability” was part of what blew our minds.

Paisley Park in the 80’s

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On 1999, the album that defined him as an intriguing and innovative artist, he was inspired by the New Wave/Romantic sounds of the UK and he blended this inspiration with Kraftwerk-like Electronica and fused it with Funk, Rock and Gospel. He created a new cocktail of sounds that we had not experienced before and he had one foot firmly in the Dance camp too. It was fresh, new, surprising and it blew our minds.

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He continued this with his Rock innovations on Purple Rain. A black American artist that appealed to a white commercial audience of the world whilst retaining a black underground following. Michael Jackson, for one, tried to emulate this later in his career. He had a black & white sound. His band had a Transnational and multi-gender look. He transcended colour & gender! He innovated by making one of the greatest rock movies ever known and one of the greatest soundtracks to boot. He looked different and sounded different. He even had the audacity to create a classic track without a hint of any bass (When Doves Cry) and that sounded like something you had never heard before. It was “Cutting-Edge”!!!

That cloud print suit form Rasberry beret vid

On Around the World in a Day, he continued the “experimentation” and surprised us even further when he delved in the sound of 60’s psychedelica, taking inspiration from the Beatles and the Hippy movement to create a utopian world that invited you into its universe. Once again, it was surprising; a departure from all that he had done previously. It was not a commercial success like the previous work but it still amazed you, hypnotized you and it made you wonder what on earth he would do next! You had no idea where he would go next. He kept you guessing!

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Parade was a soundtrack to another one of his movies and although it did not live up to the expectations and calibre of Purple Rain, the soundtrack was killer. Here he “experimented” with minimalist avant-garde funk grooves, created pop classics like “Kiss”. He demonstrated that he could write heart-breaking rock ballads like “Sometimes It Snows In April” and he surprised us all once again!

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Sign of the Times was an amalgamation of all these previous experimentations, where he honed and perfected the “Art” of the Prince sound. He developed a relevant, mature and insightful social commentary on the state of the world He created yet more mysteries and enigmas about himself and the music he created. Once again he astounded us with the unexpected.

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The Black Album, one of my favourite albums, showed us his darker side but once again, it was a revelation, a surprise, unexpected! I mean who expected ever to hear anything quite like “Bob George”! Who expected Prince to embrace Hip Hop! Who expected him to shelve the album at the very last minute!

Cutting-Edge

“Cutting-Edge” is what set Prince aside from the rest. That surprise and not knowing what he would do next. The experimentations with different sounds and styles that he fused all together to create something brand new, fresh, unique, unexpected, brilliant and cutting-edge.

That is what has been lost since the 1980’s. Prince has not lost any of his talent or magic but he has become predictable. He has limited himself within the confines of Western genres. Indeed, I feel that he has exhausted the Rock, Funk, Soul, Gospel and Dance cannon of predominantly Western sounds. He did it all in the 1980’s and after that he re-worked the same grooves, the same styles, albeit in new forms and in the shape of new songs but all of which sounded like extensions of things that he had previously done before.

I want, once again, to be wowed by Prince. I want, once again, not to know what is coming next. I want, once again, to be mind blown by innovative & cutting-edge creations. I want, once again, to feel that I don’t really know Prince at all. I want, once again, to be kept guessing!

Transnational Prince

Secretly, with these new albums, I was hoping that Prince would soak in some Transnational flava’s as opposed to staying Multi-National or Pro-Western and covering the same old Rock, Pop, Gospel, Blues, R&B, Funk and Soul grounds. That didn’t happen and so I was initially a little disappointed because I’d love to hear Prince put his own trademark on styles from Africa, South America, the East & Middle East and other parts of the world.

He has flirted with Transnational sounds in the past. The title track of “Around the World in a Day” and “The Cross” flirted with Indian sounds.

Just imagine for a second, him tackling more of that in the form of African Funk a la Fela Kuti style or broaching Saharan Blues like, or even with, Tinariwen. Imagine him putting some Tarraxo, Fodencia, Tarraxinha and Kuduro beats into his glorious soundscapes or even dabbling in some Afro House or Baile Funk, Reggaeton, Dancehall, Arabic Pop or even Chaabi. What if Prince tried experimenting with more Transnational Roots genres!!!

It would be educational for the world and Prince would be stretching himself further into the realms of unfamiliar musical territory and once again, regaining his legend. This could be exciting and a re-birth. One can only dream. I see this as one way forward for him to recapture that excitement of not knowing, of not being able to predict, of being wowed again. It would be sensational, fresh and new as Prince only does things in a completely unique way and I’m quite sure he could pull it off. Here’s to dreaming that one day that might just happen!

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New Releases

Saying all of that, any new Prince release will always be something exciting, something to look forward to, something that will guarantee quality and musical superiority, something that will always be appreciated by Prince followers and something we’ll always be grateful for. Something that will always be a gift as these 2 new albums are!

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ART OFFICAL AGE

Prince’s solo effort which is probably one of his finest albums since Musicology, Rainbow Children and 20Ten.

Art Official Cage

If you judge the albums on the opening track from his solo album then that would be a huge mistake because it’s the weakest track on both albums. A far more worthy and appropriate opener might have been Funk N Roll and so sequencing really needed some tweaking here. This opener track should have been relegated towards the middle somewhere or maybe even left out altogether.

This track starts out sounding like Euro House but this is supposed to be a Prince album and the first track doesn’t fill me with great confidence for the rest of the album. My heart kind of sinks. It doesn’t get any better as the track progresses with the “Woo’s” and the pretty mediocre rap half-way thru and then that dubsteppy break.

But there are some good things about the track, Prince’s vox and guitar stabs here and there and the way it ends. This track albeit sounding pretty current right now lacks timelessness and it will date in no time at all. Not the greatest start and the only dud track on both releases!

Clouds

”Clouds” partially restores my faith in Prince and confirms that the first track could have just been a blip of momentary and misjudged madness. However, Prince is entitled to try new things even though they might not work out and so all is forgiven. The “Classic” Prince is back on Clouds with his funky best. That girl with the English accent, who happens to be Lianne La Havas is pretty sexy too, well at least on a Prince record she is.

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Breakdown

“Breakdown” is one of the best things Prince has done for some time. I adore this track, it’s simply heartbreaking. Great melody, beautiful lyrics, exceptional falsetto by the main man and a classic in the making! That bass still sounds a little muffled though and I’m not sure why that is. One of the highlights nevertheless!

The Gold Standard

“The Gold Standard” starts in classic Black Album mould, percolating electro-funk style and I’m funkin’ babeeee! This track doesn’t break any new ground but travels some well trodden ground from the past Prince catalogue of Controversy (wild & rude); Black Album and the 1999 era. It’s a welcome return to that kind of vibe. Even Bob (ain’t that a bitch) George vox make a welcome return too on this track! All in all pretty FunkTastic is you’re a Prince-ite!

U Know

“U Know” is just some downright sexy biznizz. That piano loop reminds me of Erik Satie strangely enough. The melancholia of the piano chord is somehow transformed into something pretty erotic though, after all this is PRINCE! In actual fact that piano loop is a sample from a track called “Blinded” by Mila J. which also includes that sexy female “uh” that really seals this track and steals the show. This is a return to some of the best moments of his long and illustrious career of mainly highs and very, very few lows. In spite of what the critics say, there is no bad Prince album or song!

Breakfast Can Wait

You should already be familiar with “Breakfast Can Wait” as it came out a while back as a single with that hilarious David Chapelle cover. This is Prince on top Funk form with a killer bassline and glorious vocal harmonies and a real club flava to murder it on the dance floor. That high-pitched squeaky Prince party piece makes a welcome return too.

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This Could Be Us

Prince asks us if we’re ready on “This Could Be Us”, another ballad in the purple vein with a slightly early 80’s American soap feel punctuated by modern spacey atmospherics. It’s a track inspired by a meme of him and Apollonia riding on a motorcycle from Purple Rain. This fits in perfectly with the slew of ballads like “Slow Love” and “When 2 R in Love”.

So 7 tracks in and the only dud thus far was the album opener, not bad at all considering most albums are usually the other way around, more duds than decent tracks but not with Prince, quality is always assured as it’s beginning to show!

What it Feels Like

“What It Feels Like” sounds like it could have come from “Around the World in A Day” with its slightly psychedelic “Pop Life” vibe. But it’s more than psychedelic, it’s damn funky too. Those female backing vox bring back memories of Wendy & Lisa from The Revolution, one of Prince’s best ever bands. In fact the track is a duet between Prince and Andy Allo, Prince’s former guitarist with the NPG. Pure gorgeousness embodied within a few minutes of glorious Post Psy-Funk Cinematics. The album is really coming alive and it sounds like Prince is alive and enjoying his mini-renaissance.

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Affirmation I & II

“Affirmation I & II” bring back that sexy English accent courtesy of London’s Lianne La Havas and provide us with, well, affirmations such as “there are no such words as me or mine”!

Way Back Home

“Way Back Home” is the killer track on the album for me. It features another London lass, in addition to Lianne, Delilah adds backing vocals to this perfect track! This is why I have loved Prince for most of my life and why I have never ever lost faith in his genius because he makes music like this. Music that reaches your heart and makes you feel on top of the world and make you want to cry tears of joy. Prince says he is the happiest when he can see his way back home, well I’m happiest when Prince is making music like this again! Easily up there with Prince’s best ever tracks. This is Godly! On constant loop!

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Funk N Roll

Funk N Roll starts with an almighty fanfare of guitars and that infamous wild Prince scream before descending into Twerk territory with a bad ass riddim as Prince commands you to Funk N Roll. A really contemporary sounding track that might just light up the dance floors worldwide.

Time

“Time” is another soulful funk ballad in the same form as “Ballad of Dorothy Parker”; it sort of meanders and becomes progressively hypnotic and trance like. Simply, beautiful!

Affirmation III

“Affirmation III” is another highlight for me as it is essentially the orchestral version of “Way Back Home” as it contains the same guitar loops, vox and melodies but with the addition of a great orchestral sweep. Lianne is back asking the real Prince, “Mr Nelson”, how he’s feeling about the transformation into his new life. A great way to end the album as it makes you want to listen to the album all over again. And, naturally, you do immediately hit repeat!

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Plectrum Electrum

This album sees Prince fronting his new band 3rd Eye Girl with the USA’s Hannah Ford Welton on Drums, whose husband Joshua Welton produced “Art Official Age” and so bit of a family affair here.

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We have Canada’s Donna Grantis on guitar and Denmark’s Ida Nielsen on Bass. This is the same band who recently accompanied Prince on some of the best live shows we’ve ever experienced when he did his Hit & Run tour and lighted up the world’s stages reinforcing the claim that he is still the greatest showman on earth.

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This band is great too:

Hannah could be quite a match for all the great rock drummers. Bonzo et al.

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Donna is like a re-born Hendrix.

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Ida is sultry and could quite easily give Bootsy a run for his money!

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Prince has certainly surrounded himself with some of the best musicians on earth and it’s an exciting time again.

Wow

“Wow” starts the album and indeed it begins in pretty spectacular WoW! fashion. Sounding like something that the Black Crowes might have done during their hey-day but better, this is a brilliant opening and Prince sounds so damn fine in Rock voice! The band is tight and the sound & production is perfect!

Pretzelbodylogic

Moving on next to “Pretzelbodylogic” which begins with an acapella from the girls and man those girls can play! An AC/DC sounding riff kicks in and mayhem ensues. Prince is in fine voice recalling “Dance On” from Lovesexxy!

Ainturninaround

“Ainturninaround” actually reminds me of my fave Canadian prog rockers Rush combined with Black Sabbath riffs. Hannah, the brilliant and gorgeous drummer takes the lead vocals and she’s got a great voice too in addition to being a kick-ass drummer. She does in places replicate a kind of Geddy Lee vibe in her voice. That Rush connection is further reinforced with the pitched down voice towards the end that sounds like that mad computer voice at the end of 2112 “Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation. We have assumed control”!

Plectrum Electrum

The next track up is the title track and an edited version of this is the one that introduced us all to this new Prince project about 2 years ago when that video of the band jamming in the studio was despatched and excited the hell out of everybody. This is the band taking inspiration from Led Zeppelin and inevitable song comparisons rise with Zeppelin’s “The Ocean”. This is a band who knows how to rock the shit out of the entire universe and that Hendrixesque talking guitar part in the middle is just pure bliss! This is how rock bands ought to sound!

Brittany Howard

At this juncture, thoughts start racing through my mind like “wouldn’t it have been great if Prince would have got a guest vocal from Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes!!!”

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Whitecaps

“Whitecaps” is up next and starts in a 70’s Santana mode with the spiritual/mystical sounding crashing symbols. Hannah takes lead vocals again and boy she sounds like Joni Mitchell on this track. That bass still reminds me of the best of Geddy Lee & Rush. A really beautiful song!

Fixurlifeup

“Fixurlifeup” is another track that’s been out for a while and that intro always reminds me of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” but thankfully it doesn’t stay sounding like it as Prince’s voice bobbles over a great bassline and the girls join in on backing vox. The bridge in the middle gives Prince a chance to resurrect his “Controversy” days when he tells us

“Don’t worry about what the crowd does
Just worry about being good at what you love
Don’t make this complicated
You know it’s true
Don’t make us put somebody else in for you”

Boytrouble

“Boytrouble” is the funky track on the album. It features a lead rap by Minneapolis-based rapper Lizzo and someone called Sophia Eris. It’s a cool break from the more rock oriented stuff demonstrating that this band can funk it up there with the best.

Stopthistrain

“Stopthistrain” shares hues with that awesome and vastly underrated Prince B-side “Girl”. It has Prince resuming vocal duties but with Hannah taking the lead. Not only is she gorgeous and a great drummer but she also has a great voice. She can turn from being a Rock Goddess into a sensitive bohemian type to an R&B sensation. Another gorgeous track and the diversity of this band are on full show now.

Anotherlove

“Anotherlove” has Prince back on lead vocals and it’s easily a track that would not have seemed out of place on the brilliant Musicology album. It’s catchy and the chorus is sublime! It’s the only track on the album though that he wasn’t involved in writing as it’s been adapted from a track by Alice Smith of the same title. The Prince adaptation is far superior though as he turns it into a blues based cry-a-thon!

Tictactoe

“Tictatoe” is a really feel good track in the same way that “I Wish You Heaven” was a sublime piece of pop-heaven. There are shades of that track and also the utopian lyricism of “Paisley Park”. This one makes my heart feel alive and gushy!

Marz

“Marz” is the shortest track on the album coming in at 1:48. It’s the most Punk-ish track on the album too starting off like a Sex Pistols track. But Prince is a far superior vocal talent to Johnny Rotten, even in Punk-ish mode! This is a track that sounds like The Sex Pistols being able to play their instruments properly!

Funk N Roll

The album ends with an alternate version of “FunkNRoll”. I much prefer the version on Art Official Age. The version on this album treads the “Delirious” and “No More Candy” sound but it is a fitting finale!

Screwdriver

Why was this track not included on the album? It really beggars belief because it is an astounding track.

2 Great Albums

All in all then 2 of the best & essential albums you’re likely to hear this year. They get better with each new listen and they’re the kind of albums that will grow old gracefully. Even though Prince stuck to the same grooves, he managed to pull it off with aplomb as these 2 albums are probably his most cohesive and consistent work for quite some time.

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A Plea to Prince

This is my plea to you Prince, please experiment once again!

Prince rarely disappoints but after the 80’s he rarely does anything totally unexpected anymore!

Prince, emancipate yourself from the shackles that keep you locked to the same groove, break away and experiment and be cutting-edge once again. Keep your audience guessing and keep them riveted to their seats! It could be just like it use to be in the 1980’s when you once ruled the world!

BTW, Prince, you still rule my world!