Artist: Prince
Album: Art Official Age

So I finally got my hands on Prince’s two new albums. As you know, Prince released a solo album “Art Official Age”, while the other album, “Plectrum Electrum” is a collaborative effort with his 3 piece all girl band “3RD Eye Girl”.

Shortly after buying “Plectrum Electrum” I forgot it in my woman’s car. Which in hindsight may have been a good thing as it allowed me to spend time (so to speak) with the solo album “Art Official Age”.

I have to be honest, apart from tracks that will be discussed later, I found “Art Official Age” to be lukewarm at best. It’s too safe, in my view. If you listen to 2004’s “Musicology” album, it was radio friendly but nowhere near superficial. Prince, in my view had difficulty striking that balance on this record.

I shall confine myself to the tracks that I did in fact unreservedly enjoy:

TIME” - An instant stand out for me! It’s a duet with protégé Andy Allo. I knew when I played it multiple times last night that it would be exalted to one of my favourite Prince cuts of all time. I love how those bass slaps are almost imposing themselves on Prince’s vocals towards the end. I’ve said many times that I prefer Prince’s chest voice over his falsetto. He ALWAYS takes it to the church when singing in his chest voice. He sings, rather shamelessly to Andy Allo: “ I’m tired of playing hard to get with an animal half my age.” I told you all Prince and Andy Allo are/were an item, those lyrics are a dead give-away. lol

THE GOLD STANDARD” – This joint is quintessential Prince! Greasy rhythm guitar and bass licks, complete with catchy horn riffs. It took me back to 1981. I’d love to see him splice his guitar to this one live.

BREAKFAST CAN WAIT” – The slight similarity in melody between this song and “Clouds” still did not deter me! I love this song. I can’t get over that sweet bass groove.

I can’t wait to listen to the “Plectrum Electrum” album. Will let you have my views on it as well.

- Bongani Mdakane

(Self procclaimed biggest Prince Fan & follower, this side of everywhere. )