(Between you and me, I’m secretly happy that you are in fact still reading this :))
Since completing the review of ‘Art Official Age’ for the site recently, I’ve come to the realization that reviews of Prince albums over the last 15-20 years really tend to fall into two categories: people that relegate Prince’s only worthy output from 1978-1988, and people who tediously declare any release as a ‘return to form’ or ‘his best in years’. One notable reviewer described ‘Art Official Age’ as his best record in ten years. For my money, neither of the aforementioned reviews are correct. ‘3121’, released in 2006 and led by the infectious funk number, ‘Black Sweat’, was an incredible release; ‘Lotusflow3r’, released in 2010, again widely well-received and noteworthy for Prince’s indelible guitar work. For some reason, there’s an element of surprise if people like a new Prince record and it’s probably about time we move on from that.
As we discussed in the ‘Art Official Age’ review, ‘PlectrumElectrum’ – probably released a year later than everyone had expected – has seen several of its ‘Purple Rain’-esque, rockier style of songs released online within that time, and it’s those heavy guitars and sing-along choruses that this album presents here as well – it’s stadium music captured expertly through songs like ‘Fixurlifeup’ and ‘Pretzelbodylogic’, but it’s very much ‘Anotherlove’ that steals the show here (an excellent cover of the equally excellent Alice Smith tune from 2013). 3rdEyeGirl comprises of guitarist Donna Grantis, bassist Ida Nielsen and drummer Hannah Ford Welton, who also doubles as the album’s lead vocalist along with Prince, excelling on songs like ‘Whitecaps’ and ‘LOL (Live Out Loud)’, which is another song unfortunately not included here but still available online.
‘PlectrumElectrum’ and ‘Art Official Age’ – landmark albums for Prince & Co. and hopefully through the renewed relationship with Warner Bros, we’ll get more music from this foursome in due time. So remember, these albums are not to be ignored because they fall out of Prince’s golden period, and neither should they be hailed as the only good releases in the last ten years… they’re just really good Prince albums.