It’s Prince. You all know who he is. You all know what he’s done in his long and at times “crazy-amazing” music career. By now you either love all of Prince’s music, hate it or a bit of both.
So I guess you already know that four years since the last, Prince has recently released two new albums on the same day?
Plectrumelectrum with 3rdEyeGirl…
…and solo creation Art Official Age, which Prince opens with these words:
“Welcome home class. We’ve come a long way.”
Art Official Age
I suspect that whichever Prince camp you find yourself in (I’m in the ‘love some, hate some but appreciate every sound made by Prince’ camp), Art Official Age will probably keep you there.
Throughout the album you’ll find the usual Prince staples you’re into or you’re not, and then some: musically-sublime slow-jams with corny lyrics, faster grooves to get down to, distinctly ‘Prince’ falsetto and distorted vocals, funky bass lines, synths; and the flavours of pop, rock, funk, r&b, and then some hip hop and edm moments. It’s Prince.
Prince’s Gold Standards
Apart from lyrical themes around love, desire, beavers for breakfast and how to treat a woman well, Art Official Age is an album with humorously scathing (and ultimately true) commentary on the artificial state of our modern world.
“There used to be a time when music was a spiritual healing 4 the body, soul, & mind …”
In ‘The Gold Standard’ Prince speaks critically of the shallow state of the music industry and the artists and music produced therein. He does so with his always-soulful vocals over funky “crazy-amazing” music that meets the shiniest of gold standards he sings about.
‘The Gold Standard’ – Art Official Age - Prince
Other lyrics on Art Official Age, including the spoken word interludes (and dreamy vocals) by Lianne La Havas throughout the album, take a critical look at the disconnection between humans and from ourselves in a fast-paced, pressing, individualistic world where people’s lives are lived on phones, computers, social media and the like.
‘Clouds’ – Art Official Age - Prince
So as well as us loving each other up in person, one of Prince’s main remedies for it all is found here…
“I don’t really care what ya’ll’ been doin”…
“Put your phone down, get ya party on”…
“Get into the rhythm, it’s good for the soul”…
Let’s funk. Let’s roll.“
‘Funknroll’ – Art Official Age - Prince
We could all use some of Prince’s remedies, right?
If you want the uncompressed musical ones in your hands and your music collection forever-after, you can no doubt find Prince on vinyl or (at least) cd in your local independent record store. True story.
So I wanna hear from the ones who find Art Official Age and listen to the slow jams on it…are you feelin’ D’Angelo?