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Prince: The Return of the Purple Yoda.

After an 18 year old feud “The Purple Yoda from Minnesota “returns home to Warner Bros. Records, and in classic Prince fashion releases not one, but two albums this week.

Art Official Age (A.O.A.)

Labelled as a solo record, A.O.A., is mostly made up of slow to mid tempo pop, funk, soul and rnb tunes. The songs are based loosely around the concept of Prince being woken up forty five years in the future. But don’t be afraid of the “concept” portion, it is delivered in short segues and does not take anything away from the songs or the listening pleasure of the album.

A.O.A. is a virtual assault on your ears from the get go. Prince knows his way around the studio, and it shows in this latest release. The album sounds fresh, crisp and clear and he uses today’s technology to enhance the mood of the songs.

There are some weak tracks but overall Prince is focused and having fun.

Plectrumelectrum

Plectrumelectrum is made up of Prince and his all-girl band called 3RDEYEGIRL, which he has been touring with for almost two years.

This second album for the most part is a 360 from A.O.A, forsaking the technology used in A.O.A in favor of a more “live” feel. The album is a bombastic guitar driven affair where Prince has rediscovered his inner Hendrix.

The members of 3REDEYEGIRL (Ida Neilson, Hannah Ford and Donna Grantis) really compliment and push Prince to a swagger that has been missing in his more recent releases. The only issue that I have on Plectrumelectrum is that Prince does not sing all the songs.

The Verdict

Returning to Warner Bros. records Prince has really tightened up his game, with these two albums. There are some great songs …maybe even some modern day classics…but only time will tell.

Each album has something to offer, and with over thirty albums under his belt it is reassuring that Prince still has that “magic” and can deliver the goods.

Prince has not been this consistent and focused in a long time, so with two great records out, it makes for a win-win situation for Prince and music fans alike.

Standout Tracks

Art Official Age: Clouds, Breakdown, Breakfast Can Wait, Art Official Age, Funknroll, The Gold Standard and Time.

Plectrumelectrum: Wow, Pretzelbodylogic, Whitecaps, Fixurlifeup, Anotherlove and Funknroll (3RDEYEGIRL vers.).

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