Prince’s new LP a rough ride

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The pop star has written over hundreds of songs and seems unstoppable.
Prince is back again

By Dakota Palmer
Staff Writer/Spectator

With 38 years of making music, 34 albums, plenty of award nominations and wins and even four movies under his belt, one would think Prince would be tired of the music industry. Think again.

Prince is back with a new album, and this one is certainly different from the other 33. Prince’s new album, “Art Official Age,” has a mix of quite a few different genres: rock and roll, dubstep, rap, hip-hop, jazz and disco. This variety definitely makes for an eclectic, yet underwhelming album.

Although the album contains songs that very much differ from some of his earlier hits, such as “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry,” “Sign ‘O’ The Times,” or “Raspberry Beret,” it still has some songs that consist of that classic Prince sound.

The “Art Official Age” songs “Clouds,” “What It Feels Like” and especially “Gold Standard” maintain the old Prince sound that made his hits come alive in the twentieth century. These songs, with the exception of the latter, all are slow and sensual; their soft, melodic beats are assuredly a contrast to the upbeat, hip, rap songs that are on the rest of the album.

The album starts off with a near title track, “Art Official Cage,” which is an upbeat, fast paced techno song. This modern track is arguably the best of the album; this is mainly due to the fast tempo and rap break in the middle. It makes the song very interesting to listen to, and its sound fairly closely resembles that of a Lady Gaga song.

Toward the middle of the album is “The Gold Standard,” a funky, disco song that channels some of Prince’s older work. Between the awesome guitar riffs, the synthesizer, the bumping bass line, the saxophones and fun lyrics such as, “The gold standard/ crazy amazing’/turn it up and let your body move,” this song has the ability to make absolutely everyone in the room get on their feet and dance.

Another good song is “Funk-N-Roll.” This song is more modern than the other ones and has a contemporary rap beat. However, it also features some classic Prince Guitar riffs. It is pretty impossible to not jam out to this song, or at least tap a foot along to the beat.

Those three songs are undoubtedly the best on the album. Unfortunately, the album has 13 tracks…and only three of them are really good. Overall, I would rate the album as a solid four out of ten and that is being generous.

Prince’s music is surely an acquired taste, but this album takes a lot of patience to even get through once. It seems as though Prince is trying too hard to make a comeback, so it looks like this album is a “Sign ‘O’ The Times” that Prince’s musical reign is over.  

Dakota Palmer is the staff writer for The Spectator. She can be reached by