Wednesday, February 08, 2006

New music by Prince (Llama)

Everyone knows I'm a big Prince fan... no suprise there. Prince had a bit of comeback in 2004 with the album "Musicology" and the 20th anniversery of Purble Rain. He had a couple of notable TV appearances and the top selling concert tour of the year. Though "Musicology" has its moments, most Prince fans, myself included, consider it a fairly weak album; "The Rainbow Children" came out in 2002 is much, much more interesting, but the absence of a strong single and the controversial religious lyrics meant that it never found a wide audience.

Prince has always been someone that can produce music in a wide variety of formats. His music travels between funk, r & b, rock, blues, and jazz. The album generally considered his masterpiece is "Sign O' The Times", an eclectic double album that covers all of these pop styles, sometimes within the same song. This diversity in music means that he can attract many different types of music fans; his embrace of Rock on Purple Rain helped him cross over to white audiences and cemented his place in pantheon of top 80's pop stars.

Now he has a new album coming out in March called "3121". There have been 4 tracks that have made it out into the public domain so far, and everyone in the fan community is getting really stoked. It sounds like it could be a very strong album. The 4 tracks are all completely different from each other. "Te Amo Corazon" is a slow ballad set against a latin beat - it has been released to jazz radio stations. "Black Sweat" is a funk tune that uses only electronic instruments; it sounds something like a cross between early 90's west coast hip hop and mid 80's prince dance funk; it is being released to pop and r and b stations. "Beautiful Loved and Blessed" (my personal favorite) is a fairly conventional sounding mid-tempo r and b joint but with a very catchy melody and uplifting lyrics; it is a duet with his newest "protege". It is being released to adult contempory and r & b stations. Finally "Fury" is a Hendrix-esque rocker that Prince debut'd on SNL this week that has the whole net buzzing; the amount of positive talk about this song is staggering - unfortunately it's not currently a single and so it's a bit of a lost opportunity.

Leave it to Prince, though, to have 3 songs released as singles simultaneously.

Chances are none of these will become massive hits; Prince just doesn't have the charting power that he use to. If Fury is released as a single it has chance, but who knows. These songs, though, are perfect examples of why I am a fan. They are diverse, musically complex (except "Black Sweat", which is minimalistic), simultaneously sexual and spiritual. I recommend that you check them out. Probably the most accessible one is "Beautiful Loved and Blessed", so I would start there.

If you want to hear snippets of the three singles and/or download them, go to www.npgmusicclub.com. I think ITunes has them also, but I don't know if ITunes lets you hear snippets of the tunes like NPGMusicClub does.

Thupt!

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