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Josh Hurst

Prince - Plectrum Electrum

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Following his (hysterical and brilliant) turn on 'The New Girl,' Prince has released a new single with Zooey Deschanel on vocals-- supposedly from his upcoming album, Plectrum Eelctrum. You can hear the whole thing here.

 

There's another new single, "Pretzelbodylogic," on Spotify; both songs are quite good, I think, not as visionary or as freaky as his best work but at least as good as anything he's made this century. They give me heart that he's making something of a return to form.

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While Plectrum Electrum is being attributed to Prince's new group 3rdEyeGirl, he is apparently preparing a new, truly solo album, as well.

Edited by Josh Hurst

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Two new albums coming next month-- and here's "Clouds," a pretty good new single.

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Seeing the news of Prince's upcoming return to the SNL stage reminds me: His two new albums, Art Official Age and Plectrum Electrum are both out now, and both good; neither are anywhere near as good as his classic work, but then, both are more appealing than Lotus Flower or 20TEN, and Art Official Age compares favorably to Planet Earth or Musicology.

 

There's a line in ?uestlove's memoir about how Prince hasn't surprised anyone since "Housequake," and the new albums don't disprove that; he's lost his explorer's zeal but replaced it with the skill and precision of a great craftsman. Art Official Age is a straight R&B album, heavy on slow jams and offering a bit of the lyrical weirdness that's been missing from recent Prince albums, right down to a vague sci-fi concept. Plectrum Electrum is a rock album, and is less developed, but it does sound appreciably different from any other Prince record and it does have some great guitar work.

 

One wonders if combining the best compositions from each album into one solid set might have generated a more dynamic, multi-dimensional album-- but there's definitely much to love about both sets, and if Prince isn't surprising anymore, he at least sounds engaged.

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We should probably note that Prince died Thursday. I'll be honest--as a white, functionally middle-class son of a Southern Baptist preacher I had little exposure--if any--to Prince's stuff at the age where it would have made any impact on me (heck, I only started listening to Bowie in college). So now I'm doing that thing I do when well-known people with whom I'm unfamiliar die--I'm trying to catch up. So I'm listening to Purple Rain. I'm also reading up on his work at Pitchfork--most notably this piece from 2015 on Dirty Mind and this newer article on his androgynous style.

really wish I had gotten to Prince sooner, but I guess it's better late than never. 

Here's a video of Prince's Super Bowl performance with commentary. "Can you make it rain harder?":

EDIT: Oh, man. This popped up on my Facebook feed just after I posted here, and I can identify:

 

Quote

After a decade-plus of adult life on my own, I've learned to blend in, to laugh off the references I don't get, to shake off the embarrassment about not really knowing much about evolution or falling silent when friends swap prom stories (no dancing at my high school). But this week brought back some of the old feelings of isolation that I first felt in the workplace, or around peers from outside my evangelical cocoon – a sense of being out of place, and maybe, not quite right.

 

All of this, though I did eventually get to Bowie and was hit pretty hard when he died.

EDIT EDIT: The Atlantic rounds up some of the pieces coming out (along with some non-Prince-related stuff).

Edited by NBooth

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I've been on a Prince journey myself, finding some real gems in his huge catalog

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I've been doing some digging as well. The man could rock a 12" remix like no other.

I've been amazed at how many conservative evangelicals have been confessing their love for Prince! Sure, they might try to make his life a cautionary tale or offer the standard disclaimers about sexual deviancy, etc, but it's kind of cool to see these stodgy types praising his artistry. A couple that popped up in my Facebook feed:

http://erlc.com/article/prince-dont-die-without-knowing-the-cross

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/like-any-prince

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