3121 (2006)

1. 3121 2. Lolita 3. Te Amo Corazon 4. Black Sweat 5. Incense and Candles 6. Love 7. Satisfied 8. Fury 9. The World 10.Beautiful, Loved and Blessed 11.The Dance 12.Get on the Boat


Supposedly, one is looked at as a “continuation” of the hot streak he established on his last record, 2004’s comeback album Musicology. I don’t quite get it. My feelings toward this release are rather lukewarm. The music is solid, yet far from spectacular. Although it definitely has some high points scattered about, the album simply bores me as a whole.

Since the guy is such a professional musician, you can’t argue that anything on this record his bad. Nor can you say that he’s experimenting with weirdness that he’s dabbled in throughout his career. This record plays it safe, yet it’s simply too safe for my tastes. The songs are mostly pleasant, yet for the most part, there isn’t anything on this record that lights the listener on fire. There are plenty of instances where it sounds as though if the production had been a bit better, the songs would have resonated much stronger. Songs such as Black Sweat and Fury, for example, sound as though they could have been killer songs had some simple elements been added in the recording studio, but for whatever reason, the production is scaled back so much that these songs sound merely “o.k.”.

There are a couple of high points. Lolita is rather daring which some great hooks and effects, as is the track Love. Once we get past these two songs, though, most of everything else here is quite forgettable. I must confess that it’s too easy for me to tune the whole album out after about ¾ of the way through. By the time I get to the album’s closer, the monotonous six-plus-minute track Get on the Bus, my ears have simply had enough.

Most would disagree with me, however. True, Prince wasn’t burning up the charts anymore, and no matter how well he was received by the legions of old fans, he was never quite the sensation as he once was. Most diehards are o.k. with that as long as the artist that they adore is putting out great music. Most would say he met that objective with this one, but sadly it left be a tad underwhelmed. It’s a solid record, but a far cry from the artist of old. At least in my opinion.

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