Musicology (2004)


  
1. Musicology 2. Illusion, Coma, Pimp & Circumstance 3. A Million Days 4. Life O' the Party 5. Call My Name 6. Cinnamon Girl 7. What Do U Want Me 2 Do? 8. The Marrying Kind 9. If Eye Was the Man in Ur Life 10.On the Couch 11.Dear Mr. Man 12.Reflection

 

A move that everyone was hoping for finally happened. Prince finally got back to sounding like his old, successful self. Sure, most artists that “experiment” with different directions eventually come back to the fold, but with this guy, you never really knew for sure what would be next on his creative agenda.

The last decade was definitely a strange one. Lawsuits, box sets, music only available by mail, music inspired by his conversion to a Jehovah’s Witness, old packages finally seeing the light of day, and on and on and on. Sadly, most of this stuff wasn’t that good, and it didn’t help that there was, well, quite a lot of it. Fortunately, this record harks back to the glory years.

Of course, when defining “glory years” for someone like Prince is a tad broad. There were many glory years, and not all of his music sounded the same from 1980 through 1992. This record is a much calmer affair. He’s not going back to his early twenties electro-funk-reign-of-purple, yet he’s more aligned with his toned down grown up stuff from the late 80s/early 90s. This record, if you had to choose one that it resembles, might be mostly akin to Diamonds and Pearls than anything else.

That’s not to say this is all soft and adult contemporary. But when he does party down on tracks such as Life O’ the Party and Illusion, Coma, Pimp and Circumstance he definitely sounds his age. This might be why the ballads on this disc such as What Do U Want Me 2 Do and A Million Days come across as the strongest things here.

To be fair, the second half of the disc isn’t as strong as the first, but it’s clear that this is definitely a return to form Prince record, and he’s definitely sounding like the artist that everyone fell in love with several years back. It also sounds very lightly labored. One can’t help but feel as though he could have been making records like this all along if he wanted. Most were hoping he would continue with this “backwards” direction.

A very pleasant return to form.

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