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A new Prince album this week

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FYI. Billboard reports the premiere of a new Prince studio album.

Prince will unveil a new studio album, “N.E.W.S.,” on Thursday (June 19) to members of his NPG Music Club Web site. It is not known if the set will be made available to traditional retail outlets. The disc features four songs — “North,” “East” “West” and “South” — each of which is 14 minutes long. NPG members can also preview three songs from the DVD “Prince Live at the Aladdin Las Vegas,” due later this year.

“N.E.W.S.” is Prince’s first studio release since “The Rainbow Children,” which in December 2001 hit No. 4 on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart and No. 109 on The Billboard 200. The album was made available in stores via a distribution deal with Best Buy’s now-defunct Redline label.

More than a decade past his last worthy album (the symbol record, with “7”), a classic recording is too much to hope for. I just hope it’s better than the unlistenable and pretentious Rainbow Children album, with the ridiculous electronically altered spoken word religious mutterings.

PS I note numerous cheap used copies of the symbol album, less than $2, at Amazon. If you don’t have it, you should BUY IT NOW.

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  • http://www.citizenkeith.com Citizen Keith

    “N.E.W.S.” will be an all-instrumental album. The clip I heard at http://www.npgmc.com sounds pretty cool, but it’s hard to gauge this type of thing. All I want is a LOT of guitar solos!

    IMHO the “symbol album” is over-rated. You’re better off checking out “The Gold Experience” for good 90s Prince. That said, he hasn’t been the same since the masterpiece “Lovesexy.”

  • zyg

    princes last cd the rainbow children was in my view the best thing he’s done since Gold.admittedly the low voice ramblings spoil what is a superb work of jazzfunk.he’s gotta get a decent producer to keep him in check!

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Actually, I’ve been listening to The Rainbow Children again since I wrote this. I was probably misunderestimating the album. The spoken word nonsense is just absolutely a drag on the record. However, there are a least a couple of standout songs, notably “Muse to the Pharoh” (an especially cool song title), and “The Work.”

    Also, I note used CDs available at Amazon for less than 4 bucks. It’s definitely worth that.

    No doubt Lovesexy was a peak album for him, but the Graffiti Bridge album was close, what with “Joy in Repitition” and “Tick, Tick, Bang”- let alone the hits, “Thieves in the Temple” and “Round and Round.” Some days, I’d take it over Lovesexy.

  • http://gratefuldread.net/fando/ Natalie

    Love Lovesexy, Graffiti Bridge, and the symbol LP, and tehre is much on Rainbow Children I appreciate. But for me, Purple Rain is the classic Prince album. And his early single, “I Wanna Be Your Lover” is simply great funk-pop.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Prince had a heller streak where he could do no wrong. You’d be hard pressed to find even ONE weak cut on anything from Purple Rain really pretty much all the way through to Graffiti Bridge. That’s something like eight consecutive out-of-the-park homeruns- not to discount much other outstanding work before and since.

  • Eric Olsen

    I fear I see Prince as primarily a singles artist because of the self-indulgent nonsense present on all of his albums, even Purple Rain, other than 1999. There are many, many great songs, amazing performances, shocking variety, but almost always with foolishness betwixt and between.

  • http://gratefuldread.net/fando/ Natalie

    Rock ‘n roll has to have a little foolishness and/or self-indulgence by definition, I think. :)

    But you make a good point, Eric. Prince is a better singles artist.

  • Terrell

    I really hope Prince gets a major record deal again, soon. Prince is much too talented to waste years being underproducted with substandered distribution. Bring the Purple back to the music industry!

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Prince doesn’t have a major label deal only because he does not WANT one. He has owned his own studio for many years, and his recordings are not underproduced. They may be undermarketed, but that’s a different issue.

    The biggest problem has been that his recent records just haven’t been that good. He did some serious damage to his reputation with all the stupid “slave” and name-changing crap, so that gives him another little self-imposed hurdle to jump in re-gaining hit making status.

    If he made another song as good as “Kiss” or “Raspberry Beret” though, it’d be a slam dunk.

  • Eric Olsen

    Yes Al, production is no longer the indie artist stumbling block, it’s still marketing, and even a name like Prince needs the starmaking machinery behind him, or something like it.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Yes Eric, but 1)Prince does not WANT a major label machine, or he could perfectly well have it. 2)The marketing machinery won’t do you much good if you don’t have a record that the public will want. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.

  • Eric Olsen

    no argument about lack of substance, but I think he very much wants the starmaking machinery, just not the restrictions that go with it

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Those restrictions are negotiable, certainly to someone of Prince’s stature. He COULD just hire some of the promoters and PR folk without even signing with a major label.

    I understand about lesser known acts bellyaching about the record industry. As it regards Prince, however, the ball is unquestionably in HIS own royal court.

  • Eric Olsen

    Okay

  • Joel Martin

    blouses win!