With Prince being the amazing musician and talent that he is, the mundane and decent typically equates to a disappointment amongst his fans. With the announcement of Lotusflow3r, three albums worth of new material, legions of Prince fans were psyched. There was the potential for either an amazing experiment in music (queue memories of the classic Sign O’ The Times) or a whole bunch of decent but potentially forgettable Prince songs to add to the long list of others.
As more information was released to the die-hard fans, a new official website (www.lotusflow3r.com) popped up with promises of great content and exclusive videos and material. Prince even did a few interviews and TV appearances to perform parts of the album. He also leaked a few of the tracks out for preview promising a return to "the axe" as well as a return to the classic Minnesota sound.
Two of the three tracks released early included a cover of the Tommy James & The Shondells classic, "Crimson & Clover," and an original, "Colonized Mind." Performed at a concert held for an LA radio show, Prince showcased these energetic rock songs with some memorable, bluesy guitar solos that could stand up to a number of his past classic efforts. While he rendered "Crimson & Clover" in a way both sweet and sweeping, he played the latter as a haunting blues song that warned of placing too much faith into governments that seem to value wealth over spiritual law. The response and buzz over this quick taste was high with a typical dose of "but we've been disappointed before." The stage was set for another return to the hearts of his faithful with a possible tour to end all tours!
As the veil was removed and Target was given exclusivity to the sale of the album, his followers bore witness to the guitar solo heavy Lotusflow3r, the drum machine plagued MPLSound, and the completely surprising new vocalist Bria Valente and her debut/linked release, Elixer. Stunned and shocked, fans still went out in droves and pushed the release up the charts to peak at Number Two in the US with almost 170,000 in sales. Though the sales hinted at a hit, the reality was not quite the same.