It's been over twenty years since the Prince had his last really big hit with "The most beautiful girl in the world", after that, he found it difficult to climb the charts. His dissatisfaction with the Warner record company escalated in the early 90s, which led him to write "Slave" on his cheek and in 1996 was lost after the contract. Without the commercial whip he was making liberal funk in peace, which resulted in the end he became the most concern of his own fan club. Eighteen years later, he is now back to Warner, and that he celebrates by releasing two albums on the same day.
"Art official age", however, is the album that we should turn our ears towards, the other recorded "Plectrumelectrum", with the band 3rdEyeGirl, is more in line with the funk-rock phase-out of himself that he spent the last two decades for.
The opening title track, "Art official age", is only a minor surprise, he seems to have tried to update his sound in a way that is not worthy of this 56-year-old. The intro sounds like an ominous Swedish House Mafia-build up, but pretty soon he finds back to his own 80. Sure, there are several parties that should have been deleted, including dubstep flirt, but apart from these, it is something of a Prince version of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky". A song title like "Funk Roll" never bodes well, and some may question the relevance of that on "The Gold Standard" sound like Roger Troutman Zapp 2014.
But it's a nice comeback and strength lies in the ballads, or that they really should be called, slow jamz. On songs like "Breakfast can wait," "What it feels like", "Breakdown", and a little faster, "Clouds", he is back in the form he was in during the early 90s. Even then, he celebrated 25 years as an artist, and to request that someone runs his musical relevance far beyond that is to wear blinders. For about the same time it was rather an artist, Moodymann, who began managing the Prince heritage better than Prince himself could do.
The title of the second album, "Pletrumelectrum" is appealing, this is something for the men who worked up over funk rock experiments, a genre that Prince has indeed attracted by all these years, but the more he has avoided this hobby, the better it has sounded. Again, it is the quieter portions that are preferable, such as the soft "Stop This Train", but the rest is a painful funk jamming where guitar overshadows base. "Art official age" however, is a reminder that he once was the greatest.