Prince — Art Official Age/Plectrum Electrum 6.5/5.0

PRINCE

Prince
Art Official Age/Plectrum Electrum
Warner Brothers

Despite not having released an album of any real significance in more than two decades, Prince is still way above reproach. Anyone breathing air in the 1980s knows why; his dominance of that decade coming through force of will, breadth of talent and a brash fearlessness. The impact of those recordings lives in contemporary artists like Frank Ocean and Dev Hynes, themselves chameleons of art and sound — purple progeny, you might say. Prince’s albums since then have dimmed considerably, these latest two included. I suppose Art Official Age is the better one, a heavily processed collection of pick-up lines that sounds like Prince doing a computerized P-Funk impersonation. It’s all pretty cheeky. He remains a top-of-the-bucket-list live performer, but his creative apex seems further and further away with each new release. All due respect. —Andrew Watson

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