Combined Thoughts: Prince’s ‘Art Official Age’ and ‘PLECTRUMELECTRUM’ 

So as well all know (particularly hardcore Prince fans) that the Purple One released not just one, but TWO albums at the end of September. Sure, Art Official Age was the album expected to be Prince’s bread and butter, but after listening to his collaborative effort with 3RDEYEGIRL, PLECTRUMELECTRUM shouldn’t be written off in the least. That said, had Prince somehow combined the two separate entities into one, which songs make the cut from each album?

Art Official Age

Prince, ART OFFICIAL AGE © Warner Bros

Let’s start with the main course, Art Official Age. 13 tracks deep, while it is a solid listen throughout its course, there are some clear-cut highlights. While opener “Art Official Cage” is captivating, we’ll toss it for this combination/compilation effort. “Clouds” and “Breakdown” would easily make the cut, if for no other reason than their familiarity being released ahead of the album. “Breakdown” gives Prince a top-notch ballad showing off his vocal versatility by all means.

Continuing on, “The Gold Standard” is sound, but another pre-release would probably get the nod over it with “U Know.” Following the slick cut would be the one-two punch of “Breakfast Can Wait” and its even better half, “This Could Be Us.” Then feelings get hurt as “What It Feels Like,” “affirmation I & II,” and “Way Back Home” find themselves on the wrong side of the bubble…whoops that’s basketball… similar situation though! “Funknroll” would be the final joint selected for the compilation, hence leaving “Time” and “affirmation III” out in the dark.

Picks: “Clouds,” “Breakdown,” “U Know,” “Breakfast Can Wait,” “This Could Be Us” & “Funknroll.”



On to PLECTRUMELECTRUM! The first two songs would easily make the cut in six-eight burner “Wow” and the funky, guitar-happy “Pretzelbodylogic” which is addictive as, well you know. “Aintturninaround” is the first song that doesn’t feature Prince’s lead, and while it is enjoyable, we’ll omit it. We’ll do the same for the strong instrumental title track, but not without some back and forth.

“White Caps” is oh so close, but it doesn’t get axed because Prince takes a background role, promise! “Fixurlifeup” does get a nod, as does the pretty Prince-less “Boytrouble,” which has the Purple One’s creative touch all over it. “Stopthistrain” misses the cut, partially because there are equally/if not more capable urban cuts similar to it from Art Official Age. Don’t write it off in the least!

“Anotherlove” wins a spot easily, showing the full range of dynamics over its sick course.   Neither “Tictactoe” or “Marz” receive the same love or affection, but a more funk-rock oriented take on “Funknroll” that contrasts the version from Art Official Age easily gets a nod.

Picks: “Wow,” “Pretzelbodylogic,” “Fixurlifeup,” “Boytrouble,” “Anotherlove” & “Funknroll.”

So, six high-flying songs make it from each album. How would they be ordered? Hmm, as Shakespeare once penned, “That is the question.” My take on this skinnier, condensed album might look something as follows:

  1. “Wow”
  2. “Pretzelbodylogic”
  3. “Clouds”
  4. “Breakdown”
  5. “U Know”
  6. “Fixurlifeup”
  7. “Breakfast Can Wait”
  8. “This Could Be Us”
  9. “Boytrouble”
  10. “Anotherlove”
  11. “Funknroll”
  12. “Funknroll” (Art Official Age)

But honestly, don’t sleep on Prince’s new albums. DON’T DO IT!!!

Photo Credits: © Warner Bros, © instagram / prince

One Comment Add yours

  1. nothing memorable and the bottom line unless he is putting out his 80’s stuff with bonus material well its a wrap for new stuff because prince done put out too much hit and miss material and his best stuff is long gone. the best stuff off both these albums would equal a 6 song ep at best and even then nothing is a money track to me. 25 years ago if he dropped two albums it would be news. however its been a long time since he has had studio material worth remembering past a week. besides these two projects been floating for a good year and change.

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