Prince, ‘HitNRun Phase One’ – Short Take Review


Prince, HitNRun Phase One © NPG

Prince’s Eccentricity Lives On Via ‘HitNRun’ Despite Imperfections

Prince • HitNRun Phase One • NPG • Release Date: September 14, 2015

Ah, the return of “The Purple One.” These days, Prince doesn’t seem too concerned about a fancy rollout of new material. Then again, who does seem to care about intensive promo? Because of a newfound apathetic demeanor across the board, Prince’s surprise album is somewhat surprising, yet by no means a jaw-dropping surprise.

No need to belabor this one – just a few quick thoughts. Here’s the modus operandi for Prince – It seems he’s attempting to embrace the trendiness of contemporary music more on HitNRun Phase One. If anyone can assimilate to the times, Prince is the artist. A guest appearance by Rita Ora on “Ain’t About 2 Stop” signifies the “new guard.” Does it always work? No of course not, but give him credit for embracing “the new age” as Imagine Dragons might say. Furthermore, one thing Prince hasn’t lost a knack for is his eccentricity.

As an album, HitnRun Phase One is ‘all over the place,’ never quite feeling cohesive. This isn’t a deal breaker – most pop albums anymore are about a collection of records that don’t seem to connect with one another. That said, a bit more connectedness wouldn’t have hurt. The production and sounds often outweighs the notability of the material, hence why an album such as this one would never go down in history as a Prince classic.

So it sounds a bit sketchy from this critic’s end right? It’s not completely, as there’s plenty for the dedicated Prince fan to embrace. “Ain’t About 2 Stop” is enjoyable, while an alternate version of “This Could B Us” is every bit as compelling as the version appearing on Art Official Age (2014). Other treats include “Hardrocklover” and “1000’s Of X’s & O’s.” So in essence, HitNRun has its moments, but arguably the pieces don’t fit perfectly.

Favorites: “Ain’t About 2 Stop,” “This Could B US,” “Hardrocklover” and “1000’s Of X’s & O’s”

★★★

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