Art Official Age
By Victor Unknown
Prince has both satisfied and disappointed his fan base recently with his return to the music scene, with his first solo album release since 2010! Fans were teased with the early release of singles: a funky number called ‘Breakfast Can Wait’, which later became ‘The Breakfast Experience EP, a slow ballad called ‘The Breakdown’ which marked celebrations over a new contract with his ex-record label. He also posted a 30 second tease of a meme inspired song called ‘This Could Be Us’; and once that dropped, fans knew a new album was on its way, though they didn’t know when. The album was announced to be released with 3RDEYEGIRL’s rock based released named ‘PLECTRUMELECTRUM’ over a month before its actual release on 30th September 2014, with songs being released throughout the course of the waiting to tease fans just that little bit more.
Prince can nail every genre and he accomplishes it here, ever so masterfully, with this R&B and electro-funk album, which consists of two musical states: (1) keyboards, effects and vocals and (2) multiple instruments and layered vocals. Of course, you get some songs that are a mix of both, like ‘Breakfast Can Wait’- keys hidden under a funky bass. The album audibly sounds much like its name; Art Official/Artificial – but in this case, it’s a good thing (and at least he is keeping up with the times). Songs such as ‘U Know’ and ‘This Could Be Us’ are laden with keyboards and an ambience behind the keys and vocals. On the other hand, songs like ‘The Gold Standard’ and ‘Art Official Cage’ demand you to “get you groove on!”
Andy Allo, Lianne La Havas and 3EG’s bassist Ida Nielsen perform as guests on the album to help with the ’plot line’. ART OFFICIAL AGE is much the album before it, MPLSoUND; a frequent display of funk, keyboards, effects and high-pitched singing (the return of Camille). You can dance to this album, you can cuddle to this album, and you can cry to it. It was delivered alongside another release, but after two albums in one day, the purple army still wasn’t satisfied!