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From: S.J.D
Category: Other stuff
Date: 31 July 2003


PRINCE: N.E.W.S Album Review

1984 saw the pinnacle of Prince’s fame with the ‘Purple Rain’ smash hit film and soundtrack. Prince could do no wrong by the late-eighties but after a few more flop films and weak albums his Royal badness slipped by the wayside along with the fallout of his ‘Slave’ protest against Warner Brothers in the mid-nineties.

After his emancipation from Warner Brothers, Prince distanced him self from mainstream popular music and set up an independent Internet site called ‘NPG music Fan club’. From this site he released fan club albums like ‘The War’, ‘One Nite Alone’ and ‘Expectation’. This period also saw releases in mainstream shops like ‘Rainbow Children’ and ‘One Nite Alone Live’!

After nearly 25 years in the music business Prince releases his new album entitled "N.E.W.S." this week.

"N.E.W.S." is an abbreviation for North, East, West and South. With only four tracks, each playing 14 minutes, Prince has branched out into Jazz again very much like his mid–eighties albums, ‘8’ and ‘16’, with the co-operation of Madhouse and Eric Leeds; one of many side-projects by the wayside. Produced, arranged and performed by Prince, N.E.W.S is self-indulgent: stretched out jazz instrumentals have little in the way of experimentation. Presumably the hippy ‘South’ works in a gym workout room and the oriental sounds of ‘East’ may do well in a stereo system with loudspeakers of an exquisite brand. That's where the misery of perfection à la Prince lies. Since the late 1980’s Prince’s musicianship has become stylised, unimaginative and less raw. If you think back to ‘Dirty Mind’ in 1980, his work was out there: punk, funk and sex-driven. Probably all artists at some stage will wilt, but this new album will be amongst another set of albums that will be long forgotten news.

The magic is gone.

N.E.W.S released July 29 2003

Reviewed by S.J. D.

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