When Prince released Art Official Age, the record was praised for being Prince’s big comeback album. When I picked up the record and listened to it, all I heard was cheap throwaway modern music that was so below his musical abilities. Unfortunately I can say without hesitation that the follow up album HitnRun Phase One is the same dreadful rubbish.
The thing that puzzles me about Prince is that when he releases an album of funk and rock, he produces the kind of dance able music that everybody loves to hear from him. It gives the man a chance to break out his music skills and play to the best of abilities. But when he breaks out some recycle computer beats, what sounds like Casio keyboards and talentless rappers, he literally comes across as dated, tired and boring.
The up beat opener Million $ Show is catchy but features a tacky vocal performance. Like a Mack is a little too hip hop even for Prince and too much of a contrast to the electro- funk Shut This Down. As much as I love the guy, that genre of “music” was never his strong point and this is a fine example, the million words a second vocals from Curly Fryz really doesn’t make matters any better. This Could B Us is a good song at heart, has a lot of potential and features some nice guitar playing. But again, the over produced electronic sound kills the groove. It hasn’t been the worst Prince album, not by a long shot but it definitely sounds like an old man trying to be hip. I was definitely missing 3rdeyegirl by this point.
The second half of the album kicks off with the average disco song Fallinlove2nite. The song itself could be quite good with some organic drums, bass, string and brass instruments but the layers upon layers of cheesy keyboard sounds and vocal effects just make it sound tacky. X’s Face is regurgitated sound effects and samples of Prince’s vocals, very pointless. Hardrocklover is despite the awful sounding drums, a good simple rock song. Prince’s guitar gets to wail on this song, a nice reminder that he is a great musician. Unfortunately the album continues to sink with the final three songs.
If the songs were not bad enough, this record has been very badly produced and should be avoided at all costs if you want to hear a finely produced album. If you play this album loud enough you will get to enjoy some god awful synthetic sounds and endless amounts of distortion. Thankfully Prince made up for his two albums of utter nonsense with the funk driven HitnRun Phase Two.
Where to buy :
Track Listing :
- Million $ Show
- Shut This Down
- Ain't About 2 Stop
- Like a Mack
- This Could B Us
- X's Face
- Mr. Nelson
- 1000X's & O's