Review: New Power Soul

New Power Soul is an album released by Prince in 1998 during his nameless years when he was represented as the love symbol and nothing more. This period in the Purple One’s discography could be considered some of his most uninspired work and listening to this record, it isn’t hard to see why. Comparing it to newer releases like Art Official Age and HitNRun Phase One, it is safe to say that New Power Soul is not one of Prince’s worst albums. But it does lack the consistency and over all creativity found on albums like EmancipationLove Symbol Album and Diamonds And Pearls.

New Power Soul starts off with the self titled track. It is an up beat funk number with a solid groove and a good chorus. Pretty typical by Prince’s standards but by all means still a fun number and a good way to open the album. The second track on the album is not Prince’s best by a long shot but Mad Sex has a great jazz vibe that is carried along by an electronic hip hop groove. It is a little overly long and about as standard as it gets on this album. Until U’re In My Arms Again is the kind of balladry that Prince was never particularly good at it. It is quite run of the mill and a little too corny. Songs like Shoo-Bed-Ooh,  Push It Up and Freak On This Side are more sup par hip hop music. It isn’t bad by any means, just extremely average. The latter two songs have potential to be a decent P-Funk with a great bass line but the majority of the song involves rapping and loud crowd chants, it feels a little too much like a mish mash of ideas. The end of the album is where the best numbers are with the excellent ballad The One, the funk driven (I Like) Funky Music and the supposedly hidden track Wasted Kisses showing signs of quality. But compared to the rest of the album, surpassing the average track wouldn’t be too hard.

Of course that does mean that you’ll get to hear these songs because this album is long out of print and can only be acquired online for inflated prices. Though it isn’t one of Prince’s best albums, it is definitely not his worst and features songs that fans would definitely enjoy. It is a mixed bag of tricks of coarse with a heavy funk and hip hop influence but because of that, the record doesn’t produce enough consistency. If you want to check this record out, don’t spend a fortune

Rating : 6 / 10

Where to buy :

Track Listing :

  1. New Power Soul
  2. Mad Sex
  3. Until 'Ure In My Arms Again
  4. When U Love Somebody
  5. Shoo-Bed-Ooh
  6. Push It Up
  7. Freaks On This Side
  8. Come On
  9. The One
  10. (I Like) Funky Music
  11. Wasted Kisses [bonus - track 49]

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