Monday, March 30, 2009

My Review of Prince's New Multi-Disk Album "LOtUSFLOW3R" (2009) NPG Records

Picked up Prince's new 3-Disc album "LOtUSFLOW3R" which was released Sunday, March 29th, 2009 exclusively at Target. This is Prince's 25th studio album. Here are some of my thoughts as I listened to each song and my final review follows at the end. As always, I would love to hear your feedback, opinions and thoughts on the album after you have listened to it. Enjoy!

Disk 1

1. "Here Eye Come" 4:28
- good song. 3 out of 5 stars.

2. "All This Love" 4:39
- good song. 3 out of 5 stars.

3. "Home" 4:26
- good song. 3 out of 5 stars.

4. "Something U Already Know" 5:44
- good song. solid groove. 4 out of 5 stars.

5. "Everytime" 3:50
-decent song, Brazilian love song theme. 3 out of 5 stars.

6. "2Nite" 5:02
- just OK. 2 out of 5 stars.

7. "Another Boy" 3:56
- very good song. 4 out of 5 stars.

8. "Kept Woman" 4:15
- good song. 3 out of 5 stars.

9. "Immersion" 4:02
- a stand out track! just beautiful. beautiful and thoughtful lyrics. amazing actually. had this one on repeat. 5 out of 5 stars. Reminds me of something Prince saved for Sheena Easton in between the "Sign O The Times" (1987) and the "Batman" (1989) albums. Very vaguely sounds like it could have been on the B Side of "Arms of Orion" to me, yet different and still quiet, beautiful and intimate. So precious sounding of a song as you hear it again and again...I leave the rest up to your imaginations. this song was made for two. no more, no less.

10. "Elixer" 4:00
- another beautiful stand out track! beautiful. had this one on repeat. 5 out of 5 stars.

Disk 2

1. "From The Lotus..." 2:46
- Opening track: A Santana, "The Rainbow Children" (2001) sounding feel to it.

2. "Boom" 3:19
- Galactic, Space, Universe, Fantasma-groovy, Funky beat and groove, cool vocals, wicked guitar, I like the way he put this song together. Did I mention Funkay as hayell when the drum kicks in with the electric guitar then smoothes out...Is it possible to be smooth as liquid and funky as hayell at once? Prince does it. The guitar riffs even remind me of the "Batman" (1989) album he did in places.

3. "Crimson and Clover" 3:52
- great segue into this one! a beautiful song originally done by Tommy James and the Shondells released in 1968, an awesome song, very catchy, you will find yourself humming and singing this one all day. A great cover by Prince. Wicked guitar work here.

4. "4Ever" 3:47
- standard Prince fare in my book. Not great, not bad, just something he can knock out in his sleep. lol! I like this one about "so-so" but OK, I'll go with it 'til the next. lol!

5. "Colonized Mind" 4:47
- good lyrics, bluesy, Prince droppin science, reminds me of "Dear Mr. Man" from "Musicology" (2004) very good lyrics for where we are today in the 21st Century, 2009 and the times we find ourselves living in including the dangers of the Internet. deep and true lyrics. nothing but the truth is spoken here. "Is he lyin? Is he lyin? He ain't lyin!" ;)

6. "Feel Good, Feel Better, Feel Wonderful" 3:52
- good segue with the funky kickin drums and hot horn section, the party starts back up again with this one with such a raw reality song preceding it, brings everyone back up to jam. "Groove To The Purple Rock & Roll" ;)

7. "Love Like Jazz" 3:49
- Mid-tempo Smooth Brazilian Jazzy Feel, A "Meet Me On The Riviera", type swirling smooth groove.

8. "77 Beverly Park" 3:04
- seamless segue intro, Dig the guitar re-verb effect mixed with the heartbeat and breathing at the beginning, reminds me of an Brazilian, Italian or Spanish film's incidental music as you get into it, (A La if "Under The Cherry Moon" were filmed in Spain, Paris or Italy, perhaps?)

9. "Wall Of Berlin" 4:16
- The drums kick this up in your face. I like this one. Upbeat. It changes up and the guitar takes off at 1:23 into this one into a higher gear, then slows back down, then gears up again, then blazes out with the kickin live drums. wicked guitar. A unique Live jam. Prince and his band could do this all day.

10. "$" 3:57
- This one should have been called "Dancin, Lovin You All Night Long" as the chorus refrain repeats - A mix of the "Dirty Mind" (1980) era sound mixed with something possibly unreleased from the "Crystal Ball" (1998) era with that high sped-up voiced Prince effect he does to his voice. A cute little fast ditty that will take folks over 35 back to the "Dirty Mind" era of Prince's career and journey. I like this one a lot. Tight horn section.

11. "Dreamer" 5:30
- A Jimi Hendrix sounding jam all the way mixed again with something sounding from The "Crystal Ball" era. Reminds me of something Jimi Hendrix would have done today had he lived. Lyrics 100% on point! A totally psychedelic jammed out, dope jam all the way through - performed this one on Leno Live last week. Crazy guitar oozes out of every pour on this one. I would pay to see Prince play this one Live. Electric guitar front and center on this. Prince at his best rockin out! Had to listen to Jimi after this! Sheet! LOL! Did Prince just channel Jimi Hendrix? LOL!

12. "...Back 2 The Lotus" 5:34
- Once again, ends it with a "The Rainbow Children" sounding tune and I love it. I love "The Rainbow Children" so I love this as a segue to the 3rd Disc. Under water Aqua Boogie Galactica effect goin on here, reminds me of a bit of "NewPowerSoul" the way this goes out. I started with Track 1 again to hear this in a loop for full effect the 2nd time round. ;) After Track 12 I went to Track 1 to hear this album in a loop. I played it in a circle before I went to Disk 3.

Disk 3

1. "(There'll Never B) Another Like Me" 6:01
- Sounds like something from the "Emancipation" (1996) era. A previously unreleased track? Another one I would consider standard Prince fare if there is such a thing. I give it a "eh-eh" but once again, I'll go with it til the next track.

2. "Chocolate Box" 6:14
- Just "ahhite" to me. Runs a lil too long at 6:14 too. Musically speaking, did not hold my attention like the rest. Next!

3. "Dance 4 Me" 4:58
- Another just "ahhite" Prince jam to me - Standard Prince Fare.

4. "U're Gonna C Me" 4:36
- Cute slow jam.

5. "Here" 5:15
- I like this one. Check it for yourself and tell me what you think. ;)

6. "Valentina" 3:59
- OK. 2 out of 5 stars from me on this one.

7. "Better With Time" 4:54
- OK.

8. "Ol' Skool Company" 7:30
- performed on Leno. I dug the Live version better. still funky though.

9. "No More Candy 4 U" 4:14
- "Dirty Mind" era sound.

So, what do I think of these 3 albums overall as a package? Overall, this 3-Disc Special Edition Set reminds me of some of Prince's Vault Hits that he chose out of his vault and brought them up to date for 2009, maybe left some "as is" and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The 1st Disc, "ELIXIR BRIA VALENTE" is not a bad offering at all but I think I would have preferred a stronger 1st disc from Prince instead or even a nice return opportunity for Tamar since we all wondered what happened to her album. I think pretty much any female artist Prince would have chosen could have pulled off the 1st album under his direction. His list of protegees is long yet Bria Valente I think has a good voice for this offering considering most of us knew not who she was before now.

The 2nd Disc, "LOtUSFLOW3R PRINCE" is the best out of the 3 to me and is pretty much worth the buy alone.

The 3rd Disc, "MPLSoUND PRINCE" is just OK to me. Maybe if Prince poured the energy he did in "ELIXIR" into "MPLSound" it would have made a stronger package overall. A stronger 2 CD Set with 5 to 6 more stronger tracks on each for a total of 40 songs?

Conceptually, I love the album. Out of 10 Stars I give this whole 3-Disc Set album a solid 5+. I say that because it could have been so much more. Once again, based on Prince's track record and body of work. Now, considering the magnitude of Prince's full talent when he is churning on all 8 cylinders and what he's capable of, it could have been a 10 across the board but I think it's not quite there because of how we know him as an artist since he broke with Warner Bros.(He releases what he wants, when he wants, and the way he wants! lol!).

This album is a musical, fantasy, psychedelic trip that is not a bad offering at all for $11.98. Both multi-disc sets, "Crystal Ball" and "Emancipation" cost much more than that so I think this album overall is a fair deal. A lot of music to take in but well worth the listen and the trip. The music stays with you which is always a good sign and you will find yourself looking forward to hearing it again and again for whichever tracks you dig.

I would have liked to see the lyrics in this package complete with liner notes including the musicians and bands he worked with on this album but it is not listed, yet the artwork is very cool. (We do hear someone call Maceo Parker at one point.)

Definitely a good album to pop into your CD or computer music player, put on the head phones, lay back in your comfort chair and just groove and enjoy. Yet still enough Funk in it, at times you will want to get up out your seat and jam. ;)

(*LTs Jazzy Radio Loft & Lounge Music & Album Reviews, copyrighted 2009)

(*For any and all inquiries on how you can get your album reviewed in LTs Jazzy Radio Loft & Lounge, contact me on my email in the "About Me" section.)


NickyJett said...

bravo! I will reread this and compare once I get the tracks. But this review at least helps me to make a decision.

Lawrence Tucker said...

Thank you, NickyJett! Cool! Glad it will help you decide whether to get it or not. Yes, if you do get it, let me know what you thought of it after you hear it!