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PRINCE - 3121 - UNIVERSAL
Record Rating: ****

Prince - 3121 - Universal To those in the know, Prince ruled pop music in the '80s, thrilling audiences with his risqué performances and sexual lyrics. Purple Rain didn't just visit the top of the charts, it moved into the penthouse and spent a staggering 24 weeks there, good enough for the fourth longest stay in history by a pop album. 2004’s Musicology with new record label Sony was his strongest effort in years; it debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 and managed to sell two million copies in the US alone.

For his latest release he’s teamed up with Universal music, but the most important thing, however, is that the Purple One has learned how to make music funky again. 3121 just debuted at the top of the US charts and it’s put him on the map to reclaiming his title as the Prince Of Pop. Single Te Amo Corazon (English translation ~ I Love You Sweetheart) is already a huge hit on the charts and is probably the closest thing to sex incarnate Prince will share these days with anyone other than his wife since becoming a Jehovah’s Witness.

It may sound cliché, but he’s back in his element; the twelve tracks sound like they were left off 1984’s Purple Rain. One listen to the radio friendly Beautiful, Loved And Blessed (a duet with his new protégé Tamar) or the up-tempo Love and you won’t believe this is a nearly fifty-year-old pop artist; the album plays like a twenty something’s effort. Gone are the X-rated lyrics that had dominated his younger days, instead themes of faith and love take centre court in the music (as in sure to be single Incense And Candles), and Prince as usual makes it sound like it's never been done before. Without a doubt the best record Prince has made in a decade.

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