Prince is back after four years with not one, but two albums.
The first, ‘Art Official Age’, is a solo album of new material, while ‘Plectrumelectrum’ is a collaboration with his new girl band, 3rdEyeGirl.
“They’re very different and they both stand out in their own right,” says band member Hannah Ford Welton. “‘Plectrumelectrum’ is the band playing, it’s all live, it’s straight up rock and roll and it’s like a freight train pounding through a tiny little town. And ‘Artificial Age’ is more classic Prince, funk-based urban, pop, mainstream sounding in a way.”
Prince handpicked each band member, who all have a background in jazz. Their ability to catch on quickly and master their instruments impressed the legendary soul rocker.
“The album is… I call it a roller-coaster of emotions. You’re going to get a lot of crazy, loud guitar feedback distortion. There’s straight up old school rock vibe. We recorded everything analogue and live together in the same room so we kind of took it back to how they did it in the old days and you feel that energy when you hear the music,” says Welton.
Though he wrote all of the songs, Prince sollicited the girls’ input during recording.
“Prince is amazing at bringing out the best in all the musicians that he works with. So I think all the songs challenged us musically and let us really find our own voices,” says band member Donna Grantis.
He may have 34 albums under his belt, but Prince has not had a platinum album in a decade or a Top 40 in nearly twenty years.
But this could soon change, according to critics, who have mostly praised his new work, with one reviewer calling ‘Art Official Age’ a "legitimately magical Prince album".
‘Plectrumelectrum’ and ‘Art Official Age’ are out now.