Princely Digs

At home with His Royal Badness, who shows us his secret stash

Prince
3121
Universal

In his long-ago heyday Prince complimented Kid Creole’s backup girls by admiring how Adriana Kaegi “used every beat of the music in her choreography.” Evidence of that admiration loomed large this February on Saturday Night Live, when Prince’s new band broke into a fierce little fit o’ funk called “Fury” in which Mr. Nelson’s own distaff trio adopted several signature Coconut moves. T├ímar and her crew do Ikettes meet Isadora Duncan, while Adriana’s Coconuts did Ikettes meet the I-Threes. But you get the idea — just the way Prince wanted you to. Because as with all of Prince’s stylistic borrowings over the years, every strategic cross-reference is intentionally transparent. Continue reading “Princely Digs”

Prince: The Most Inscrutable Cocktease in the World

Prince
Come
Warner Bros.
1-800-New-Funk
NPG/Bellmark

If you hear the sound of a gauntlet slapping the floor, it’s only the echo of Come (Warner Bros.) and 1-800-New-Funk (NPG/Bellmark) hitting the racks of your local record retailer. Both are excellent albums, and each arrives at the “wrecka-stow” from theoretically competing labels. I mean, the guy folks used to call Prince has put WB on notice. In February, while trying to resolve some ongoing contractual disputes with his friends at Warners, he released a single through the black-owned independent label Bellmark. Now, still resentful over pressure to dump the Paisley Park imprint and make more predictably commercial music, his royal badness returns in the wake of a comprehensive greatest hits package that all but buried his baroque symbol album and drops his two most accessible and ideologically cohesive LPs since Dirty Mind. Continue reading “Prince: The Most Inscrutable Cocktease in the World”