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Prince “Musicology” (Album Review)

Larry Graham introduced Prince to the Jehovah Witness Protection program, luckily for music fans he brought his bass. The legendary bassist of the Family Stone and Graham Central Station has shown the artist formerly known as a trademarked symbol some riveting undertow that pulls the listener in as the surf breaks…in Minnesota? Well it is the land of a thousand lakes and like most people every few years I read the papers and hear that Prince is making a comeback or a tour (hence the name check “down in Atlanta G-A”) or he’s doing something and I get his new album and I play it and I think to myself-this guy’s a fucking genius, this is a fucking great album and then I never play it again and six months later it goes to CD Warehouse and I trade it in for a re-issue of Articles of Faith or the Crucifucks…Prince has a way of making complicated, sophisticated music sound very simple, almost casual. I especially enjoy how he connects disparate vocal styles into a harmonious cloud that dissipates once the volume is increased. Just when I’m focusing in on the music Prince is making he backs away and does another trick, he loves to show off his virtuosity and his mastery of the production board which brings to mind a gentleman with a Zapata mustache and beard, now deceased ten years. I did not wish to bring up the comparison because, after all, comparisons are short cuts to thinking. Regardless, in the middle of one of the better funk numbers on “Musicology” a small horn riff shows up and disappears…like a Frank Zappa song! A recommended release.(By: Jim Hayes)