Despite the fact that the internet is dead, people have been tossing around Prince’s new “20ten” like wildfire. Hell, the album hasn’t been released in the U.S. (and has no American release date scheduled) and it’s being given away with newspapers in Europe…what are we Stateside Prince fans supposed to do?
I’ve had the album for about a week, and totally intended to write my own review of the album, but over the course of the past several days, a bunch of people I have great respect have pretty much said everything I could possibly think of saying about “20ten”.
Personally, I think the album’s on the better side of average. It sounds tossed-off in the best possible way, and it’s his best work since “3121” (yeah, that was only four years ago, but Prince has released three albums since then). There are two huge demerits, though. One is that Prince is no longer an innovator. There’s nothing on “20ten” that you haven’t heard before. He leans very heavily on the Linn drum machine sound that was a focal point of much of his work during the early Eighties. To me, it sounds like he’s trying to recapture former glories, and that’s a hard pill to swallow considering that he was on the cutting edge for a solid decade.
The other is that Prince has developed a sanctimonious streak a mile wide. It prevents me from fully enjoying tracks like “Act of God”, because I feel like I’m being preached to. And NO one likes to be preached to, especially by someone whose values can often be seen as questionable, at best.
At any rate,
Scott Poulson-Bryant-journalist, author, co-founder of Vibe magazine, “I Love the ’80s” finalist, HUGE Prince fan, and my musical twin, posted a review of “20ten” on his blog. He likes the album a bit more than I do, and his review is delightfully exhaustive.
My OTHER musical twin, Michael Parr, wrote a review and posted it over on Popdose. Michael’s review probably comes closest to the way I feel about the album.
Finally, check out Gonzo’s review of “20Ten” over on his site. He doesn’t dig the album as much as I do, but he raises quite a few interesting (and truthful) points. That said, I enjoy the slow jams a lot more than he does.
All great reviews of an album that turns out to be a bit of a head-scratcher. If I was to write a complete review, I’d probably give it a B or a B-. But who needs to write complete reviews when there’s writing THIS good on the internet?