Music Monday: Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL

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Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL

Did you miss me? Although, I am talking about me, Prince could be asking you that same question. I am here and tomorrow Prince will be here also twice, as he will release “Art Official Age” and “PLECTRUMELECTRUM” with 3RDEYEGIRL tomorrow  September 30, 2014. Unless you were born yesterday, you know that Prince is simply the greatest musical artist ever. There will always be those they say Michael Jackson, but I have always enjoyed Prince more, plainly when Prince went freaky he went nuclear.

Prince Rogers Nelson has been in the music business for 38 years and although he is 56 years of age his music is timeless. I could write an entire week on Prince and only cover 4-6 albums as he has released 45 studio albums. His song writing credits and awards from “Purple Rain” to “Future Baby Mama” span four decades and he shows no signs of letting up.

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So what does HRH (His Royal Highness) have for us this time? “Art Official Age” (said quickly artificial age) is for music fans. It could also be a play on words about his rumored need of double hip replacement from dancing in heels for over 40 years. (Those rumors? False, so Beyoncé fans relax you’re exalted Queen will not be facing a hip replacement soon.) You don’t have to be a Prince fan to know that “U Know” is a smash hit. It has Prince doing baritone and falsetto on the same track. Also, if you have been feeling that Jehovah’s Witness (i.e. sexless) Prince is a bit flaccid, this is the bounce back. That’s not to say that his clean music wasn’t good, it just wasn’t Prince. There are no indications he’s left that religion, I do know he has gotten his male “groove back,” that or he’s taking Cialis.

On “FunkNRoll” he goes back to his James Brown roots and the track is so funky, you can smell him all the way in London. It reminded me of ‘Housequake” from the “Sign O’ Times” album. It’s a feel good record for adults. I don’t think Prince has ever recorded a full album that was intended for kids, but as must as this adult contemporary, Prince has not lost his touch with the youth. How he manages to do that still is an accomplishment unto itself.

“Clouds” has a late 80’s early 90’s feel to it and has the funkadelic sound that reminds me of my parents rolling a joint on the album cover of “Parade” when you had to get the seeds out so they wouldn’t pop and it took someone to put the two sheets of “Top Paper” together to roll a spliff, or so I’ve heard. This record is classic Prince is what I am trying to say. The album is good. If you are already a Prince fan, this is what you’ve been waiting for. If you’re a in your 20’s and like his older stuff but the “Tame” guy not so much, this album should bring you around to a new appreciation for his music.

The album also includes “Breakfast Can Wait” the 2013 smash about morning coitus and from what he’s describing in the song, an appetite is worked up. This was the first signal that Prince had come back out of the closet and was ready to be front and center in the bedroom again. What real fans find hilarious is that the song was inspired by a Dave Chappelle skit about some pancakes with Charlie Murphy. Chappelle is actually on the artwork for the single and the video was directed by an 18 year old fan.

If you were paying attention I said Prince is releasing TWO (2) albums tomorrow. I checked and unless it was a double album like Nelly’s Sweat/Suit or Beyoncé’s I Am… Sasha Fierce no artist has ever dropped two completely different works on the same day. If you are a Prince fan, you’ll recall the Revolution, The New Power Generation, The NPG+, the Time, if you were on the music scene in the 80’s and 90’s you weren’t sh*t if you DIDN’T work with Prince. Ask Sheila E. where she would have been without him. Funny, the Revolution died when Prince left them, as did most acts that he left. Sheila E. may be the one exception to that rule. If so, 3RDEYEGIRL had better milk this opportunity and develop a following that doesn’t feature him.

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My favorite track on “PLECTRUMELECTRUM” is “PRETZELBODYLOGIC” not just because it samples “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath. If you don’t who Black Sabbath is…another time. It is more of a rock song but so was “Let’s Go Crazy.” Prince doesn’t fit in one genre another reason he is the greatest of all times, or to quote that little pip squeak Mayweather, Jr. the best ever. It’s also very sexual in nature, it’s more hardcore than “Breakfast Can Wait.” Simply put, it’s so raw and bold that it’s just amazing.

“WHITECAPS” shows the “ladies” vocals as Prince primarily sings backup on this cut. It’s a beautiful love ballad that reminds us that as freaky as the Purple One is, he has given us some of the greatest love songs EVER, “The Beautiful Ones” and “Adore” to name a few. Donna Grantis, Ida Nielsen and Hannah Ford Welton comprise 3RDEYEGIRL. They are already Royalty in England, with the Guardian hailing them as “one of the greatest funk-rock bands ever.” You can tell on this cut they’ve been groomed for this. It’s short but breathtakingly beautiful.

3rdEyeGirl (left to right): Donna Grantis, Ida Nielsen and Hannah Ford Welton.

On “FIXURLIFEUP” Prince is front and center and the ladies back him on another more rock track. Ida Nielson (also formerly of The New Power Generation) shines on a guitar solo that must make the Minuscule Monarch quite proud. Prince’s vocals again give shades of the “Beautiful One’s” and “Doves Cry” with raspy lyrics and no one rides a groove better.

In all a great album, I caution you though. If you don’t like rock music this album won’t suit you. It’s more rock than anything Prince has done in a while. If you’re already a Prince fan and enjoyed “Sign O’ The Times,”  you’ll love the album and you will become a fan (if not already) of 3RDEYEGIRL. 3 very talented and very capable artist in their own right. Funny story, they are named after what the third eye is normally referred to. They had no clue they were going to be a band. They were going to Paisley Park (Prince’s Studio/Home in Minneapolis, MN) and having jam sessions and Prince teaching them songs and then they just showed up on Arsenio Hall and he introduced them as the 3RDEYEGIRL and thus the name.

If you’re good enough to play with Prince you’re already a star. It remains to be seen if he will allow them to fully spread their wings on their own as you’ll hear on the one track that you cannot fully hear his vocals one. We cannot name that song yet as the album does not release in the States until the 30th. (Also, you know Prince is crazy. He sued a woman who put her home video up on YouTube and had “Let’s Go Crazy” playing in the background.) There are so many perks to living in the United Kingdom, and it’s great music that helps you through the rain, but I digress…Perhaps we’ll do more on the 3RDEYEGIRL after the album releases. Remember you got a view of the album a day before the release because we have the AUDACITY (and ability) to do it

 

TK’s Rating for “Art Official Age) ***** out of 5 stars

TK’s Rating for “PLECTRUMELECTRUM” **** 1/2 out of 5 stars (it’s that good)

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TK’s Bio: Terrence Kyrell Hodge I was born 9/13/79, in what was then W. Berlin Germany, to Qualise and Lieutenant Tyrone Hodge of the United States Marine Corps. He lived in London England and graduated from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 2000 with BA in English and Political Science. Terrence writes about any and everything. Terrence is planning a series of novels that are works of “faction” part factual (nonfiction) and partly fictional. He plans to bring a dual vision of American and European observation and opinions to PMA. He will bring blunt honesty with a sense of comedy. He says “I will write wherever I’m needed as I am  NOT a one trick pony.”

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