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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Are AOA and Plectrumelectrum really THAT much better than anything Prince has released in the last 10 years?
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Reply #60 posted 09/30/14 10:25pm

fusk

yeaaah i just listened to sticky like glue, and the bass sounds pretty similar... I bet I'm fooling myself a bit thinking that the production is any better.

.

y'know what it probably is? 20ten sounds like a bunch of songs that should have nothing to do with synths and drum machines, and all the 80s prince sounds that were shoved in later only disimprove them. "Let's use a linndrum patch, maybe people will like THAT..?"

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Reply #61 posted 10/01/14 1:50am

Lianachan

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For me, AOA firmly belongs with the bulk of his work over the last 15 years or so - far too many dull and interchangeable R & B ballads.

Plectrumelectrum is far more interesting to me, and is vastly better. I would say that it and Lotusflower are the only two Prince albums from the last 15 years that I can listen to all the way through, without skipping tracks.

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge"" ~ Isaac Asimov
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Reply #62 posted 10/01/14 3:18am

dodger

ufoclub said:

skywalker said:

Don't get me wrong, I dig the new albums. However, I really liked albums like Musicology, 3121, MPLSound, and Lotusflower. - Example: people around here slagged off on songs like Chocolate Box, but somehow see the humor in Art Official Cage? What is up with that? - The conspiracist in me says that teaming with WB "magically" warm$ up critics and the press. - What do you all think? Am I just deaf, or are the new releases of a higher quality than albums of the last decade? [Edited 9/30/14 9:16am]

I think all the albums have a few killer tracks, but what makes this new album great is it has a running vibe/theme of Prince accepting and reflecting on his age, like he is a patient, he is on the voyage... not the usual perspective of the listener being on the voyage though Prince's world.

I think it's quite an emotional and artistically sound album, he's drawing a parallel to an elder pop star waking up into the new styles and trends of music, and also wkaing up to a perspective on his own personal life and relationships, and injecting his own sound into it, or sarcastically falling victim to it as a prisoner like in the title track.

PS I'm only talking of AOA. The other one is a typical collection of a mixed bag to my ears so far.

[Edited 9/30/14 14:08pm]

Nicely put, totally agree. His last few albums have just been like a bunch of songs thrown together with 1 or 2 being great (likes of Somewhere Here On Earth, Colonized Mind, Future Soul Song) but they have clearly been more miss than hit.

.

But AOA is different, has a theme with moments of humour, personal reflection and spirituality. He seems revitalised and inspired the last year or so. Way Back Home and affirmation III are actually quite moving for me and I cant remember the last time a studio track of his did that.

.

As for PE - there's only 3 or 4 keepers on it for me. Wow, Anotherlove, FunknRoll and maybe Tictactoe

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Reply #63 posted 10/01/14 4:03am

MattyJam

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I seem to be in the minority on this, but I find Plectrum to be a far more satisfying and consistent listen from start to finish and can't help but suspect that it is somehow being overlooked by many fans, simply because Prince doesn't sing lead on some of the songs. Songs like Ainturninround and Stopthistrain are just as good as any of the Prince-fronted songs on the album.
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Reply #64 posted 10/01/14 5:20am

dreamshaman32

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My truth is a little all over the place like most truth. I know one thing, 2 days at the gym and i could focus on my workout without going to the proverbial skip that is a hallmark of Prince's output over the last 15 years. It is also true that now tthat he is in the corporate fold the chances of this being a hit are exponentially greater, WB and media giants can build stars out of whole cloth and also convince the media a legitimate genuis like Prince no longer has it. I'm concerned about his answers that he gave about the remastering of PR (which is now what he owes them) and whether he will play nice. The coverage is favorable, they've given him a much coveted 2nd comeback and now he must deliver the Purple Rain goods for the X-Mas season and live up to his end of the bargain.

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Reply #65 posted 10/01/14 5:25am

toejam

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I think Plectrumelectrum is on par with most of the stuff he's released this century. That is, it's enjoyable enough. Art Official Age is a cut above. I'd put it in the same league as Rainbow Children and Lotusflow3r as being his best albums this century. Not that it isn't without its flaws... "Funknroll Remix" really ruins the flow for me, and "This Could Be Us" is a bit forgettable...

[Edited 10/1/14 5:26am]

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Reply #66 posted 10/01/14 5:39am

milesb

Just had my first listen to AOA.

First impression is the same as for anything from the last 10 years

meh

2 1/2 good tracks the rest is filler

IMO

The 2 1/2 being

U Know

Breakdown

The end of funknroll

The most disappointing thing being

Prince used to set trends

Now he seems to chase them

On record anyway

I am of course comparing to my fave Prince output (controversy thru lovesexy), so I should stop being so harsh

Dude is still better than most out there!!!

My password is what
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Reply #67 posted 10/01/14 11:02am

OperatingTheta
n

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I anticipate it might take certain quarters some time to catch up as they are strongly invested in their previous opinions and judgements of any new Prince material. Thus the preponderance of negative comments (though the positive reviews outweigh the bad) that don't even apply to the new recordings.

Even the criticisms are old and recycled. There's little evidence of genuine engagement.

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Reply #68 posted 10/01/14 11:19am

Embrace

I haven't listened to Plectrum Electrum yet, but Art Offical Age I already enjoy it very much.



I am a long time fan (25+ years), that had low expectations, so it wasn't that hard for him to beat them. Nevertheless, I am impressed!



There is obviously a lot of time, effort and thought put in this record. Not just that, it seems Prince has found his way back home with it, in several ways.


Perhabs not yet the ultimate way he is looking for.



But it is a way back home as a return to form with high quality songwriting and a genuinly new, distinctively different Prince sound. A sound that seems to build on his work of the last 5 years, but that was still in progress and is moving towards perfection on this album. A collection of songs that prove Prince still has got it, to get there. Yes, perhabs his best in 10 or 20 years.



I was told told before I heard it, that it was yet another "R&B" effort that would likely be quickly forgotten. Since I am not a fan of most R&B style Prince songs since Emancipation, I expected even less bliss. But after listening to it, I would say that only a third are genuine "R&B" songs. The rest is Prince going in all sorts of 'contemporary pop' directions, from a sort of new Princely electro dance funk on Art Official Cage, The Gold Standard, U Know and the Funk&Roll remix, to heartfelt ballads such as The Break Down and This Could Be Us.



Breakfast can wait and What it feels like are in my opinion the weakest efforts of the entire album. I wouldn't make these a single, no hit for me. Still, these R&B type songs and their production are actually significantly better and more enjoyable than most other similar Prince tunes. They don't bother me like other songs do, like several have since Emancipation. No, they are actually very nice to hear. And I like the pitched up voice he uses too. Kind of reminding you of Camille.



Clouds is also an R&B song but the beat is great, similar to Madhouse 24. And that English speaking woman's voice, Andy Allo I believe, is perfect. Very nicely put into the album. Just Like "U Know". Prince actually rap/sings really good for a change again. No interruptive segues or overtly religious messages, but just a little bit of mystery sprinkled here and there. And especially when the album gets to its highest point on Way Back Home. Very nice.



The musical references to past sounds and glory is on more songs, little reminders of the past. Like the early 90's Love thy will be done style of Time and the Controversy/1999 style, funky guitar riffs he puts on Art Official Cage and the Gold Standard also. I love that. Makes me body move real good. Only Prince can play funk and R&B like that. And he really funks it up on on Art Offical Cage. I actually had to laugh when I first heard that opening. Yes, this is Prince taking all the 'artificial' musical styles of the 21st century and funking it up!



Perhabs superficial would be the better term even. Prince takes it towards levels much higher than what the music industry makes much of its bread and butter with. Fabulous, classic Prince, master of any musical style, even if it's a inferior style. Showing again what and who really rules in making music, the way it is supposed to be made. Teaching the babies how to approach any style of music and make it work together in funky harmony.



No, he is not inventing a new musical style on this album. But on Art Offical Age Prince has managed to invent a new Prince style on the current 'artifical' musical styles. Showing little limitations on where he may go, like with the beat on Way Back Home or the remix of Funk & Roll. You go Prince, don't limit yourself. Go wherever you can and then even further! Do it all, fuse it all and serve it up. You can do it all!



But the real icing on the cake this album presents, is of course Way Back Home or Affirmation I, II and III. Amazing how he seems to have found the exact contemporary pop sound to an otherwise classic Prince composition and give it that much emotion and musical craftmanship. Lyrically it seems very vulnerable, especially because the 3rd affirmation starts with "How are you feeling today, mr. Nelson?" O yes, we are "communicating telepathically. Which makes things go so much faster here."

Yeah, tell us how you really feel, Prince.



Beautiful song, great composition and production, outstanding strings, in accordance with the times, yet still distinctively Prince and simply timeless...



I say Prince and the producer he worked with on this project deserve an A+ for effort and a 4,5 out of 5 for quality. The only flaws I can think of are 'superficial' and purely individually formed. Like that I personally think he should go even further with 'exotic' musical styles and cut even more on the synthesizer. Don't limit the drums and percussion programs, but do use even more real instruments. And that I miss more guitar solos. But then I hear the solo on Clouds for example and I think: no matter how short it may be, that's a very good little guitar solo!



So yes, Prince, excellent! You are on the right track, back home. Keep on funking further and let go, while you embrace it all. Because there really is no "me or mine". You is actually all of it.

God bless you.


--

[Edited 10/1/14 13:02pm]

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Reply #69 posted 10/01/14 11:36am

murph

skywalker said:

Don't get me wrong, I dig the new albums. However, I really liked albums like Musicology, 3121, MPLSound, and Lotusflower. - Example: people around here slagged off on songs like Chocolate Box, but somehow see the humor in Art Official Cage? What is up with that? - The conspiracist in me says that teaming with WB "magically" warm$ up critics and the press. - What do you all think? Am I just deaf, or are the new releases of a higher quality than albums of the last decade? [Edited 9/30/14 9:16am]

Easily.....

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Reply #70 posted 10/01/14 12:00pm

sheilaE4eva

I think AOA and PE is Prince no longer competing with himself. I think they are his most thematically cohesive and accessible albums since the WB days. They are by no means his best, but I think I will find myself listening to both for years to come.

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Reply #71 posted 10/01/14 12:41pm

BlackCandle

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I agree with Skywalker.

I think some people are confusing quality with consistency/cohesion.

The AOA features a run of good R&B songs.

But I genuinely don't think they're any better than a lot of the RnB tracks on Emancipation...
"Had to get off the boat so I could walk on water..."
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Reply #72 posted 10/01/14 1:06pm

mightycow

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AOA counts as one of his best releases of the last 15 years imo. PE is a different thing altogether.

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Reply #73 posted 10/01/14 1:22pm

NDRU

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BlackCandle said:

I agree with Skywalker. I think some people are confusing quality with consistency/cohesion. The AOA features a run of good R&B songs. But I genuinely don't think they're any better than a lot of the RnB tracks on Emancipation...

I actually agree, but somehow this album was edited so as not to have so many rough spots. You can listen straight through.

But the lyrics feel a lot better, too. Not so much on PE, but here they seem more intelligent and less half-baked

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Reply #74 posted 10/01/14 2:12pm

roverlo

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How much I enjoyed most of releases of Prince in the last 20 years, none has moved me more than the sequence Way Back Home, FunkNRoll, Time and affirmation III.

I know thos tracks aren't trendsetting or original sounding as his output in the 80-ies, but I don't see any of the modern popartists (including Pharell and Beyonce) recording and arranging tracks like that. Especially TIME: that beat, the bassline, the arrangement... if you don't want to be or fall in love (with a girl or a boy, or the heavens above - whatever works for you) when listening to that song... you must be Sir Nose smile

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Reply #75 posted 10/01/14 2:36pm

68686

I like Plectrum electrum better than Art offical Age.

Plectrum electrum sounds more gelled.

I believe it's because he is sharing the stage with 3rd Eye Girl.

Which broadened his mind and had him thinking more "team oriented."

Art Official sounds like the DJ Prince sitting being a control panel having a blast with sound effects and blips and squeaks. I love that Prince as well, but it comes across as being the main essence of the songs, and I'd rather have the song itself be good.

I feel that Plectrum Electrum does a better job in that area.

I respect Prince for wanting to be/feel free when he can do what he wants, but I feel that his singular efforts makes it come across with a feeling of isolation.

I am enjoying both projects.

I am curious as to how both of them will grow on me.

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Reply #76 posted 10/01/14 5:46pm

Aerogram

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AOA is the most majestic album ever released by a human being, your niece and your pa are going to dance to it at some wedding some day, your rabbi, priest or pastor will praise it on the steps after the service, even your dog will make goo-goo eyes until you play The Gold Standard and won't leave the room until it's over even if someone dangles a raw steak over his nose to drag him away with the power of fresh meat, your car dealer will throw in a free purple paint job if you slyly play Way Back Home in the background during negotiation -- it's just that good.

Now let me tell you abour Robert Plant's new album -- it's absolutely the second best album ever written and you could do worse than swing by our the WB website to order a copy while you check out the fabulous other artists there, it's well worth it.

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Reply #77 posted 10/02/14 9:15am

fortuneandsere
ndipity

MattyJam said:

I think there are a lot of over-zealous fans hyping AOA up to be way better than it actually is. I actually preferred 20Ten. There's nothing on AOA as soulful and beautiful as Future Soul Song. I would probably rank AOA as one of his weaker efforts of the last decade, down there with 3121 and Musicology, neither of which I particuarly cared for.

As you can see below, I rank the new records pretty lowly amongst his post-00's work:

1. Lotusflow3r

2. Planet Earth

3. One Nite Alone piano and vocal

4. MPLSound

5. The Rainbow Children

6. 20Ten

7. Plectrum Electrum

8. Art Official Age

9. Musicology

10. 3121

[Edited 9/30/14 9:37am]

1. Lotusflow3r 9

2. Planet Earth 9

3. One Nite Alone piano and vocal 8

4. MPLSound 8

5. The Rainbow Children 9

6. 20Ten 8

7. Plectrum Electrum 8

8. Art Official Age 8

9. Musicology 7

10. 3121 7

Finally, found someone with similar views to mine on his post-00's work... so I rated them accordingly. Also, N.E.W.S which is a 9 and for the life of me can't understand why it doesnt hold up among many fans, critics.

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Reply #78 posted 10/02/14 12:57pm

JoeTyler

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AOA is one of the very few Prince albums that I don't want/need to listen to ever again (the whole album in a row, I mean, since there is one good song-Way Back Home-and a couple of tolerable ones, but just not enough to sit through from the first song to the last one...quite the contrary neutral );

the other albums are Emancipation, Kamasutra, The Truth, New Power Soul, NEWS, ONA, Xpexctation, C-Note, Chocolate Invasion-Slaughterhourse, Planet Earth, Indigo Nights and MPLSound...

[Edited 10/2/14 13:11pm]

tinkerbell
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Reply #79 posted 10/02/14 4:35pm

Brendan

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Aerogram said:

AOA is the most majestic album ever released by a human being, your niece and your pa are going to dance to it at some wedding some day, your rabbi, priest or pastor will praise it on the steps after the service, even your dog will make goo-goo eyes until you play The Gold Standard and won't leave the room until it's over even if someone dangles a raw steak over his nose to drag him away with the power of fresh meat, your car dealer will throw in a free purple paint job if you slyly play Way Back Home in the background during negotiation -- it's just that good.



Now let me tell you abour Robert Plant's new album -- it's absolutely the second best album ever written and you could do worse than swing by our the WB website to order a copy while you check out the fabulous other artists there, it's well worth it.





This is the type of sharp, laugh-out-load wit I'm talking about. lol
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Reply #80 posted 10/02/14 5:06pm

rusty1

matty jam i feel the same way about PLECTRUM ELECTRUM
BOB4theFUNK
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Reply #81 posted 10/02/14 9:18pm

ElCapitan

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Of course it's all subjective, but I personally approached AOA with the same dread that has haunted me for the past 15 or so years with any new prince album, worried that there may not be at least one song that was good, or even listenable.

Then I put on the headphones - eight hours later I stopped hitting repeat, cause I had to eat at some point. Haven't done that with a new Prince album since TGE. Sure there's a few clunkers, but this is his best album in a minute.

"What kind of fuck ending is that?"
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Reply #82 posted 10/02/14 10:01pm

fabriziovenera
ndi

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I think AOA is one of the best prince pop album in the last decade and more.

Way Back Home, well, I can think that song inside Sign "o" the times or Lovesexy.

Someone says:

"this is what it feels like" and to me, it's not too far off from "beautiful, loved, and blessed"

Oh this is true, is not too far away, but it is far away enough. I usually skip "beautiful, loved, and blessed" 'cause I'm not in love with sound and female voice. "What it feels like" is a little groove I can hear, it fits in album sounds. Same "Time", I'm not in love with duets, but the female voice works fine with Prince alterated voice and the sounds around are not cheap keyboard and standard drumming preset. It reminds me "eternity" duet outtake if someone remind it.

Plectrum, not, sorry. I like a lot some track, but the album project do not works for me.

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Reply #83 posted 10/03/14 3:55am

JoeTyler

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OperatingThetan said:

I anticipate it might take certain quarters some time to catch up as they are strongly invested in their previous opinions and judgements of any new Prince material. Thus the preponderance of negative comments (though the positive reviews outweigh the bad) that don't even apply to the new recordings.

Even the criticisms are old and recycled. There's little evidence of genuine engagement.

JHC, it's not so hard to FACE AND ACCEPT that many of us at least liked some of his 2004-2010 work

it's AOA which is the terrible album, and the fact that the fams are embracing it as the second coming is all kinds of irritating...

tinkerbell
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Reply #84 posted 10/03/14 4:51am

NouveauDance

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Joe, I think a lot of people are genuinely excited for the album, especially US fans who never got a domestic release of 20Ten. There's also a lot of younger and newer fans here, so they might not really have experienced that rush of a new Prince release before. I've noticed a lot of younger fans on here recently which is cool. It's all "my popstar is better than your popstar" type of banter, which is what you'd expect from excited kids - so take it all with a pinch of salt. Plus you get the usual creepy fam stuff, but that's to be expected! AOA being a pop/R&B album will be more familiar to the younger newbies (no shade) so I can see why they would be all over that one especially.

.

I think the albums are growers though. Give 'em a few more spins and see if anything comes out you didn't hear before, you never know smile

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Reply #85 posted 10/03/14 5:10am

JoeTyler

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NouveauDance said:

Joe, I think a lot of people are genuinely excited for the album, especially US fans who never got a domestic release of 20Ten. There's also a lot of younger and newer fans here, so they might not really have experienced that rush of a new Prince release before. I've noticed a lot of younger fans on here recently which is cool. It's all "my popstar is better than your popstar" type of banter, which is what you'd expect from excited kids - so take it all with a pinch of salt. Plus you get the usual creepy fam stuff, but that's to be expected! AOA being a pop/R&B album will be more familiar to the younger newbies (no shade) so I can see why they would be all over that one especially.

.

those are sensible, sweet and constructive words, let alone the truth

you're right, I'll stop, enough battles with the fams for one week, anyway, I'd rather talk about AOA with people who were already here by 2004, and not post-2010 young fams or people with less than 200 messages since 2002...

tinkerbell
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Reply #86 posted 10/03/14 6:06am

fabriziovenera
ndi

avatar

JoeTyler said:

JHC, it's not so hard to FACE AND ACCEPT that many of us at least liked some of his 2004-2010 work

it's AOA which is the terrible album, and the fact that the fams are embracing it as the second coming is all kinds of irritating...

De gustibus non disputandum est, but leave the time to decide about it.

I begin listen Prince in 1986 with his best album, imho, Parade.

From Musicology to 20ten my "love" for prince was more or less dead. I was not able to find in those albums things I could find in - a recent example - Adonis & Batsheba.

Well, in AOA I find something in most of the song. I'm not telling it is a mastepiece, but is a masterpiece enough for me to listen it from begin to the end without skipping most of the song.

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Reply #87 posted 10/03/14 6:54am

funksterr

Better mixing and better production equals better albums, so yeah they are more satisfying in a lot of ways. Are there any good songs on these albums? Are there songs that are better written than what was on LotusFlow3r? Nothing I've found so far. But they sound better, and that's 75% of the appeal, for most fans right there. Prince still too often writes lyrics like an entitled rich man with nothing better to do, so these albums don't even come close to his best music, but they are better than most of what he's done since TGE.

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Reply #88 posted 10/03/14 7:01am

WorldofPeace

JoeTyler said:

NouveauDance said:

Joe, I think a lot of people are genuinely excited for the album, especially US fans who never got a domestic release of 20Ten. There's also a lot of younger and newer fans here, so they might not really have experienced that rush of a new Prince release before. I've noticed a lot of younger fans on here recently which is cool. It's all "my popstar is better than your popstar" type of banter, which is what you'd expect from excited kids - so take it all with a pinch of salt. Plus you get the usual creepy fam stuff, but that's to be expected! AOA being a pop/R&B album will be more familiar to the younger newbies (no shade) so I can see why they would be all over that one especially.

.

those are sensible, sweet and constructive words, let alone the truth

you're right, I'll stop, enough battles with the fams for one week, anyway, I'd rather talk about AOA with people who were already here by 2004, and not post-2010 young fams or people with less than 200 messages since 2002...

biggrin

[Edited 10/3/14 10:56am]

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Reply #89 posted 10/03/14 7:30am

jenst

The last release is often "the best since XXX".

And with the next release they'll probably write that the last X releases sucked, but that the new one is his best since SOTT.

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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Are AOA and Plectrumelectrum really THAT much better than anything Prince has released in the last 10 years?