April 13, 2005

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Prince, 3121
Universal, 2006

Call me crazy, but still I think Prince’s 1999 is one of the — if not the — sexiest albums of all time. Maybe it just hit me at the right time — when the album came out, in 1983, I was just about to turn 13 and here was this little dude with a smudge-stache singing about all the dirty things he wanted to do with girls. And I was right there with him, baby!

Then there was Purple Rain, and Prince and I were both a little more sophisticated. By the time Under the Cherry Moon came out in 1986, I had “Kiss” pretty much running through my head full time.

Mix Prince’s frank raunchiness with his gift for funk, innovation and genre-bending and you have, in my opinion, one of the most influential creative artists of the last 50 years. Emancipation and Crystal Ball (mid '90s) might have been financial missteps, but the musicality and talent in the tracks cannot be denied.

Edge plus weird plus jazz plus funk plus rock plus Latin plus sex — Prince has returned to form with 3121, reigning back his desires and design into first-class pop. It’s a make-out disc (and I tried it as such), a listening disc, a dancing disc and, ultimately, a very sellable disc.

Zero to buck naked in two tracks? Not bad at all. I’m keeping this one in the CD player for a while. A

— Robert Greene


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