Tuesday is truly a special day for Prince fans the world over? Why? Because the unpredictable artist is releasing two albums of exciting and vastly different material. While “Art Official Age” expressed the soulful side of the amazing artist, “Plectrum Electrum” allows Prince to flex his unparalleled rock skills. It all begins with “Wow” and yeah, you guessed it…That’s exactly what you’ll say after hearing this song. The performance demonstrated on this masterwork conjures up visions of Rock and Blues musicians from the past. It’s uncanny how effective Prince can be by simply singing an understated “Hello.” “Pretzelbodylogic” is a pile driver of musical force that features Prince tossing off slick throwaway lines as he tames a wild electric guitar, bending it to his will. Donna Grantis, Hannah Ford and Ida Nielsen all stand proud with the mythical figure from Minneapolis, ripping through guitar riffs, drum beats and bass lines respectively. “Aintturninround” has Hannah capably taking over lead vocals, with Prince laying in the cut until he steps up to shred another axe.
The title cut, “Plectrumelectrum” is a rock tour de force that will have fans jamming out so hard they won’t notice the missing vocals. “Whitecaps” brings Hannah Ford back for another strong vocal turn over a mellow, angelic track that radiates positive vibes. “Fixurlifeup” switches it up by exchanging the serenity for a “get up out your seat” tempo that encourages fans to dance.
“Boytrouble” is a slinky, thrill ride that’s guaranteed many repeat plays while “Stopthistrain” slows down the pace for more vocal magic from Hannah. Prince expresses frustration over being used and disregarded in the powerful “Anotherlove” but offers a less aggressive take on love in the dream-like “Tictactoe.” “Marz” kicks back into full rock mode and an alternate version of “Funknroll” (included on “Art Official Age”)provides the album’s show stopper moment. If you ever wondered where Prince went, it’s very apparent that he never left. He was just observing the “competition” and waiting to show them how it should be done.
– Kevin Keith