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Prince Gets True Revenge on Warner Bros.

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Prince got his chair back in the Warner Brothers’ boardroom, the rights to his back catalogue, and a decent revenge all in one stroke.  Art Official Age is a shuffled mishmash of mid-seventies pop married to overproduction, making it one of the least rewarding of Prince’s albums—a true accomplishment given recent releases such as 20Ten.

If you are hankering to hear the same old thing with different song titles, though, you won’t be disappointed by Art Official Age.  Otherwise, the tired dance sequences—interspersed with talking parts such as “Affirmation I&II” and others—fuse together to form an amazing mindfulness challenge.  Pay attention to Art Official Age from start to finish and you have proven you are a guru-level mindfulness coach.  Start thinking about what to have for dinner amid the popping beats of the synths and you will be one of the many who cannot master that level of attention; if you find yourself planning dinner and tapping your foot, you’re a fan.

The album itself sounds like a soundtrack for an amateur figure skating meet—and that is a perfect niche for it.  The overproduction would fit right in with the sequined suits, gel lights, and disco balls, and it should have a long life as something easily choreographed on an ice surface or stage.  

AH