Prince - 3121
NME.COM feature on Prince - 3121 album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.
Release date: 21 March 2006
Tracklisting click track to read more
- Te Amo Corazon
- Black Sweat
- Incense And Candles
- The Word
- Beautiful, Loved & Blessed
- The Dance
- Get On The Boat
Five minutes of unmistakable Prince
- Jan 20, 2012
Paddock Wood, Kent, July 1st-3rd
- Jul 12, 2011
You can only hear this by buying a copy of The Mirror. Don't bother
- Jul 12, 2010
'I want to work with young people,' says 54-year-old singer
The singer has paid for a Portland school band to get to New York
The singer is reportedly asking his promoters to seek out small capacity venues
Prince - 3121: Wikipedia Album Entry
Musicology was a self-conscious comeback, a record designed to return Prince to the spotlight and the charts, and it worked: even if it spawned no big hits, the 2004 LP became his first album to crack the Billboard Top Ten since 1995's The Gold Experience, get a fair amount of radio play, and get a bunch of positive press, along with a well-received tour. Prince no longer seemed like an eccentric consigned to the fringes: he seemed like a savvy pro, reclaiming a reputation and respect that he'd lost. That he did it with an album that sounded uncannily like a deliberate return to classic Prince as performed by the New Power Generation was almost beside the point: it was enough that he sounded engaged, and that he made a focused, purposeful album. Its quickly delivered 2006 follow-up, 3121, proves that Musicology was no fluke. Like its predecessor, 3121 is tight and concise, offering 12 songs in 53 minutes, and it's classically structured, emphasizing shifting moods and textures between songs. It is an album, not a collection of songs, and you could even call it old-fashioned, but it feels fresher than Musicology, as if Prince had listened to enough Neptunes productions to understand how they've absorbed his music. That acknowledgement doesn't come often -- it's evident in the sly, sexy grooves of "Black Sweat" and the squealing synths of "Lolita" -- but since it's paired with an emphasis on dance tunes and a retreat from the enjoyable but endless NPG-styled vamping that characterized a good portion of Musicology, 3121 winds up sounding lively, varied, and, at its best, exciting. And at the beginning of the album, 3121 is quite exciting, as Prince revives his high-pitched alter ego Camille on the title track and dives head first into the electro-funk of "Lolita" and "Black Sweat," songs that recall such mid-period masterpieces as "Kiss" or "Sign 'O' the Times" without being rewrites. Nevertheless, the fact that the freshest sounding music here still has a direct line back to records Prince made 20 years prior is a good indication that the album, like Prince himself in the wake of hip-hop, is a little bit conservative, emphasizing funk of both the James Brown and George Clinton varieties, late-night slow jams, classic dance, and soul, instead of wrestling with modern music. While that may disappoint some listeners who yearn for the return of the trailblazing Prince of the '80s, when he reinvented himself with each record, it's hardly surprising that a 47-year-old musician is spending more time refining his palette than expanding it. What is a surprise is that Prince is in top form as both a writer and record-maker; perhaps the one-man-band nature of its recording doesn't mean the album is as gritty or raw as his reliably thrilling live performances, but 3121 crackles with excitement, filled with different sounds and styles. Best of all, this is filled with songs that hold their own as individual tunes, yet gel into a cohesive record that is thankfully devoid of an overarching concept, a problem that plagued his albums after Diamonds and Pearls. 3121 does fall short from being perfect -- there may be no bad songs, but the momentum slows ever so slightly on the second half -- yet it's something more valuable than being a one-off classic: it's proof that Prince has indeed returned as a vital, serious recording artist on his own terms. Maybe he's no longer breaking new ground, but his eccentricities are now an attribute, not a curse, which goes a long way in making his trademark blend of funk, pop, soul, and rock sound nearly as dazzling as it did at his popular and creative peak in the '80s.
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At 42 thousand feet above the sea
That's where you and I first came to be
From the dust of the earth and the knowledge tree
Te amo corazon
Eye don't wanna give U my love
'Cause Eye don't wanna lose my mind
What is this new exaltation
That I just canât explain?
What are these new inspirations
That I canât get out my brain?
Ooh, before we get started, are we all alone?
'Cause I'm about to get open-hearted
It's time to send your company home, turn off your cell phone
Baby, can't you see, I just want to get you satisfied?
Stop telling me what you want me to hear
Stop telling me what you want me to fear
Stop trippin' on something you overheard
Love is winning without a word
(Yes, let's go)
Stop it, baby
You're a V.I.P. at least to me
Come here and show me some ID
One mix, one mix, one mix, one mix
One mix, one mix, one mix, one mix
DJ, turn it up, turn it up
Let's go, 3121
You're beautiful, loved and blessed
You feel me?
You must have heard it on the news this morning
Congratulations, a new star is born
Sun to a shadow, rose to a thorn
There ain't no fury like a woman scorned
I don't want to take my clothes off
But I do
I don't want to turn nobody on
Unless it's you
Look outside your window, tell me now what you see
Comin' up the mountain for a new philosophy
Every single color, every race and ever creed
Lookin' for the truth y'all that's gonna set somebody free