Entertaiment

10 Prince Songs You’ve Been Sleeping On

Tasty tracks from his final four albums

Too often, iconic artists’ later work is overshadowed by their radio hits and overlooked by even devoted fans. Which is a damn shame, because Prince was giving us the goods until the very end.

In 2014, he released ART OFFICIAL AGE and PLECTRUMELECTRUM, the latter of which was a collaboration with his touring band at the time, 3RDEYEGIRL (the dude basically lived his life with the capslock on).

While AOA is a high-concept journey through the funkiest of futures, PLECTRUMELECTRUM was like gazing through a hazy telescope to find Prince rocking out with a highly-skilled garage band.

In 2015, he released HITnRUN Phase One and Two. Phase One is a high-energy blend of dance, disco, rock, and electronic, whereas Phase Two is a more reflective collection of funk and soulful throwbacks.

If you love yourself* you’ll lay back and listen closely to each album. If you need a primer, here are some of my favorites (not ranked, just arranged by album).

*You should. You deserve it.

1. PRETZELBODYLOGIC

PLECTRUMELECTRUM

This is the murderous stoned sex dream you didn’t know you needed. Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL sing-chant about being “too sleepy to get the gun,” but the stomping beat lends a fervent energy to this tale of life on the road.

2. FIXURLIFEUP

PLECTRUMELECTRUM

With bombastic drums and pensively-delivered verses, “FIXURLIFEUP” meanders a bit in it’s lyrics, but the way he cries the titular line makes you want to stop screwing around and finally get your shit together.

“Trying to be a star when you’re just another brick in the misogynistic wall of noise.”

3. FUNKNROLL

PLECTRUMELECTRUM and Art Official Age

Different versions of “FUNKNROLL” appear on both of the simultaneously-released 2014 albums.

PE Version: Sounds like a free-wheeling live jam (obviously free-wheeling in the way only an extremely skilled and well-rehearsed band can be), with bassist Ida Nielsen at the center of everything.

AOA Version: A modernly funked-up party for your ears. It builds into a guitar solo that makes you feel like you’re on a spaceship.

4. THE GOLD STANDARD

Art Official Age

This aggressively funky song conjures a classic party vibe in the digital age. There are so many distinct sounds and textures, but they work together like a well-executed fast break.

5. U KNOW

Art Official Age

The vocal delivery in this song is delicious. From an unbothered flow in the early verses, Prince transitions into breathy admissions of desire in the chorus, finally building to a sensual strain in the second half.

“the power of the breast is just a test that you’ll be winning”

6. THIS COULD BE US

Art Official Age and HITnRUN Phase One

This song appears on AOA, but returns as “This Could B Us” on Phase One. The first is longing and sweet and has a cool choir breakdown at the end. The latter sounds like Prince took that version and threw it into Alice’s wonderland, where things just got weird. And awesome.

7. Like a Mack ft. Curly Fryz

HITnRUN Phase One

Fun Fact 1: Danielle Curiel is one half of Curly Fryz, her sister Charli being the other. Curiel directed the music video for the AOA single “BREAKFAST CAN WAIT.” When she was 18.

Fun Fact 2: This is the song in which Prince poses that ultimate question of all fifty-something men…

“What you supposed to do in a club full of thots?”

8. Fallinlove2nite

HITnRUN Phase One

This song was featured when Prince appeared on the show New Girl. But more importantly, he RHYMES TAFFETA WITH LAUGH AT HER.

9. Stare

HITnRUN Phase Two

Dat bass doe.

“Stare” carries the confidence and not-giving-a-fuck that you only get from doing your own thing for half a century. It’s cool, playful, and groovy.

10. Xtralovable

HITnRUN Phase Two

In which Prince combines his love of women with his love of hygiene.

“Whenever you need someone to take a shower with, call me up.

Don’t you wanna take a bath with me?”

Check out the tracks from PLECTRUMELECTRUM and ART OFFICIAL AGE in the playlist below. HITnRUN Phase One and Two aren’t on Spotify, but you can get them on iTunes and Amazon.

https://medium.com/media/4c1efa6c7de5d5a4466444c8aa599fad/href




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