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The New Prince Bombed (Because It Sucked)

60 Minutes Discuss

It got a 75% approval rating on Metacritic, and the big boy rock critics were unswerving in their fealty to a tedious agitprop album from 2010, which Prince shelved for what to some of us is obvious reasons, and despite the love lavished on it from the world at large, as though calling it a bad album that should have remained buried was a form of racism, you can’t fool all the people all the time when with a click you can hear the bad “Hot Summer” or the abysmal “Running Game (Son Of A Slave Master)” -with no due respect, what a terrible song and I don’t care what it’s about.

Having my worked my way through Prince’s catalog, his 10s were not his best decade and Welcome 2 America doesn’t have the bloat to help you work through the bad stuff to get to the good stuff which is, precisely? Well, there isn’t any here.

Unlike even Prince’s iffier work, he doesn’t lean down hard on the backbone, there is no Larry Graham to save him, and the female singers are twee and the sound is weak and toney. That might not have stopped him twenty years ago, but in 2010 he was stuck with bad songs and a bad sound.

The 20s are the age of streaming and streaming means we are not invested in records, we can be told a recording is great by everyone but if the audience listens and doesn’t like it, it sinks. Hard copies, the old days of vinyl, 8 track, cassette, and CDs, meant you made the investment of money and time before you knew you had a dog on your hands. That doesn’t work on streaming where, Welcome 2 America for one, simply stopped being listened to. The first single (the title track) got 2M streams on Spotify, the next single halved it and the last song on the album had less than 10% of that. People gave up on a bad album.

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