The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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And this Prince...

Come on, make an effort. Bring the cal-c out and give us the little manís age. 2006 minus 1958 gives us 48. Now look at the album cover that has the little manís back screaming from the front. How old does he look' 28' 32' A little more' More numbers' 3121. Yeah, right now heís 3121. The virtuoso has them numbers on his side ' playing easy and winning big as usual. We were a little tired when we got a forced musical package with Musicology a couple of seasons back. But it still managed to hit it big. 3121 (Universal; Rs 150) once again explains the enigma thatís Prince ' the deranged yet essential pop star thatís monkeying around with success all the time.

Deep into the 2000s and the assorted cookie music star still finds more than a million takers. Is it a good thing' Hell, yeah! Why' Letís find out. Letís take it song by song. The opening track 3121 is a musical freak; gets into your head and wages a battle. Good' Bad' Funky. Yeah, keep punching. Life is still so weird after all these years. Get on to Lolita and the familiar Prince ooze gets dripping all over'but this time itís Prince recognising his age and shunning his craze for women (at least for now)'Lolita youíre much too young, to feed my stash,/Youíre trying to write cheques your body canít cash'/Lolita youíre sweeter but youíll never make a cheater out of me'/Your eyes your mouth your curly hair'/You have no doubt, I must beware. Perfect groovy dance floor stuff.

And now for the big dance floor stuff. Black sweat is vintage Prince in a grinding new avataar ' a song that even the new age bumpers might find hard to ignore. Te amo corazon records a soulful ballad with some deep keyboard lines'kind of contagious, and strangely indispensable. Turn off the lights and breathe hard ' Incense and candles turns on the blue flame and in the end youíre required to spell out the price for Princeís candle. Heh-heh!

Love is up next 'again a funky treat that dips into a generous spread of R íí B. There is this sharp closing part in the end that straightens you up instantly. And you love it! This record is really burning now and then comes a typical Prince laze around song called Satisfied 'and those of you familiar with the guy relate to it instantly. The rest can skip the beats. Fury makes him rock ferociously. The word is a subtle scorcher, reminding you of his Sign Of The Times days. Beautiful, loved and blessed is Prince personified. The dance beats the rest for the strongest track on the album ' worthy enough to be a Prince classic. Blue-blooded stuff. The last track, Get on the boat, sounds like an add-on. But thereís gotta be at least one filler on a near perfect record. That makes it 3121 minus one. Whatís the count now'

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