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Rolling Stone
Daily Mirror


ROLLING STONE (in Germany, review translated from German)

Prince: "20Ten" in stores Thursday with our August issue.

The time has finally come: The new Prince album "20TEN" is not on record store shelves, but enclosed with our August issue on the newstand. And only there. Find out what it sounds like right here.

In 2007, the Minneapolis superstar caused a sensation when he distributed his album "Planet Earth" through an English newspaper. The German Rolling Stone is now the world's first music magazine with which Prince is entering into a similar cooperation: Our August issue, which will be published on Thursday, July 22nd, contains the complete studio album "20Ten" as a CD supplement (all information on the issue's content is available here).

Regular distribution of "20Ten" in music stores is not planned. We would therefore like to point out that the magazine with the exclusive Prince supplement is only available as long as it remains in stock.

To get ready, here is the track-by-track review by Joachim Hentschel:

The new album is reason to rejoice for all those who loved the rather minimalist "MPLSound" chapter on the 3-CD box "LotusFlow3r" from last year: With analog synthesizers, wiry guitar licks and the sounds of the good old Linn Drum machine, Prince finally returns to the tight electro-funk spirit of his early years on "20Ten," with both groovy party music that make you nod your head and lip-licking soul ballads, and he does it without copying or ingratiating himself. The songs are not only about the doctrine of saving the world, but also about the carnal aspects of love. His best, most consistent album since the 1992 "Love Symbol" record? Well, sure.

The ten songs at a glance:

A straight beat, a staccato keyboard, a guitar hissing through the stereo channels - from the first second the purple headlights shine, we are standing in the middle of the dance floor in Prince's headquarters. With the gospel-pop-party ode to human compassion, the Master also introduces us to the three-member women's choir who will lead through the record with him: Shelby J, Liv Warfield and Elisa Fiorillo.

"Beginning Endlessly"
This catchy, feisty synth riff smells like fresh hairspray and leather gloves. Prince almost literally licks the listener's ear, this time in a duet with himself, in a sleazy chant: "Come on, darling, let's get down to the beginning endlessly!" It's easy to see what kind of universal enlightenment he's preaching here.

"Future Soul Song"
A close relative of the classic "The Beautiful Ones": in this bubble bath soul, Prince first shows himself as a real crooner, cheering "Sha-la-la" in the chorus, until he finally gets out of his skin, moans and screeches as the guitar and angel choir strive skyward.

"Sticky Like Glue"
A heavily lewd five-minute hip swing, with little more than a clear beat, a few smacking bass lines, and a funky guitar. Prince pulls out all the stops, harmonizing with himself in every conceivable pitch and alternating vocals, even throwing in a rap in which he talks about a very special visit to the cinema.

The tourism industry is delighted: Prince exudes wanderlust, praising the beauty of the vineyards in Lavaux in Switzerland and the streets of Portugal using the jubilant "1999" keyboard. It sounds silly, but it's a song about visions and the desire for freedom: "Life back home depresses me / Just another form of slavery." The handclaps sound like slaps.

"Act of God"
It starts like an electric shock, kicking in with a velvet-clad boot: Prince does not waste a second, explaining the economic crisis and the Iraq war in three minutes, letting his three muses repeat his lyrics back at him, while the groove inspires deep red sparks from the ground. Highly electric and rough, also with an outstretched fist of defiance: "The ones who say No make history!" An absolute masterpiece and a highlight of the album.

"Walk in Sand"
Now the starlight is switched on: a flattering show-stopper, Prince using his velvet falsetto on the piano, and for once using real drums and the feel of a live band. The message and melody are simple and beautiful: "Nothing's better than to walk in sand hand in hand with you." Kitsch can be so wonderful.

"Sea Of Everything"
It goes on without a break, next door in the private room: In this cool bedroom ballad, Prince goes into hand-to-hand combat as if he only wanted to explore every single inch of his lady with his voice. "Will you still feel the same when the spotlight fades?" he muses - without a little reflection on life, he doesn't want sex anymore.

"Everybody Loves Me"
At the end there is the sing-along rock'n'roll stomp with boogie-woogie piano breaks and a feel-good guarantee: "Tonight I love everybody, everybody loves me". Which, of course, doesn't refer to Prince himself but rather the self-confident spirit that makes everyone a star on the dance floor. You will sing along after the first 30 seconds.

The untitled bonus track
In an earlier draft of the track listing, this was the opening song of "20ten" - but now it hangs anonymously at the end, although Prince introduces himself and his hometown Minneapolis here in hip-hop style and with pleasantly clear words: "From the heart of Minnesota, here come the purple Yoda! " A hard track, the Prince version of modern R&B. And maybe a little hint as to what will soon await us on the follow-up record...

Joachim Hentschel


Prince - 20TEN the first review: This is his best album for 23 years says Tony Parsons

By Tony Parsons, DAILY MIRROR

Any new Prince album is a major event. But, from my sneak preview, I can tell you that what makes the release of 20TEN truly momentous is that its as good as his all-time classics like Purple Rain and 1999.

20TEN is a comeback on a par with Elvis reinventing himself in Las Vegas in 1968. 20TEN is as good as anything Prince has done which means it is as good as anything that anyone has done.

I have admired Prince for more than 30 years because he is, in a word, a genius.

He broke down barriers. The barriers between rock and soul, black and white, sex and romance, the sacred and the profane. Only the all-time greats are capable of breaking down the barriers that divide music, that separate people. Elvis did it. And The Beatles. And Michael Jackson.

There have been many times hearing 1999 for the first time, hearing Thieves In The Temple for the 1,000th time, seeing him live in Washington in 1984 in his swaggering, purple prime when I believed with all my heart that Prince was the greatest of them all.

Prince could do everything. He is a multi-instrumentalist on a par with Stevie Wonder. He dances like James Brown. He plays guitar like Jimi Hendrix. And as for doing the splits in high heels only Ginger Rogers and Prince can do the splits in high heels.

His songs could make you smile, and make you dance and break your heart. And help your broken heart to start healing.

I loved him early on. The songwriting just blew me away songs like I Wanna Be Your Lover, and Head and When You Were Mine hot-buttered funk, romantically lush, with a side order of lust. And when you saw him live, he had you for life.

His big breakthrough album, Purple Rain, came out in the same year, 1984, as the Milos Forman film Amadeus and Prince clearly identified like mad with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In fact, he dressed like Mozart on acid.

And why not? Fifty years of popular music have produced only a handful of characters who could legitimately claim to be a genius. Prince is top of the list.

He has produced 10 platinum albums and 30 Top 40 singles in his career, but that does not even begin to do justice to his talent.

From his debut in 1978 until the Gold Experience in 1995, he released an album a year. And many of them Diamonds and Pearls, Sign o the Times, 1999, Purple Rain were among the greatest albums of all time. It was a winning streak that is almost without parallel in pop probably only The Beatles have come close.

And they had three people writing their songs. And they couldnt keep it up for as long as Prince.

There were hard times ahead. Contract-ual battles. The death of his first child. Marriage break-ups. But genius does not fade. And genius does not go out of style. And genius the kind of musical genius owned by Prince Rogers Nelson of Minneapolis is forever fresh.

Now Prince is back with his best record since Sign o the Times 23 years ago.

And there is something else... its not released via the internet or record companies.

20TEN is a real exclusive for readers of the Daily Mirror this Saturday. Its the only place you can get it... and I strongly recommend you do.

Track by track


Classic Prince. Save the world but dont forget to get down. Musically it recalls Delirious on 1999, but this is Prince at his most socially conscious since Sign o the Times. Full of references to the greedy ones and melting polar ice caps.


Thick slices of Prince at his most funky. The Purple One contemplates a dying star and a girl in a bar. Impossible to know what he is going on about. Possibly a love song, or a contemplation of reincarnation. Or both. A slick, blistering guitar solo to rival Purple Rain.


Prince at his most soulful, and most romantic exactly the kind of lush, lavish romanticism that made The Most Beautiful Girl in the World one of the greatest love songs ever written. Like a twenty-first century Marvin Gaye, or a thin Barry White. Gorgeous stuff.


A reminder that Prince has a PhD in deep funk the ghosts of Parliament, Funkadelic and Earth, Wind and Fire stalk the double innuendos. Benny Hill hits the dance floor. Oooh, you are awful, Prince! But we like you!


Dirty fat bankers, Prince hisses over a track that would have sat nicely on his soundtrack for the first Batman movie hard party man funk, as Prince reflects on the money men who have brought us such misery. He doesnt like them much.


Jazzy, swinging and chilled as a cucumber with hypothermia - it could be Steely Dan in their prime a track to remind us that Prince was always and forever open to any kind of music. And then he made it his own.


He always did wistful so well. Longing, loss, yearning nobody ever did it better. A bittersweet love song with an ache in its breaking heart. And I have no idea if it is about the woman by his side, or a girl he lost years ago.


Prince at his most spiritual, and his most romantic. A slow burning cheek-to-cheek love song for late at night when there is only one couple left on the dance floor. Prince sees the universe in a grain of sand, and the meaning of life in a young womans smile.


Playful Prince. Prince at his most light-hearted. Mucking about. Prince having a bit of a disco burn-up. Prince when he is in one of those moods that say we have saved the world, and we have found true love what do we do now? Oh, I know. Lets go crazy. Lets go nuts.


Dont miss the secret track 77. From the heart of Minnesota here come the purple Yoda. Wow, a Star Wars reference! Rocks along like a bitch Erotic City, the great Prince carnal classic, comes immediately to mind. And there is enough the-wonder-of-me boasting on there to remind us that Prince is the missing link between Muhammad Ali and hip-hop. And when Prince says that you need to lay down, you know hes not talking about your afternoon nap.


Album Review: Prince, '20Ten' (NPG)

You can only hear this by buying a copy of The Mirror. Don't bother
2 Stars (out of 5)
12th July 2010

Since his conversion to the Jehovah's Witness faith, Prince is far from the man who, in 1982, "sincerely want[ed] to fuck the taste out of your mouth". These days he's more likely to wash it out with soap and sell you a Watchtower...

The 52-year-old gets mad when judged by his sexual and musical revolutionary past, though he himself invites these comparisons: '20Ten' opens with 'Compassion', a pale imitation of '1999''s futurist jitter-funk, and of the album from which such questionable mouth-fucking chat-ups come. Prince today? A Xerox of a Xerox.

He's also temporally challenged - not only loudly pronouncing the internet over (the print media, meanwhile, in the form of the Daily Mirror, already giving the album away for free, thanked Prince by - amazingly! - proclaiming it his best in 23 years...), but for sagely decreeing, on 'Act Of God', that taxes go to build bomb-dropping planes "Supposedly to keep us safe from Saddam." Not so much of a threat these days since being hanged in December 2006, though, is he?

Then again, Prince has always lived in a different world. That was great when he effortlessly threw out mind-melting reconfigurations of pop likes 'When Doves Cry' and 'If I Was Your Girlfriend'; but 'effortless' is a very different thing from 'making no effort'...

'20Ten' has its moments: 'Sticky Like Glue' masquerades as a stop-start chicken-scratcher, before Prince drops a hideous rap and forgets to write an ending; 'Walk In Sand' is a lovely quiet storm ballad... apart from that photocopier noise.

Typically perverse, he buries the best, 'Laydown', in "hidden" territory, camouflaged as uncredited track 77. With complex synth lines and a convincing rap, Prince calls himself "the Purple Yoda" on a spooky, ragged cut that hints at those once-otherworldly powers.

His best album in 23 years? No way. His best in four? Eh, go on then; but that's a bit like saying, "I had my best acid trip ever because this time my nan didn't crawl up my leg with a Bowie knife in her teeth, threatening to cut my nuts off and feed them back through my nose."

We don't expect - or even want - another 'Housequake', but the least his majesty could do is more than phone in snooze-funk for a presumably hefty advance from a newspaper. Then again, it seems Prince has been more interested in studying popular science: "All of the same minerals and chemicals of space/You carry within your womb/That's how we got to this place," he informs his lover, suggesting, if such cosmological ponderings turn her on, perhaps he could be allowed to explore her anatomy. Boy, how those seduction techniques have changed...

Jason Draper


Prince - 20Ten

(NPG) UK release date: 10 July 2010

by Luke Winkie
published: 10 Jul 2010

Despite his recent mis-steps it's pretty easy to appreciate the card-carrying genius that is Prince, at least for his former work. The brilliance of stone-cold classics like Purple Rain and Sign O' The Times will never be understated, and even the stodgiest of music critics have accepted him into the pantheon of rock gods.

Sure it's been quite some time since he's been great, but there have been flashes; the otherwise forgettable 3121 supplied the minimal-funk banger Black Sweat, a track that rightfully garnered the artist the same level of praise he received back in the mid-'80s. But after an eternally disappointing naughties run, culminating in the insane, overstuffed, Target-exclusive Lotusflow3r (the sort of offering that would utterly destroy a lesser artist,) it's still de rigeur to get excited about a new Prince album - after all, this could be the record where he recaptures his former glory, and puts all the doubters to shame; the next Purple Rain; the return of the Prince!

Unfortunately 20Ten, released upon the world through newspapers - The Mirror's Saturday 10th July edition in the UK - isn't any of that. In fact it's one of the slightest albums the man has ever recorded; fluffy, anti-climatic, and utterly boring. None of the songs even hint at the momentous, dramatic glory of, say, Baby I'm A Star or Let's Go Crazy. It seems content to fade into the background in department stores. It's yet another disappointment in a latter-day career that's in danger of becoming irrelevant.

To be fair, 20Ten does put its best foot forward. The pulpy, electro-funk Compassion turns out to be the best song on the album, but you wouldn't guess that on first impression; there's really nothing too special about it, but it does keep a solid groove going for four minutes, and isn't too far off the things the world loved about Prince in the first place. It's also the closest he comes to writing actual 'song' here; deeper cuts, like the egregious, baseless twofer Walk In Sand and Sea Of Everything (surely the worst two-song sequence of 2010) are quite impossible to like, and perfectly encapsulate the worrying vanilla that Prince is coming closer and closer to representing entirely. Dance-pop for your parents' dinner party, completely divorced from the bombast, the smut, and the provocative danger he owned in his heyday.

The only risk 20Ten takes is reserved for the very end; the secret untitled track (fast forward through 67 tracks of silence to reach it) has Prince rapping over a pumped-up guitar jam, referring to himself as "the purple Yoda" if you please. It's fairly ridiculous, kind of funny, and probably the most memorable track on the record. It's entirely a gimmick, and not 'good' by any stretch of the imagination, but that level of oddness is preferable to the overwhelming blandness of the rest of the album. 2009's batshit Lotusflow3r was at least interesting in its preposterous, three CD sprawl, but 20Ten bypasses any of that stylistic divergence with nine equally inoffensive, equally boring tracks. Oh well. Surely his next album will make up for it...