In this age of over-stimulation and exponential information expansion, it's paradoxical that music is
both easier and harder than ever to find. Easier, in that a couple keystrokes or a quick perusal of Pitchfork gives us a treasure trove of discovery. Harder, though, in the sense that all of this information about artists and releases sometimes means that we miss signal in the noise.
Case in point: did you know that Prince released an album last week? Two, actually.
It's okay. I didn't either.
I'm not the world's most avid Prince fan, but I'm reminded anew every time I hear anything he's recorded how revolutionary his sound was to a bunch of white suburban kids back in the mid-80s. Dig if you will the picture/She and I engaged in a kiss/Sound of her father coming up the stairs scared the shit out of me/Can you my readers...can you picture this?
The aforementioned Pitchfork gives Art Official Age/Plectrum Electrum a relatively pedestrian 6.5 rating, but seems a bit more enthusiastic about the record in saying, "Musically, Art Official Age is all over the map—gloriously so, in fact—as though Prince is trying to cram a triple album into a single disc."
If FUNKNROLL is any indication, it seems like he's trying to cram a triple album's worth of sounds into each song. There's a Trombone Shorty-esque horn break, some electronica, a bit of old school Princely naughtiness, and a beat that can't decide whether it's funky or spacey. I'm not even sure yet if I like it.
But I do enjoy the accident of discovery. And the trip back in time.