Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Make no mistake, this isn't the second coming of Purple Rain or Sign 'o' the Times or even Parade -- in other words, it's not a masterpiece, more like a more confident and consistent Diamonds and Pearls without the hip-hop fixation -- but it's a strong album, one that impresses on the first listen and gets better with repeated plays.
  2. It's so obvious that he's having fun again, and that infectious feeling is what comes through loud and clear throughout the entire album.
  3. Music that, while often pleasant, lacks the power of not only his best work, but also most of his successors' stuff.
  4. 60
    Might be a primer for his various selves, so redolent are individual tracks of previous songs. [Jun 2004, p.92]
  5. His best work in many a long year. [Jun 2004, p.105]
  6. 60
    Brilliantly produced and performed, rather than astoundingly well written. [Jun 2004, p.112]
  7. As appealing, focused and straight-up satisfying an album as Prince has made since who can remember when.
  8. Ultimately, 'Musicology' is a kind of flawed redemption, neither inspired enough to be a true classic, nor insipid enough to make it unworthy of your attention.
  9. Musicology is never bad, and though it does get bogged down in indistinguishable ballads, it usually finds a way to recover. [28 Apr 2004]
  10. As a whole, it’s a 3 [out of 5], but the first two tracks are worth the extra point.
  11. Musicology strongly suggests Prince has finally roused himself from a decade-long self-indulgent torpor.
  12. The retro-leaning Musicology... sounds as if Prince is less interested in fighting Mr. Man than in giving in to him. [30 Apr 2004, p.160]
  13. 40
    Less of the recent Jesus-jazz, more funk minimalism--so far so good.... But the once-and-future Prince doesn't seem to be rooting around in the rich melodies of "Raspberry Beret" or the frenetic nu-wave soul of "Uptown." [#27, p.144]
  14. While this album does not break new ground, it focuses on a fun and playful Prince whose turn of phrase and instrumental dexterity call to mind why we embraced him in the first place--and still do.
  15. A casual exhibition of Princeliness, stocked with a handful of old tricks but no new ones.
  16. It’s a phenomenal album. And best of all, it’s unmistakably Prince.
  17. Not only is the product musically conservative, chocked full of soul ballads and tame funk workouts, there's nary a trace of the devilish sense of risk that has permeated even his worst material.
  18. At least 'Musicology' reunites us with that trademark Prince sound, that regal sparkle that’s influenced many and been matched by none.
  19. With Musicology, the doctor of sexual funk puts the self-indulgence on hold and digs back into the enticing grooves and towering melodies of his glory years.
  20. Musicology is noticeably spare and controlled. This development gratifies its admirers, and rightly so.
  21. The Purple One has reconnected with that deep vein of funk after experimenting with his splendid and messy excesses since the cusp of the nineties, and turned out his best album since 1987's "Sign of the Times."
  22. These dozen songs, which swing with the organic, old-school funk Prince began embracing in the late-’80s, also avoid his ‘90s excesses, combining rock and soul as effortlessly and succinctly as he ever has.
  23. Musicology is a thrilling, electric statement by an artist who just might be building toward another creative peak.
  24. 80
    A collection of frisky funk, slinky soul, raucous R&B and heated rock ‘n’ roll based on real songs, rather than the doodles and sketches that have recently become the norm.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 2 out of 17
  1. JoeG
    Mar 21, 2006
    5
    Average at best. There are some boring stretches here, some lite jazz noodling, and the songwriting isn't the greatest, but this is Average at best. There are some boring stretches here, some lite jazz noodling, and the songwriting isn't the greatest, but this is probably his best album since 1996. That's not saying much, but at least it's well-produced, usually well-played (there may be noodling, but there's some great guitar here and there), well-sung...some of this feels pretty conventional, almost meat & potatoes, but it still has its charm, and Prince's sense of humor shines through a couple of songs. Full Review »
  2. AndrewM
    Oct 6, 2005
    8
    Musicology is pure funk from the soul. I can listen to this CD over and over again, and it still rates up there with anything I listen to. Musicology is pure funk from the soul. I can listen to this CD over and over again, and it still rates up there with anything I listen to. And I listen to a wide variety. True though, its highest point is by far the title track. Now can make songs this immortal anymore, for me its one of the greatest songs there is. True!! Nuff Said!! Full Review »
  3. JasonC
    Apr 9, 2005
    6
    Doesn't live up to the hype, but it's not bad. A decent Prince album, like "Diamonds & Pearls" or "Controversy," but not a great Doesn't live up to the hype, but it's not bad. A decent Prince album, like "Diamonds & Pearls" or "Controversy," but not a great one. There are a few boring tracks, and even though most of the tracks are good, they feel a bit too safe, like Prince is going back to old, proven formulas - he does them well, though. The title track, "Illusion, Coma...," "Life 'O' The Party," "Cinnamon Girl," "On The Couch," and "Reflection" are solid, the best tracks. Worth getting if you're Prince fan, but still over-hyped. Full Review »