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Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 35 Ratings

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  • Summary: This religion-themed concept album is the artist's first official release in 10 years under the Prince name.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 10
  2. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. His most consistent work since 1991's Diamonds And Pearls, although you'll need to ignore the peculiar narrative episodes in order to fully enjoy it. [Jan 2002, p.106]
  2. Unfortunately, the record is burdened by a pretentious, overarching narrative about "the Wise One" and his struggle with "the Banished Ones."
  3. It deftly balances sweet ballads, outer-space jazz, acid-rock, and firecracker funk superior to almost anything he has offered since perhaps "Sign O' the Times."
  4. The experiments sometimes work, but the album is mainly weighted down by cryptic religious ramblings that sap the pop life right out of it.
  5. The album's light jazz-funk grooves sink under the weight of his sanctimony. [23 Nov 2001, p.82]
  6. 40
    The music, though lithe and limber in a jazz-fusion-funk bag, lacks melodic distinction, while the vocals are delivered in a variety of electronically treated styles that are irritating at first and increasingly so on repeated exposures. [Feb 2002, p.125]
  7. 20
    The music, such as it is, is a river of fat-free, dirt-free, melody-free jazz Olestra. [Feb 2002, p.112]

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 4 out of 27
  1. AaronB.
    Jan 27, 2002
    one of the coolest albums since peppers and dark side of the moon. so it is religous but you don't rate music by your beliefs, but by how cohesive the songs are. to those interested in guitar tone this album is a mecca of sorts, half cocked wahs, weird filter effects that are somehow made useful, this man is simply a genius. an artist i have always admired but never understood, prince finally pulled me into not only being a believer but into a fan with this one!!! Expand
  2. ChaliseG.
    Apr 13, 2002
    Outstanding piece of work..People need to erase the image that they have of Prince from the past and appreciate the man for his musical creativity. He is the most versitile performer I have ever encountered and he is a true artist and musical genius. Expand
  3. Sep 25, 2010
    I have not bought much music in a while as there is not much out there worth buying. I love this disk. I love the music, and the creativity of lyrics. It's not like most disks where all of the songs sound alike. Give credit where credit is due. An just because you are not spiritual that does not diminish his creativity. Funky, jazzy, and worth buying..... Expand
  4. MikeB.
    Jan 17, 2002
    Hmmn. I think I really liked what I just listed to. Yes, I have been a hardcore prince fan for years. I remain that today, even though I have been disillusioned at times by some of his recent work. Love the groves on the TRC, but yes the lyrics don't take the great music higher. I know he has more Grammy caliber work in him, if he wants to put it out!! This might not be it but stay tuned. Expand
  5. mitch
    Dec 9, 2004
    Very disappointed and shocked by the low ratings given by prominent magazines....I agree the persistent use of narrative is a bit much, but adds to the conceptual and religious nature of the album. Easily better than Musicology IMHO based strictly on the album's uniqueness. Somebody please back me up here... Expand
  6. buckeyetodd
    Dec 10, 2001
    Get beyond the annoying bassed up narrator and get into the music. This is heady stuff easily flowing from sticky funk to gospelized exuberance. The ballad "She Loves Me 4 Me" is a stand out as is "The Last December" and "1+1+1 is 3". A 9.5 if not for the cloying narration which adds nothing but confusion to an otherwise cohesive effort. Collapse
  7. RP
    Jun 13, 2008
    This one is almost imposible to enjoy unless you wear purple toned glasses. It is as cheesy as anything he released in the 90's The compositions are just as predictable tired and uninspired as anything he did in the 90's except played by great musicians. If you like jazzy Prince find Madhouse "6" you will enjoy it a lot more and your eyes wont hurt from rolling them so much. Expand

See all 27 User Reviews