Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
Buy On
  1. Sep 29, 2014
    100
    If you're looking for a freaky good time, Art Official is your ticket.... An exquisite Prince R&B album.
  2. Oct 1, 2014
    91
    A stellar album that functions more as an ellipsis than a period. This album is an indicator that Prince is still pulling levers and asking questions.
  3. Sep 30, 2014
    90
    As an original whole, Art Official Age is Prince's most complete, most consistent and most contemporary album in a minute.
  4. Sep 29, 2014
    88
    In an era when innovative artists such as Frank Ocean and The Weeknd are redefining the form and feel of R&B seduction ballads, Prince sounds not just relevant, but renewed.
  5. Oct 1, 2014
    84
    Let’s call ART OFFICIAL AGE a beautiful renewal of vows.
  6. 80
    This is a far better album than you’d dare hope from the latterday Prince; Breakdown is a heavy, plangent ballad, while The Gold Standard just sounds like he’s partying like it’s 1999 all over again.
  7. Sep 30, 2014
    80
    Art Official Age isn't just the stronger of the two--it's among his most imaginative albums since the '90s.
  8. Sep 29, 2014
    80
    It is all quite delightfully nuts.
  9. Oct 15, 2014
    70
    Prince's genius remains intact, and as confusing as ever.
  10. Oct 1, 2014
    70
    There are sections of this album where the excessively excessive for excessiveness’ sake draw attention away from the parts that are genuinely fantastic. Not that Prince cares what anyone thinks. He proves with this album that he will experiment and make the music he wants to make.
  11. Sep 30, 2014
    70
    A s Art Official Age plays out, it winds up being less of an introduction to a new generation as much as it is the treat for loyal fans that MPLSound tried so hard to be but end up felling short of.
  12. 67
    Even the purest pop songs get derailed by the sheer volume of ideas he attempts to cram into every sonic cranny, including a confusing sci-fi narrative thread that periodically breaks in.
  13. Oct 3, 2014
    65
    Art Official Age is not a return to form by any means, but a modestly exciting Prince album.
  14. Classic Rock Magazine
    Dec 16, 2014
    60
    Tunes and sound both stay below the Gold Standard. [Dec 2014, p.104]
  15. Mojo
    Nov 7, 2014
    60
    [A] confusing, sprawling grab-bag. [Nov 2014, p.90]
  16. Oct 3, 2014
    60
    Art Official Age's main takeaway is that His Royal Badness has started to make peace with being past his prime.
  17. Oct 2, 2014
    60
    Once you get past the air-horn headache that is opener Art Official Cage, the album settles into a pleasant rhythm that plays up His Purpleness’s knack for whispery weightlessness and deep grooves.
  18. Sep 30, 2014
    60
    While the production details of each track are full of lessons in musicianly ingenuity, only “Breakdown” has a melody that lingers. The others are overshadowed by Prince’s back catalog.
  19. Uncut
    Sep 29, 2014
    60
    Too many average slow jams.... They just remind you he's still around; short of a tune, but the unique inhabitant of a purple planet all his own. [Nov 2014, p.80]
  20. Nostalgic fans will no doubt lap up Prince’s old-school falsetto preens and funk beats. But such a sustained recoil from the current world has a consequence. It can seem regressive or overfamiliar.
  21. Sep 29, 2014
    60
    If the album doesn't offer any startling surprises along the lines of the furious "Black Sweat"--there's not much abandon here--there's joy in hearing Prince embrace his lyrical eccentricities as he accessorizes his smooth jams and coiled, clean funk with such oddities as laser blasts and spoken introductions from what appear to be British nurses.
  22. Sep 29, 2014
    60
    What follows are flashes of brilliance interspersed with stuff that just wouldn’t have made the cut 30 years ago.
  23. 58
    Neither Art Official Age nor PLECTRUMELECTRUM aims to be a legendary Prince record, but both hit their marks anyway.
  24. Q Magazine
    Oct 3, 2014
    40
    Art Official Age, regrettably, is something we have heard before: an overlong, pan-generic concept album. [Nov 2014, p.107]
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 52 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 52
  2. Negative: 10 out of 52
  1. Oct 1, 2014
    8
    This could very well be the best we can expect from Prince at this stage of his career. Surprisingly fresh and confident, he's undeniablyThis could very well be the best we can expect from Prince at this stage of his career. Surprisingly fresh and confident, he's undeniably 'Princey' while at the same time embracing current musical trends. Trend-setting? Not anymore, but that's ok, he's past that and how could one hold that against him? Full Review »
  2. Oct 14, 2014
    7
    How hard it seems for Prince (cough... cough...) to be sincere and true for a minute.
    Just like his productions, he's packed in some cheap
    How hard it seems for Prince (cough... cough...) to be sincere and true for a minute.
    Just like his productions, he's packed in some cheap plastic condom, far from the real thing.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 3, 2014
    9
    One of the best albums of the year, and probably Princes best in over 20. In fact, putting the rose tinted glasses to one side, i'd argue thatOne of the best albums of the year, and probably Princes best in over 20. In fact, putting the rose tinted glasses to one side, i'd argue that even if this had come out during Princes 1980s creative peak it would still be considered a very solid entry. Its an extremely consistent record, "Way back home" and "Affirmation 3" are the weak links (although by no means terrible) while the remaining 11 songs range from good to great. Full Review »