Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
Buy On
  1. 100
    Prince: Originals is at its best when Prince lets loose and embraces his cheekier side. ... Although the camp synths and indulgent guitar solos present on a lot of these tracks are clear by-products of the decade that gave us cone bras, Super Mario and The Goonies, this music also sounds prescient.
  2. Q Magazine
    Jun 7, 2019
    The production values here exceed most of the finished works: not so much blueprints as purpleprints. [Summer 2019, p.118]
  3. Jun 7, 2019
    It offers a window onto the playfulness of his improvisations and, in a structure that mimics the range of an actual Prince album, shifts nimbly between up-tempo songs and ballads, sweat and tears, near impossible to stay sitting still while listening.
  4. Jun 21, 2019
    It’s a cohesive and extremely well-curated compilation, but several of the songs will be unfamiliar even to serious followers, and at the end of the day, it’s a collection of recordings that Prince never intended for the world to hear. Regardless, there’s plenty to get excited about.
  5. Jun 21, 2019
    That's the trick he managed to successfully pull throughout his career--making music that covered an enormous amount of stylistic range yet still sounded coherent and instantly enjoyable.
  6. Jun 28, 2019
    There are a couple of less-inspired contributions, notably the glossy country-pop “You’re My Love,” which Kenny Rogers recorded in 1986. But the overriding impression is wonderment: Prince was on such a roll that he was giving away tracks that could’ve provided the backbone for at least another terrific album of his own during this era, music that ranges from the funk mischief of “Jungle Love” to the falsetto tenderness of “Baby, You’re a Trip.”
  7. Jun 17, 2019
    Originals offers a tantalizing glimpse of Prince as an artist whose creativity extended in so many directions at once that his own discography couldn’t contain it.
  8. Jun 27, 2019
    With its cohesive vision, it also proves that, properly curated, the material in Prince’s Vault contains a body of work that would rival Dylan’s Bootleg Series for both quality control and cultural importance. The next volume can’t come quick enough.
  9. Jun 27, 2019
    Creating songs for female artists, he fully (if somewhat licentiously) inhabits their personas, deadpanning about greeting a lover in his camisole over the electro pulse of Apollonia’s Make-Up. The highest compliment that could be paid to Originals is that if Prince had released it in the Eighties, no one would have batted an eyelid.
  10. Classic Rock Magazine
    Jun 26, 2019
    The whole thing sounds like a great lost album. Which of course it is. [Summer 2019, p.93]
  11. Mojo
    Jun 25, 2019
    It's a wonderful listen, and the joy in creation that is obvious in these 15 tracks, is nearly enough to wipe out the sadness of his loss. Nearly. [Aug 2019, p.102]
  12. 80
    All but one are previously unreleased and show not only how prolific he was but how much work he put into these demo recordings, which sound as good as the finished product. Better yet, it’s an example of the quality of material still lurking in the Prince archives. This hour-long collection will more than satiate fans of the artist until the next batch inevitably appears.
  13. Uncut
    Jun 7, 2019
    If you're a Prince bootleg freak you'll know most of it already, but if not it's a great introduction to his writing for outside productions. Often, the real revelation is how closely performers hew to his demos. [Jul 2019, p.48]
  14. Jun 7, 2019
    The 15 songs range from entertaining throwaways to top-shelf Prince, making this basically a very good golden-era Prince album, with material recorded entirely between 1981-85 but for the ’91 version of “Love… Thy Will Be Done,” a hit that year for Martika.
  15. Jun 20, 2019
    If Prince intended these songs to be released under his own name, they'd be given richer, bolder arrangements and his singing would've been sharper, but he meant these as guides toward a finished product. Keeping that caveat in mind, this is an enlightening and illuminating listen.
  16. Jun 24, 2019
    Prince’s tightly controlled production style, down to his proteges’ smallest inflections – the Time’s Gigolos Get Lonely Too is a spot-the-difference exercise – also means there’s little that differs substantially from its more polished released version, delicious as it is to hear him sing Martika’s blissful Love… Thy Will Be Done.
  17. Jul 16, 2019
    For big Prince fans, Originals will be an essential peek into his methods as a musical mentor. For anyone else, it's a curiosity worth checking out but certainly not recommending over any of the dozen-plus better records he released during his lifetime.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. Aug 15, 2019
    This is an outstanding album that shows how amazing of a writer that Prince truly was. Not only that, you actually get to hear him performThis is an outstanding album that shows how amazing of a writer that Prince truly was. Not only that, you actually get to hear him perform songs that are really good and are enjoyable as well. Overall this album is great. Full Review »
  2. Jun 25, 2019
    I've always thought that Prince's best era is from 1979 to 1992 and with these songs that he gave to other artists, I realize that. If theI've always thought that Prince's best era is from 1979 to 1992 and with these songs that he gave to other artists, I realize that. If the majority were not a hit, those that were, their popular versions are at the height of how I record them Prince. Many were new to me and it shows the genius he was at that time and that the demons in his head were atrophying that genius he had. All are very good except "Holly Rock". "Sex Shooter" is my favorite along with "Manic Monday" and "Jungle Love". I hope they continue to get more songs that I leave in their vault that they did during the 80's. Full Review »
  3. Jun 13, 2019
    An entertaining but ultimately inessential listen. Feels a bit like reading someone's rough draft without their consent.