Rhythm & Views 


Dear Prince:

I know it's been a while since I've written, but ... well ... I gotta be honest. It's been rough-going being a Prince fan the last 15 or so years. Quadruple all-instrumental Internet-only albums? Becoming a Jehovah's Witness? The whole symbol-for-a-name biz? Wha?

But all is forgiven now that you've given us the amazing 3121. You're going by "Prince" again, and you've found a way to reconcile your new monogamous faith and your dirty, dirty mind (no mean feat). The results both dampen the panties AND uplift the spirit. Nice.

Not every track is stellar--the ballad "Te Amo Corazon" is pretty, but pretty dull; "Get on the Boat" is a bit too funk-by-numbers, and the jury is still out on your new protégé Tamar (though, unlike, say, Apollonia or, ahem, Carmen Electra, she can actually sing).

But the killer songs--"Love," "Black Sweat," "Incense and Candles," "Fury"--are so hot that 3121 has garnered my prestigious Triple-Listening Award--omnipresent at the office (inspiring my co-worker and me to perform fly-girl dance routines), on the home stereo and on the iPod.

Let's be real--you and I both know that you could choose to never release a lick of new music again, and your place in musical history would be secure. So Prince, thank you. Thank you for not becoming the Howard Hughes of Paisley Park. Thank you for the video for the crazy-sexy "Black Sweat," which contains my favorite lyric on the album: "U'll be screamin' like a white lady / When I count 2 three / One, two, three ... aaaaahhhhhhhh!" In other words, thanks for being Prince again.

Call me, 'kay?



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