AOTY 2023
Prince & The New Power Generation - [Love Symbol]
Jul 19, 2020
If for a second you started to think Prince was running out of ideas, along comes The New Power Generation and suddenly the ideas just started flowing forward again. Perhaps not the highest in quality, The Love Symbol Album is likely the largest Prince had sounded, at least since Purple Rain. The invention in sound, the incorporation of groove and dance, and the willingness for Prince to share the spotlight so this feels like a major collaborative effort makes this at the very least a successful album outside of his stellar run from the decade prior.

Already no stranger to the double album, the format allowed for Prince to continue to experiment and dive deeper into the sound he wanted to explore in the next era of his sound. That sound, unsurprisingly, was a little bit of everything. The usual suspects arrived, from his inspiration from funk, pop, rock, and R&B. But along with that Prince also explored more electronic noise, moments of dub and reggae, and the rising popularity of hip hop that was beginning to grow in the early 1990s. Once again, Prince and the rest of The New Power Generation are afraid of no bounds, willing to go in any direction that the album would have taken them.

The versatility doesn't always lead to perfect tracks, of course, and that is bound to happen on such a massive album with so many moving parts. In particular, the ballads don't feel as powerful as the rest of the track listing. Songs like Damn U and And God Created Woman just feel like filler in some ways, given just how inventive much of the outside the box tracks are in the inventive camp.

By no means the best work by Prince, The Love Symbol Album is still an album full of theatrics and more innovation from one of the greatest creative minds in music. The New Power Generation seems to have invigorated the potential staleness that Prince could have fallen into without that inspiration, and thankfully the collective were capable of producing one of the better possible projects that Prince could have come up with at this point in his career.

Favorite track: 7

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